My Esteemed Partner has an evening activity on Tuesdays, and I've decided my "bachelor wallow" is going to be a rewatch of Star Trek: Picard. I might do a chaser of Lower Decks just to stave off pure despair.
Like much of Star Trek, the Picard series has so many interesting ideas and possibilities, but the actual execution just doesn't make a lot of sense or fit together very well.
But seriously, NO ONE held a gun to their head and forced them to do such a direct follow-up to the worst movie in the franchise.
And no one held a gun to their head and forced them to abandon Picard's Romulan roommates so early in the series.

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More from @adamkotsko

12 Oct
When Disney took over the Star Wars franchise, the message of the first two films was as follows:
1. The Empire is back and unimaginably more powerful, with no explanation (The Force Awakens)
2. There really ARE good people working to change the Death Star from within (Rogue One)
The followed up with
3. All the hopeful mythology you used to believe is false (The Last Jedi) -- this was the most critically acclaimed one
4. We're just taking your money at this point (Solo)
5. Yeah, we don't know either (Rise of Skywalker)
I suspect there may be some ideology involved here somehow.
Read 4 tweets
11 Oct
Back in 1492, no one suspected that the rape, enslavement, and mass murder of people you had *just met* -- and who were technically treating you as guests -- was wrong. That moral principle was only discovered in the late 1800s. Before that, it seemed normal and good to everyone.
It's interesting that "the standards of the time" never includes the "standards" of the people victimized by the historical icon in question. Enslaved Blacks were alive "at the time" and they had very clear ideas about the wrongness of slavery. They could tell it was wrong.
Similarly, I imagine that the indigenous Americans victimized by Columbus had "standards" by which they judged his conduct to be abhorrent. Their standards are apparently irrelevant, though.
Read 5 tweets
29 Sep
My question is where to draw the line. Any protest movement is by definition going to represent only a small subset of the population. Is it anti-democratic for them to use protest tactics that disrupt society, in order to pressure elected officials?
The question becomes even more complicated when we realize how unaccountable elites are, despite the existence of formal elections. Does current policy reflect the popular will? Why can a self-selecting group of elites thwart popular desire for climate change action?
If Malm were calling for assassinations, that would be a different conversation, but I don't think he is. Blocking a highway, chaining yourself to a tree, laying down in the driveway of a missile factory -- those seem like closer analogies to the type of sabotage he's advocating.
Read 5 tweets
28 Sep
We should periodically elect new Founders.
What if we could replace Thomas Jefferson with Frederick Douglass? Just decide who is going to be a relevant point of reference. In practice, that's what we do, but we just keep deciding over and over to center the same stupid asshole failures.
[Whiny voice:] "Oh yeah, I'm an American FOUNDER! I'm going to design a novel constitutional order and then make it impossible to change before anyone has even tried it! I'm going to design a whole Rube Goldberg death trap to keep the slavers on board and fail even at that!"
Read 5 tweets
28 Sep
A structural problem that no conceivable police reform can get around is that the officers on the street always have the initiative. They're the ones out there doing stuff, and reform has to rely on punishing them after the fact.
Even in the best case scenario where courts were not captured by police and there wasn't a huge social consensus in favor of giving police near-infinite leeway, abuses would still inevitably happen barring a perfect hiring process that gets only perfect people.
You can "ban" chokeholds all you want, but every police officer remains physically capable of performing a chokehold and if they decide to do it, there normally will not be an internal affairs person present to stop them in the act.
Read 4 tweets
28 Sep
Advocates of walkable urbanism definitely need to be more clear on how they would provide mobility to the disabled. But at the same time, it makes me deeply tired when people say that advocating walkable urbanism or a car-free lifestyle is intrinsically ableist.
The fact that some disabled people need individual motorized transport does NOT mean that literally everything needs to be built around cars. That is one of those stupid "gotcha" false dichotomies that social media incentivizes but is just death to thought.
Part of the reason people don't mention disability when talking about walkable urbanism is that they're not thinking about it, which is bad and should be called out. But part of it is also that the solution is so obvious: limited car-based transport for those who need it.
Read 4 tweets

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