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Star Trek: The Menagerie

Just finished watching a two-part episode of classic Star Trek. I know all the old episodes backwards and forwards, since as a kid I made audiocassette tapes of the after-school reruns, and listened to them over and over. (The writers were never confident that the special effects would be any good, so a character always says, “Captain, the enemy vessel is approaching,” narrating whatever is supposed to be happening. With…

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Proto iPads and Paper Coexist in Classic Star Trek

Rewatching the classic Trek episode “The Conscience of the King,” which features a Shakespearean acting troupe. In one scene, McCoy writes a report on a wedge proto-iPad… …but in the very next scene Kirk scrawls on a piece of paper. This episode also features characters doing computer searches, using an exposition-friendly voice interface to call up photographs of individuals and compare their biographies, which must have seemed very futuristic back…

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In Space as on Earth

A thoughtful reflection on religion in Star Trek. While Humans aren’t depicted as participating in any form of organized religion (there is a reference to a Christmas party here, a nod to monotheism there), the series also includes a distrust of science and technology, regularly depicting mad scientists, societies over-dependent on technology, etc.) that insists there is more to humanity than science and logic and knowledge can satisfy. There are…