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March 03, 2015

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What is crap like this doing in my RSS feed. Geez

Perhaps broadening your horizons?

Thanks Doc, and apologies for my shorter open thread. I should have guessed that you might have had a deeper take than me.

For me, Spock is a culture-hero on the level of Moses or indeed Abraham.

For me, Harth rem ir Estraven.

I haven't been emotional about Nimoy's death (no Spock joke intended, though it is slightly ironic), but yes, Spock and his successor Data are among the most memorable TV characters ever, for me at least. I'm trying to think of any other characters who stand out to me as much and none come to mind right away, though of course there have been many great TV shows over the years. Maybe Hawkeye Pierce stands out--in a totally different way, of course.

I wonder what message it sends that the various Science Officers (Spock, Dax, etc.) all seem to be either aliens, part alien or (Wildman) married to an alien. Is it really necessary to be that remote from the rest of humanity to do science?

Ironically the studio executives seem to have had strong reservations against the Spock character, in particular his looks. I read that they feared that he looked too demonic and could be mistaken for the devil.

And that was before 'science is satanic' became a mainstream position.

I have never been a Star Trek guy. If at all I am a fan of Raumpatrouille Orion
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/Raumpatrouille
It lingered a bit too long in postproduction, so it got beat by Star Trek by iirc 4 weeks.
I wonder how Kirk would have reacted to having a lady as his boss and a second one as his direct supervisor on the bridge, both of the no-nonsense type ;-)

Never really a Star Trek fan, but this is a moving tribute.

Maybe I'll go back and Netflix myself with Star Trek episodes.

I'm a little surprised myth-Meister Joseph Campbell didn't latch on to Spock instead of the Star Wars stuff, which I never cared for either.

Regarding actors playing aliens, if memory serves, I thought Jeff Bridges as the stranded alien in "Starman" did a nice job, and the supporting actors who played the humans taken over by the alien invasion in the original "Invasion of Body Snatchers" were spot on.

In that case, they looked and acted exactly as humans, except for one telltale characteristic.

That movie is the seed of all my nightmares throughout life.

A great, scary metaphor for inhumanity.

I'm not even sure any of you are who you seem.


wj - I absolutely don't think one needs (or should) be remote from humanity to do science, but I know a lot of non-scientists who think we're rather "alien." And it's not like Hollywood is awash in scientists to correct their usual characterizations of scientists. In that vein, Dana Scully did science a solid.

Re Nimoy and Spock, I've had a lot of thoughts and feelings re Nimoy's passing but haven't been able to put them into words. I grew up with TOS. And Nimoy himself seemed like a really good person - truly kind and compassionate.

I agree that he never broke character, which (considering how novel Spock's character was) was a serious achievement. Mark Lenard similarly was completely believable as a Vulcan. And I completely agree that one of the gifts of Spock's character was that Spock struggled with his identity and his differentness openly.

Outside of Star Trek, I credit Nimoy with opening my eyes to Holocaust denial.

Dr. Sci - I grieve with thee.

Thank you for posting this.

"In that case, they looked and acted exactly as humans, except for one telltale characteristic."

The writers and actors understood 'The Uncanny Valley'.

Barry, thanks for the "uncanny valley" reference.

I was not familiar with term, but wikipedia has a good write-up and it is food for thought, and keeping the lights on tonight.

I may even send the hyper-realistic sex doll back that I ordered recently.

We've only talked thus far, but her sincerity seems so uncanny and straight out of the box that it's creeping me out.

Maybe she'll walk out of her own accord, unless I remove her batteries.

I kid. No sex doll.

But I'm a little surprised the wiki article didn't mention the phenomenon of someone falling out of love with you (the royal you).

That seems an uncanny valley to me. The light goes out in the eyes. You know something is up before the "we need to talk" talk.

Where did it go? And if it's gone, what was it to begin with, besides a chemical or hormone squirting at the base of the brain and now, for whom does the chemical squirt?

The science of love snatches the body of we hopeless romantics.

Makes you want to check the basement for giant seed pods.

Count, this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Doll may be the right movie on the topic. It's not specific about uncanny valley (and not prawnographic either) but nonetheless quite interesting (plus well acted by the female inflatable lead).

Thanks, Hartmut.

Sounds fascinating.

It's not on Netflix yet, but if it was, it would head up the queue ahead of Spock.

One of my favorite moments from TOS was when, faced with the arrival of a being from a world with mandated prejudice, the younger members of the crew listened, sympathetic and shocked, saying that the Federation had overcome all that many years ago. Spock was in the corridor, overhearing, and his subdued but obviously pained reaction said it all, since he had gone through this prejudice when it was "no longer existent".

It's yet another of those moments that's still applicable today, as has been vividly demonstrated during this past few years and our "postracial" presidency.

We have reached the point where it is no longer socially acceptable to be explicitly racially prejudiced. (In private is another matter.) So those who are take pains to justify their hatred on other grounds. Not necessarily very convincingly, but they do take care to work at it.

That there has been massive progress to get us to this point is clear, as those of us with memories stretching back to the 1950s can testify. That there is still a long way to go to actually eliminate racial (not to mention religious or other kinds of) prejudice is also quite clear.

@Count me in
I thought that Joseph Campbell was approached by Lucas when Star Wars was in production. In those circumstances, it was natural for Campbell to talk about his take on the results.

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