Monthly Archives: August 2017

Many Such Journeys: TOS #28, “The City on the Edge of Forever”

The Enterprise visits a planet where a time portal enables a drugged McCoy to change Earth’s history, forcing Kirk and Spock to travel to 1930s Earth, where Kirk falls in love. This justly celebrated episode is not without its problems. … Continue reading

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Pure Energy: TOS #27: “Errand of Mercy”

The Enterprise attempts to claim the peaceful yet strategic planet Organia from the rival Klingon Empire, only to find a curious indifference by the natives to any kind of threat.   This is the episode that introduced the Klingons, a … Continue reading

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The Instinct Can Be Fought: TOS #24: “A Taste of Armageddon”

The Enterprise attempts to initiate diplomatic relations with a planet conducting a computer war with its neighbor, a war in which theoretical causalities voluntarily go to die in disintegration chambers. This is one of Trek’s best ethical conundrums, a contact … Continue reading

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Conservative Story-Telling

One of my themes here is about the nature of story-telling, how the human bias to understand things in terms of narrative is more widespread than we recognize, and how that tendency can blind us to an understanding of the … Continue reading

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Forcing Us to Build Ships for Them: TOS #29: “Operation—Annihilate!”

The Enterprise comes to the aid of a colony planet – where Kirk’s brother lives with his family – that has been invaded by alien neural parasites that cause mass insanity. The last episode of the 1st season, both in … Continue reading

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The Chamber of the Ages: TOS #26: “The Devil in the Dark”

The Enterprise comes to the aid of an underground mining colony where miners are being killed, and machinery destroyed, by an unseen monster that moves through solid rock. This is a justly famous episode that challenges our assumptions and overturns … Continue reading

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Dan Savage on “Sex Dread” Education

Vox: “Sex dread” education could be on the rise under Trump. Dan Savage is ready to fight it.. Subtitle: Dan Savage on why abstinence-focused education doesn’t work. Of course. Because conservatives just *know* things to be so, despite evidence. Excerpt: … Continue reading

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Right-wing Fake News

From a few days ago… Case study of how right-wind media misrepresent or simply lie about an essay (by Jerry Coyne) on the philosophical implications of euthanasia… (As always my thought about conservative panic and alarm is that, if they … Continue reading

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The Good of the Body: TOS #22: “The Return of the Archons”

The Enterprise visits a planet run by a computer in the guise of religious belief to the all-seeing “Landru”; a computer Kirk defeats through a battle of logic. This is a fascinating episode because it encapsulates, as well as any … Continue reading

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Complete Health and Peace of Mind? TOS #25: This Side of Paradise

The Enterprise visits an Earth colony whose inhabitants, infected by alien spores, live in idle contentment; one of whom met Spock and fell in love with him years before. The Enterprise approaches the planet Omicron Ceti III, where a group … Continue reading

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