Trekathon 799: That Hope is You (DIS)

October 17th, 2020

Discovery is back. And to the future. Spoilers.

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Trekathon Season Review: Lower Decks, Season 1

October 11th, 2020

So that’s season one of the eighth Star Trek series. I’ll try and keep this brief (and spoiler free).

This felt to me like a show that found its feet over the course of the season. It’s a little tricky to know how much was planned evolution, but the early episodes were quite shaky on character and striking the balance between fan service and story. But by the final episode of the season everything had come together strongly and coherently.

There’s still some room to improve, and the fundamental ‘joke’ nature of the show is going to keep it just out of the top bracket. But it’s the strongest ‘episodic’ first season yet (not counting Picard – that was really a single story broken up into 10 parts), and future seasons can build on a very strong foundation.

Most importantly, it is actually keeping to the philosophy of Trek, grappling with the ideas around first contact, the prime directive, and the way Star Fleet works. Only in as much depth as 22 minutes allows, but it’s still there.

Overall I’m going to put this one at the top of the Strong Performers bracket, losing a little bit of standing because of a few shaky bits in early episodes of the season (particularly around the Captain just being a bit too one note at times).

The very best of Trek:

  • PIC Season 1

  • TNG Season 6

  • DS9 Season 2

Strong performers:

  • LD Season 1

  • DS9 Season 5

  • TNG Season 3

  • TNG Season 5

  • TOS Season 2

  • DIS Season 2

  • ENT Season 3

  • TNG Season 4

  • VOY Season 4

Mixed bag:

  • TOS Season 1

  • DS9 Season 4

  • DIS Season 1

  • ST Season 2

  • DS9 Season 1

  • ENT Season 4

  • ST Season 1

  • VOY Season 5

  • ENT Season 1

  • VOY Season 1

  • TNG Season 7

Not good:

  • DS9 Season 3

  • DS9 Season 6

  • VOY Season 6

  • VOY Season 3

  • TNG Season 2

  • ENT Season 2

  • TAS Season 1

Really just awful:

  • VOY Season 7

  • VOY Season 2

  • DS9 Season 7

  • TOS Season 3

  • TAS Season 2

  • TNG Season 1

36 seasons of Trek down, on to the 37th with Discovery Season 3 (and episode 800 of the whole shebang in a few weeks).


Trekathon 798: No Small Parts (LD)

October 11th, 2020

The end of Season 1 of Lower Decks. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 797: Crisis Point (LD)

October 1st, 2020

Holodeck shenanigans. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 796: Veritas (LD)

September 24th, 2020

It’s true there’s more Lower Decks. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 795: Much Ado About Boimler (LD)

September 20th, 2020

I can’t think of a funny lead in tonight. Spoilers.

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Trekathon 794: Terminal Provocations (LD)

September 11th, 2020

I’m guessing something about fights in airport terminals? Spoilers.

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An academic genealogy

September 5th, 2020

Some years ago I came across the Mathematics Genealogy Project – the idea is to create a family tree, but based on your academic supervisor rather than your parents. At the time I couldn’t trace myself back very far, but looking again recently I found that I can now get back pretty far…

(One note – in several places there are two supervisors – I have put my thumb on the scale and chosen the more interesting path).

So, my supervisor (for honours at ANU) was supervised by:

Andreu Mas-Colell – anyone who has studied graduate level Microeconomics has just curled into a ball in the floor thinking of their textbook for that course. He was supervised by:

Marcel Richter. Still in Economics at this point. He was supervised by:

Edgar Cary Brown. Another economist. He was supervised by:

Alvin Hansen. Who wrote about cycles of economic depression in 1918 – suspect he had an interesting 1930s. looks at Wikipedia. Yep, he very much did. The “American Keynes”. He was supervised by:

Richard Ely. Founder of the American Economic Association, and a significant early figure in the economics around inequality and the excesses of capitalism. He studied at the University of Heidelberg, where we was supervised by:

Johann Kasper Blutschli. A Swiss politician, lawyer and philosopher, part of the development of economics out of political philosophy. He was supervised by:

Johann Hasse. German professor of law. He was supervised by:

Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut. German jurist and musician, and (according to Wiki) an important influence on the code of laws of Germany when it was established. He was supervised by:

Immanuel Kant. One of the greatest philosophers of all time, it is nearly impossible to understate Kant’s influence on the world, both for good and for ill. The wikipedia page runs to 212 references. He was supervised by:

Martin Knutzen. Principally famous for being the teacher of Immanuel Kant. He was supervised by:

Christian Wolff. German philosopher, who developed the thinking of his supervisor:

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Very nearly as important a figure to the history of ideas as Kant (179 references on Wiki). Probably today most famous for the Priority Dispute with Newton over the development of calculus, but a towering figure across mathematics and philosophy. He developed much of the early thinking that led to computers. He was supervised by (in part):

Christiaan Huygens. ‘Only’ 139 references this time. Scientist philosopher, most famous for his work with clocks and telescopes. Discovered the rings of Saturn. He was supervised by:

Frans van Schooten. Dutch mathematician, painted by Rembrandt and helped to popularise Descartes’ mathematics. Has his own theorem. He was supervised by:

Jacobus Golius. Dutch mathematician and orientalist. Taught Descartes mathematics, and translated many texts from Arabic to Latin. He was supervised by:

Willebrord Snellius. Another Dutch mathematician. Has his own law in optics. He was supervised by:

Rudolph Snellius. Willeborod’s father, a Dutch mathematician who also influenced Arminius in the development of his brand of protestantism. He was supervised by:

Immanuel Tremellius. An Italian Jew who converted to Christianity, and fled to England to avoid a war. While there, he studied under:

Thomas Cranmer. Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the English Reformation. Principal author of the Book of Common Prayer. Imprisoned for heresy, and ultimately burnt at the stake under Queen Mary. He received his Doctorate of Divinity from Cambridge (Jesus College) in 1526, but unfortunately records of who supervised are not available, and so the trail stops here.

(There is another chain, via a different supervisor of Rudolph Snellius, that traces its way into Persian universities in the 1200s).


Trekathon 793: Cupid’s Errant Arrow (LD)

September 4th, 2020

Boimler has a girlfriend. From Canada. Well, a ship named after a Canadian city.

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Trekathon 792: Moist Vessel (LD)

August 28th, 2020

The first appearance of ‘moist’ in an episode title. Spoilers.

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