TACHYON WAVES, WARP DRIVES, AND A TOASTER OVEN

Garry and I binge watched the entire “Star Trek: Next Generation” four years ago on Netflix. We had missed the show’s initial run. 1987 through 1994 were busy years. Digging into careers. Getting married. Moving again. Watching television wasn’t a priority. Netflix gave us the opportunity to catch up. So, we did, viewing two, three, four episodes each night until its abrupt and unfair demise when the production cheapskates refused to give the cast a raise.

Now that we subscribe to Paramount Plus, Star Trek has come home. It includes least a handful of new Star Trek universe shows to watch and most of them are (gasp) new! Oh the joys of streaming television and double that for anything involving space travel (or time travel) and there’s some of both in Picard. On Paramount Plus, Star Trek is a genre! Oh happy day!

Star Trek: Picard Series Premiere Recap, Season, 1 Episode 1

Now, about the plot. All recently-made TV shows are using a similar formula. Don’t tell the audience what is going on until the middle of season one, but if you can drag it out, season two. I am teaching Garry to stop asking “I don’t understand. What’s going on?” He thinks I get it and he’s too old to figure it out.

Don’t try to figure it out. They won’t tell you what’s going on until they are good and ready and the beginning of the show, hopping back and forth in time and referring to older episodes of Star Trek (it really helps to have watched most of them in the past) — if you aren’t part of the universe, start with earlier shows and catch up. It’s more fun that way.

I don’t know any more than Garry. The difference is, I don’t expect to get it. I wait. Eventually, it will come together, after which I’ll have a grip on the story. Patience is all. Personally, I’d prefer if they’d explain the essential outline of what’s going on at the beginning. I like stories that start at the beginning, but hey, no one is paying me to write scripts.

As far as we can tell, Picard is an interstellar version of “Portrait of Jennie.” With lots of tech talk. They got so heavily into tech talk last night that I realized — again — that it’s classic gibberish, but SOUNDS like reality. I’ve been listening to it for so many years through so many TV space journeys, I believe every third word of it. Until I realize I understand it exactly as well as I understand why my computer computes and my refrigerator refrigerates. Which is to say, not.

No problem. Pass the warp drive with a side of tachyon particles. I understand their science as well as I understand anything deeply technical. Not. I understand the engines a space craft equally with basic electricity (why doesn’t it leak out of the walls?) and my toaster oven.

Tachyon energy is crucial to all kinds of weaponry and fuel. They are part of what powers warp engines. Those warp engines are how ships travel at speeds faster than light. Fast enough to explore the universe. Slither through wormholes. Travel through time.

For your information, tachyon particles move faster than light. Complementary particle types are luxon particles which move at the speed of light, and bradyon particles which move slower than light. If you live in the Star Trek universe, tachyon particles are as common as dirt. Or electricity.

enterprise next gen

Effectively, life and everything in it is a giant mystery to me, yet I feel I understand it. When they talk about it, I nod because I get it. I’ve been listening to this mumbo jumbo for so many years, it has achieved a near valid pseudo-reality. When I look closely, there’s nothing there. I understand the technology of the 24th century as well (and as much) as I understand the technology of the 21st. Unlike serving Republicans, however, I reserve this fake understanding to watching episodes of Star Trek, the 80th generation. I do not try to sell it to the entire American people.

How many of you know how the stuff you use works? Some do, but most of us know how to use devices and gadgets, but have no idea why or how they work. I know how software is designed (written), how code is written and compiled. I used to know a little coding. In the end, though, I have no idea why code does anything. Why, when you compile a program, does it do anything? It’s just text. Why does it work?


Why does anything work?


Tachyon particles, warp drives, internal combustion engines, electricity, cell phones, WiFi. It’s all the same. For me, it’s magic. Writing code is no different than casting spells, though the theoretical results are far more entertaining.

There are half a dozen Star Treks on Paramount Plus and I am absolutely sure we are going to watch all of them. Slowly because we don’t want to tear through them too fast. I once watched an entire year of Lucifer in one day with a friend of mine. I have since learned that you can actually burn out a whole streaming channel in a couple of dedicated evenings — and there may not be something coming up in which you are interested. So we go at it slowly, trying to keep it down to no more than two episode per night. Okay, sometimes three.



Categories: Humor, Sci Fi - Fantasy - Time Travel, Science, space, Technology, Television

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. I haven’t watched Picard yet although I can get it on Amazon Prime. I want to but I’m afraid I might not like it. I watched a season of the latest Star Trek and came away unsure whether I liked it or not. It may just take time. I didn’t want anything to do with Deep Space 9 for some years after it came out but I watch it quite happily now.
    I do feel that new Star Trek is a lot darker than TOS and Next Gen. I think it has been progressing that way, even some of Voyager was heavy going.
    As for the tech part I don’t need to understand it. I didn’t understand it when I was a kid but it didn’t matter because I knew that Scotty and Spock would always save the day.

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  2. I love streaming its the only way to enjoy the boob tube…I’m a big sci-fi fan myself and re-watched TNG last year too. I loved Picard, so nice to have something new. It’s funny how we just take on board all that tech stuff? Mind you I know how to drive my car, but wouldn’t have the foggiest idea how all the Tech on that works either.

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    • I think it’s our lack of understanding that makes it “understandable.” When my son talks about cars, I have the same “whatever you say” kind of attitude. I don’t understand and really, I never wanted to understand cars. Tachyon particles? Sure, whatever.

      Streaming is much more complicated than watching cable was. I miss the simplicity of cable, but I don’t miss cable. And the package we’ve rolled up is every bit as expensive as cable was, but I like what we have and since we never go anywhere, it constitutes our entire “entertainment and vacation” budget. At least we get television. I read, too. But retirement can’t be nothing but sweating whether or not you can afford medications. There’s got to be a bright side too. Seniors in space. YES!

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  3. I whip through each series as fast as possible (I crammed for tests in college too.) I am sure there are nuances missed in binge watching Picard at 5 episodes a night. But, I do like to eat my brain candy fast so I can cancel the membership in a timely fashion. And, now that summer is nearly upon us (or at least, weeding season is upon us.) I want to spend more time outdoors. But, I do like my lazy Sundays spent catching up on series that went out of date years ago. Right now, it’s Dark Matter. Which, weirdly the main actress is currently a cop in the show The Rookie. It’s weird to see her being uber bad ass law breaker in the Sci Fi show and then an above-board Rule Enforcer in the other one. I highly recommend either as a form of reality avoidance, if you run out of your current addictions.

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  4. I used to love Star Trek, when I was younger, and my sisters and I watched all the early series. I also don’t understand how coding works, but both my sons are studying it.

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  5. When I read or hear “tech” communication, my eyes and ears automatically shut down and I go into a minor coma. Technology, I was told at one point in my life, was to make things easier. For whom? For the techs to hornswoggle us? Granted, I admit I am a total idiot when it comes to mathematical equations or measurements, much less how tech things work. Happy reruns. There are few shows I would like to see again. I can think of one….”I’ll Fly Away,” with Sam Waterston. That was a wonderful story about two families, one white, one black, and their problems during the riots and national disturbances. The other one I could see again is “The West Wing” about the president of the United States played by Martin Sheehan.
    .

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll fly away was wonderful. They didn’t give it a chance to gain an audience. A real shame. But it WAS a great show, however briefly. I’ve watched the entire West Wing series at least four times and probably will again. Whenever I feel I don’t have a government, I like to watch and remember that we used to have one.

      As for all the phony technology, as long as you don’t actually believe it, it’s just background noise. It quite literally doesn’t mean ANYTHING. It’s just a script.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ditto, here, on “I’ll Fly Away” and “The West Wing”. One of our favorite “West Wing” episodes is “Simon Donovan”. Mark Harmon plays the Secret Service agent (Pre ‘NCIS) who has a thing for CJ. He’s killed in a grocery store robbery. Always very sad.

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