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Thread: Watching "Measure of a Man" today...

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Donovan View Post
    Pleaase don't play cute with us. Objectively measured, if you are stronger, faster, intellectually more capable than others, you can be so described and it not be "racist"
    That's eliding over the value judgment being made, which is at the core of calling it an 'augment'—that there is a "better-ness" that inheres in an individual having more muscle power, reaction time or memory.

    Stepping away from Trek's humanistic utopian vision for a second, real-life transhumanism has failed to grapple with the fact that valuation itself is an object to be manipulated, which means that in real life you're more likely to get people who, assuming neural hacking exists in a version of our capitalist society, just boost their serotonin levels and eradicate anxiety reactions or feeling sad than any other more externality-focused (and probably more expensive) adjustments. In this way, any recreational narcotic use is an "augment."

    and the whole notion of "ableism" is one of those BS made up words that denies objective reality.
    https://books.google.ca/books?id=r2C...page&q&f=false
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  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by BouncyCaitian View Post
    And the Herans (the Augmented humans) have already had this argument and debated the daylights out of it. After much debate in the book, they held a vote. The first was potential conquest of the Federation (which most thought was a bad idea), Second was Joining the Federation after careful negotations (this failed). The majority Chose going there own way because Humanity was too neurotic and not worth the effort to conquer. Much to Picard's amusment
    So here's the meat of it: What form of government do the Herans have? How is property distributed, and how is the economy organized? How do they police themselves? How is the military organized? What genetic changes do they undergo, when, and who decides that? Who owns the techniques and technology to perform those changes?
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  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Donovan View Post
    Abusing the frak out of the term.
    Are you not familiar with the origin of the term? Technically, any tool-using creature is a cyborg if the tool is used to changes the system of their body going forward (like, say, agriculture).

    Who comes from a race of people whose mentality is shaped by those traits to believe that the strongest rule the weakest and value martial prowess over all else. A natural result of their biology.
    If aliens had crash-landed in Norman England and ol' Willie stole their warp drives the resulting civilisation would probably be much the same... putting aside the fact that Klingons are an orientalist mashup that don't actually make sense :P

    Has nothing to do with genetically enhanced people.
    It has everything to do with it, since it demonstrates the kind of relationship with medical intervention the Federation values, siting dealing with Geordi's eyes in the community around Geordi rather than within Geordi's body. It's the same problem as calling the 'augments' 'augments': the thing actually doing the 'augmentation' is the technology and socialized knowledge in the society around them—the prosthetic and cybernetic technologies—not in the bodies of the people being altered—which are sites of medical intervention whatever the case may be—but the 'augment' narrative imagines that there is placed in the body some sort of 'betterness.'

    Which is why "Measure of a Man" works so well as an episode. Maddox, in looking at Data as an indicator of technology rather than a being in and of itself is actually just in sympatico with the rest of how technology is presented in TNG: a tool to be used by extant humans in self-expression, rather than a tool to replace and make irrelevant extant humans.
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  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by The Tatterdemalion King View Post
    That's eliding over the value judgment being made, which is at the core of calling it an 'augment'—that there is a "better-ness" that inheres in an individual having more muscle power, reaction time or memory.
    BS. Objectively speaking, they are "better" in that they are more physically capable. That's not prejudice, that's just truth. You are arguing from the same fact-phobic mindset that means we can't even conduct valid scientific research into biological differences between races and sexes because someone somewhere is determined to be offended by them.

    Stepping away from Trek's humanistic Utopian vision for a second, real-life trans-humanism has failed to grapple with the fact that valuation itself is an object to be manipulated, which means that in real life you're more likely to get people who, assuming neural hacking exists in a version of our capitalist society, just boost their serotonin levels and eradicate anxiety reactions or feeling sad than any other more external-focused (and probably more expensive) adjustments.
    What real-life trans-humanism has failed to grapple with is that humanity doesn't need to be "transcended". The reason in part we are collectively going psycho right now is because we constantly are being told that any feeling that is inconvenient or that in any way makes us uncomfortable can be magic-ed away with a pill or a potion instead of us facing whatever our issue is.

    The answer to being sad/anxious is not Soma. It's to grow up and deal with our emotions as adults instead of whiny little brats who can't deal with an imperfect world

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by The Tatterdemalion King View Post
    Are you not familiar with the origin of the term? Technically, any tool-using creature is a cyborg if the tool is used to changes the system of their body going forward (like, say, agriculture).
    I know that, however technically correct that might be, it is disingenuous because it uses the term outside of the generally accepted context to avoid comparing apples to apples. A Borg is NOT the same as a human with an artificial organ.

    If aliens had crash-landed in Norman England and ol' Willie stole their warp drives the resulting civilization would probably be much the same... putting aside the fact that Klingons are an orientalist mashup that don't actually make sense :P
    Norse, not "orientalist". And avoids my point completely.

    It has everything to do with it, since it demonstrates the kind of relationship with medical intervention the Federation values, siting dealing with Geordi's eyes in the community around Geordi rather than within Geordi's body. It's the same problem as calling the 'augments' 'augments': the thing actually doing the 'augmentation' is the technology and socialized knowledge in the society around them—the prosthetic and cybernetic technologies—not in the bodies of the people being altered—which are sites of medical intervention whatever the case may be—but the 'augment' narrative imagines that there is placed in the body some sort of 'betterness.'
    That argument was BS a couple of posts back, and it is still BS.

    Which is why "Measure of a Man" works so well as an episode. Maddox, in looking at Data as an indicator of technology rather than a being in and of itself is actually just in sympatico with the rest of how technology is presented in TNG: a tool to be used by extant humans in self-expression, rather than a tool to replace and make irrelevant extant humans.
    Which has absolutely nothing to do with the correctness of the Federation banning genetic engineering of humans.

  6. #21
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    The term "Augment" as used in Star Trek specifically refers to genetically enhanced individuals, including those with mental enhancements, whether it is done in vitro or after birth. Note that Augment does not include those who have genetically engineered cures for genetic or congenital defects. Both definitions are specified in Dr. Bashir, I Presume.

    Cyborg is defined in science fiction as a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body, although the original, real-world definition was a compound word derived from cybernetics and organism, a term coined by Manfred Clynes in 1960 to describe the need for mankind to artificially enhance biological functions in order to survive in the hostile environment of Space. Originally, a cyborg referred to a human being with bodily functions aided or controlled by technological devices, such as an oxygen tank, artificial heart valve or insulin pump. Over the years, the term has acquired the science fiction meaning. In a pure technical sense, Geordi and Picard are both cyborgs, as for instance are my sister who has an insulin pump or my mother with two knee replacements—they are all properly known as medical cyborgs. The modern SF definition came into prominence with Martin Caidin's 1973 novel Cyborg, brought to TV as The Six Million Dollar Man, though such mechanically enhanced beings had appeared as far back as the late 1940's in pulp SF magazines. Note that while the Borg technically fall into this category, the Terminator does not actually qualify as a cyborg as it is a robot with a cloned biological skin covering. Cyberpunk type neural interface implants, or dataports, also fall into the category of SF cyborgs, and are strictly controlled, as shown in DS9's A Simple Investigation as used by former Idanian agent Arissa.

    Both Augments and Cyborgs (both medical and SF) are what is now termed "post-Human" in some SF circles, a philosophy that the Federation roundly rejects, based on some rather unfortunate experiences.

    The term Augment is not inherently 'racist', but merely descriptive, much as the term 'oriental' though now deemed derogatory was merely a description of someone or something from the (largely non-specific) East. The term Augment is no more 'racist' than is calling me 'disabled', as I am mobility impaired and use a walker to get around. Yes, Augment could be used as a derogatory term, but it is not inherently derogatory—much as can be disabled and as was the case for the term 'mentally retarded' which used to be a generalised medical term before being dropped as being insensitive to those with cognitive handicaps.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BouncyCaitian View Post
    And the Herans (the Augmented humans) have already had this argument and debated the daylights out of it. After much debate in the book, they held a vote. The first was potential conquest of the Federation (which most thought was a bad idea), Second was Joining the Federation after careful negotations (this failed). The majority Chose going there own way because Humanity was too neurotic and not worth the effort to conquer. Much to Picard's amusment
    What episode does the name "Heran" come from? I don't recall it ever being used on screen. Augments were only ever referred to as Augments and "genetic supermen".

  8. #23
    ^I don't think it comes from Trek. I think it's being used to describe a hypothetical planet populated by a race of GE persons.

    And thank you for clearly elucidating what I was saying much more clumsily. I find it really annoying when people fall back on "technical definitions" to dodge clear questions.

  9. #24
    [QUOTE=Chris Donovan;187475]I know that, however technically correct that might be, it is disingenuous because it uses the term outside of the generally accepted context to avoid comparing apples to apples. A Borg is NOT the same as a human with an artificial organ.[/quote

    Hey, it's not my fault Lee Majors got everyone confused.

    Norse, not "orientalist". And avoids my point completely.
    What?

    'Gene Coon primarily modeled the Klingons, metaphorically, on contemporary Russians, making the standoff between the species and the Federation representative of that between the Russians and the Americans during the then-ongoing Cold War.'

    'This view of the Klingons had their sociology theoretically aimed at "the collective good" rather than "individuality," as pointed out by Kor actor John Colicos.'

    'The Klingon Empire was also a metaphor for Communist China and its allies in the Vietnam War, namely North Vietnam and North Korea.'

    'The script of "Errand of Mercy" introduces the Klingon look by saying, "We see the Klingons are Orientals,"'

    'That makeup worker, Fred Phillips, started the process of designing the species by directly asking Colicos how he wanted to look. Despite thinking of the Klingons as the futuristic Russians they were intended to be, Colicos took inspiration from Genghis Khan, as Kor was likewise an ambitious military commander.'

    'The makeup scheme was therefore actually a combination of a wide variety of sources, Colicos advising the makeup team, "Make me a little touch of Fu Man Chu, and a little touch of Slavic Russian, and a little touch of everything."'

    The Viking stereotype doesn't even show up in discussions until Moore is writing "Sins of the Father, 23 years later, and that's still second to another orientalist stereotype:

    'Two historical societies, the Samurai and Vikings, served as other inspirations, Moore perceiving about Klingon culture, "There was the calm, elegant reserve associated with the Samurai but there was the 'party-down' like the Vikings."'

    That argument was BS a couple of posts back, and it is still BS.
    You're not presenting any evidence to the contrary.

    Which has absolutely nothing to do with the correctness of the Federation banning genetic engineering of humans.
    They didn't ban it, though. It's used all the time. "Tears of the Prophets" and "Terra Prime" implies Spock may have been the result of genetic resequencing as much as Khan.

    BS. Objectively speaking, they are "better" in that they are more physically capable. That's not prejudice, that's just truth. You are arguing from the same fact-phobic mindset that means we can't even conduct valid scientific research into biological differences between races and sexes because someone somewhere is determined to be offended by them.
    Wait, did you really say

    biological differences between races
    I guess you did.

    Boas died almost 74 years ago and somehow people still believe race to be a real scientific concept in biology?
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  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Owen E Oulton View Post
    Yes, Augment could be used as a derogatory term,
    Augment isn't the derogatory term, as the Star Trek VI quote should've made clear: it's the normalization of the augment-nonaugmented dyad that reproduces racialization as an idea. This shouldn't be particularly strange; just as War of the Worlds is 'What if colonization happened to whites?,' and the robot-uprising genre (all the way from R.U.R. the The Matrix) is just recasting Western fears of slave or subaltern revolts, so too is the fear (or hope) of genetic supermen rooted in assumption of contemporary hierarchial superiority inhering in particular bodies instead of in social systems. I mean, they are called the Eugenics Wars...
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen E Oulton View Post
    What episode does the name "Heran" come from? I don't recall it ever being used on screen. Augments were only ever referred to as Augments and "genetic supermen".
    it comes form the TNG Novel 'Infiltrator'. A rather decent read if you can handle the concept of non aggressive Augments
    A brave little theory, and actually quite coherent for a system of five or seven dimensions -- if only we lived in one.

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  12. #27
    [QUOTE=The Tatterdemalion King;187482]
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Donovan View Post
    I know that, however technically correct that might be, it is disingenuous because it uses the term outside of the generally accepted context to avoid comparing apples to apples. A Borg is NOT the same as a human with an artificial organ.[/quote

    Hey, it's not my fault Lee Majors got everyone confused.
    It is your fault for misusing the term outside it's accepted and understood context.


    What?


    'Gene Coon primarily modeled the Klingons, metaphorically, on contemporary Russians, making the standoff between the species and the Federation representative of that between the Russians and the Americans during the then-ongoing Cold War.'

    'This view of the Klingons had their sociology theoretically aimed at "the collective good" rather than "individuality," as pointed out by Kor actor John Colicos.'

    'The Klingon Empire was also a metaphor for Communist China and its allies in the Vietnam War, namely North Vietnam and North Korea.'

    'The script of "Errand of Mercy" introduces the Klingon look by saying, "We see the Klingons are Orientals,"'

    'That makeup worker, Fred Phillips, started the process of designing the species by directly asking Colicos how he wanted to look. Despite thinking of the Klingons as the futuristic Russians they were intended to be, Colicos took inspiration from Genghis Khan, as Kor was likewise an ambitious military commander.'

    'The makeup scheme was therefore actually a combination of a wide variety of sources, Colicos advising the makeup team, "Make me a little touch of Fu Man Chu, and a little touch of Slavic Russian, and a little touch of everything."'

    The Viking stereotype doesn't even show up in discussions until Moore is writing "Sins of the Father, 23 years later, and that's still second to another orientalist stereotype:

    'Two historical societies, the Samurai and Vikings, served as other inspirations, Moore perceiving about Klingon culture, "There was the calm, elegant reserve associated with the Samurai but there was the 'party-down' like the Vikings."'
    You youself note the similarities. As for Moore, whatever he intended, the result was more Viking than Samurai.

    You're not presenting any evidence to the contrary.
    I'm not the one making the claim.

    They didn't ban it, though. It's used all the time. "Tears of the Prophets" and "Terra Prime" implies Spock may have been the result of genetic resequencing as much as Khan.
    Minimal compatibility sequencing is not the same thing as deliberate genetic enhancement.


    Wait, did you really say


    I guess you did.

    Boas died almost 74 years ago and somehow people still believe race to be a real scientific concept in biology?
    Whether you call it "race", "subrace", "subspecies", or whatever, it's a distinct, identifiable population of similar genetics. Those populations have differing inborn physical and mental traits and abilities. That is not a value judgement. It is a description of reality.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by BouncyCaitian View Post
    it comes form the TNG Novel 'Infiltrator'. A rather decent read if you can handle the concept of non aggressive Augments
    So how does it answer the questions I posted upthread?
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