URLs du Trek

2009-05-09

Some Star Trek linkage:

  • JPod deems the movie "a mess, and a disgraceful mess at that." He compares it unfavorably with the original series' best episode, "The City on the Edge of Forever." Warning: his reasoning involves spoilers.

    (I don't disagree, but (on the other hand) I don't care either. I still liked it.)

  • The best movie reviewers (of course) are George Mason University professors of law and economics.

    Ilya Somin muses on the apparent socialist nature of the Federation. And points to the possibly-related note from Bryan Caplan who pointed out that the world of the future was pretty darn unimpressive, progresswise. A couple centuries of socialistic economic stagnation will do that to you.

    But Alex Tabarrok cheered the fact that young Vulcans get "rigorous training in mathematics, physics and economics." His marginal blogmate, Tyler Cowan, regrets that the movie lacked "information about the progress of monetary institutions."

    I have to admit, that was not in my top five thoughts.

    Russell Roberts and Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek have not as yet weighed in on the film.

  • Jonah Goldberg is probably the preeminent Star Trek geek in Rightyland, and while he enjoyed the movie, he has peeves. One is pretty long-standing:
    For instance, one of the silliest things about the original Star Trek was the habit of having the most important and most senior officers -- Kirk, Spock, and McCoy; and sometimes Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov -- always performing the most dangerous tasks (indeed, if you actually belonged on an away mission -- particularly if you wore a red shirt -- odds are you were doomed to die a horrible death). There are hundreds of people on board, and yet the captain and first officer are the ones who always have to fight this alien or go undercover on the Nazi planet. (I always wanted to write an SNL skit called "What if Gene Roddenberry Wrote World War II." The whole war would involve Churchill and FDR karate chopping or neck-pinching their way across Europe, all the way to Hitler's bunker, where FDR and Hitler would find it necessary to fight in a gladiatorial pit with long spears.) Abrams builds on this tradition, and has Kirk, Uhura, Sulu, and a 17-year-old Chekov not only take over the flagship of the Federation fleet almost minutes after graduation from Star Fleet Academy, but then in the case of Kirk and Spock, immediately run out and do all the fighting.
    Jonah also has major (spoiler-laden) problems with Spock. Again: (a) point taken; (b) I don't care.

  • Popular Mechanics looks at some scientific issues with the movie. One of their pictures shows Kirk, Sulu, and a red-suited crew member about to embark on a dangerous mission. Guess who doesn't make it back.

  • And for anyone who gets too nostalgic for the good old days, Cracked presents Star Trek's 6 Most Ridiculous Alien Races. Oh, lord, the space hippies. I was hoping to avoid them for the rest of my life. That episode was awful in 1969, and forty years' aging has not improved it.

  • And you may have heard the story about the small movie role given to late CMU CS professor Randy Pausch, but if not, click here.


Last Modified 2009-05-12 2:19 PM EST