Star Trek, Intel and Boeing Lost Their Engineering Mojo

Intel was the dominant computer hardware leader for decades. However, they are now a generation or two behind in computer chips compared to competitors like Taiwan Semiconductor. Intel is having trouble with their 10 nanometer and 7 nanometer chips. Nvidia and AMD are utilizing TSMC’s state of the art technical abilities at 7nm and 5nm nodes. Intel shifted from engineering focused leadership and culture to business and finance focused leaders.

Boeing dominated the airline industry for decades. Boeing had another failure with the Starliner crew capsule and the rocket launching it. They failed to have a correct orbital burn and the mission failed. Boeing has had huge problems with the 737 Max. These problems can all trace back about 22 years to when Boeing abandoned 80 years of engineering culture to stock price focused management.

Even the fictional show Star Trek has lost its way. The old series, the Next Generation (TNG) and DS9 had a great deal of focus on the legendary engineering and medical staff in the Federation. The Engineers, scientists and medical staff were side by side with the captain in solving problems and challenges. Technological, engineering and medical progress was a key aspect of success and prosperity.

Dr. Noonien Soong in TNG, the creator of Data, was an artificial intelligence and robotics genius.

We are in a technological and scientific age. Obviously the winners have the best technology, best scientists and the best engineers. The winners deliver on a sound technological roadmap and plan. This is clearly seen with Tesla, SpaceX, Nvidia, Google, Amazon and the other technological winners today.

This will also be true of winning nations. The winning nations will grow and support technological winners. The business environment and education system needs to have an underlying engineering, science and medical progress focus. There needs to be smart business as well. But the business and financial execution is in support of a winning technology, science and engineering plan.

SOURCES- PCGamer
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

81 thoughts on “Star Trek, Intel and Boeing Lost Their Engineering Mojo”

  1. Of course, eventually the finance tail starts to wag the dog and the enterprise falls apart. That's because those who have talents only in manipulating spreadsheets wield enormous power once any enterprise gets big.

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  2. Yeah, but how many is "a small number"?

    Over the 8 billion people on Earth, only 1% of 1% is still a million person colony.

    And I don't think anyone can say what'll happen over the next 100 years. Anyone in 1920 predicting much that turned out correct about modern life? Anyone in 1920 predicting that millions of wealthy German jews would move to a desert in the Middle East or die trying, within one generation?

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  3. It is sadly true that British s.f. went all morbid depression and the world is doomed for a couple of decades in the 70s and 80s.

    There have been signs of life since then, but it was pretty black for a while.

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  4. I can't remember the previous Kong well enough to determine which movie you mean has the "soldier with long hair". I thought that the movie I saw had women that fit within what I've experienced of real female behaviour.

    In GotG:2, the movie ends with the guy and girl explicitly talking about how they have "something" between them. But they didn't get all physical about it, so they could probably have reset the story a bit for the next movie.

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  5. Workers for LSP will be paid, not paying. Hundreds for that alone. Start 40 years ago, if we are smart. Forget Mars. Get real! Read Janov.

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  6. How many people would both have the means, and be interested in paying tens of millions of dollars to live most of their lives on Mars or a rotating space station? Get real. Neither of these options are going to be taken up by anything but a small number of enthusiasts in the next 100 years.

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  7. The main point of being libertarian is join a non aggression truce. That is the formality, THEN you will be free to seek your own, as the Classical Liberals would always carefully say, *enlightened* self interest. Always, of course, limited by the truce! THEN society at large wins, as the effort to organize force and fraud, and the force and fraud itself, stops. And, as importantly, you may be smarter than the majority vote winning collective, and actually get something useful done. This would include forming a voluntary communist society, if desired.

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  8. While that is true, I have never heard a liberal/libertarian say that you should seek your own self-interest "up to" some defined point; it's "seek your own self-interest, others will seek theirs, and the Invisible Hand will make sure society profits." In the real world, as you have pointed out, you can seek your own self-interest to the detriment of society as a whole, and the Invisible Hand is not quite as fool-proof as the Anarcho-capitalists would hope.

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  9. Brian makes a great point – can mature life cycle businesses who dominate an industry (that they more or less created) reboot themselves into the Next Big Thing? Generally no. The main reason is fear of cannibalizing their existing business because the big bonuses are tied to today's sales, not tomorrow's.

    Same reason Toyota or GM will never build a car that can go a million miles without any maintenance, oil change, brakes etc (except new tires now and then and that can probably be figured out). Theirs, and most other industry-dominant business models depends on planned obsolescence. The Shrinking into Glory approach.

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  10. Kong is a great example of what I am talking about. Now contrast that with King Kong of 2005. Contrast the roles of the respecting leading ladies in both movies and see what I mean.. In one movie, there is a woman and in the other movie there is a soldier with long hair..

    About Guardians of the Galaxy II. I don't remember the ending. Did he really get the girl? The next time we see them – in Avengers:Endgame, right? – are they a couple or just interested in each other? Do they share the same quarters? If I remember the latter movie correctly, they seem to be back to square one…

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  11. Boeing bet the farm on their 707 project, and it almost bankrupt the company. Over the last 3 decades, the large majority of Boeing's massive profits came from their commercial aircraft sales. And it won't be long until Boeing's commercial aircraft business returns to producing healthy profits.

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  12. i think its the dilbert-PHboss-Catbert-intern dynamic becoming the prevailing Corporate culture (rather than just a parody of the worst) that makes it such a distraction. When something is funny because of its inevitable prescience that's a whole other level of mindf*ck.

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  13. C68(since i can't make sense of this comment section anymore) – I would argue that it was more about the spirit of the show (which could include the world/universe-building) – with plot and characters being secondary. I'm part-ashamed to admit that I think it was Star Trek's optimism, self-assuredness of being Right-even hubristic, and alignment in approach (though decidedly hierarchical) to the-then superiority of western values, that made them so appealing. Of course, anything could become boring — but just that 'taming' of the wild universe and the enemies/ victims being current (1960s to 80s) caricatures of those current issues (which were then overcome) such as: over-reliance on computers (Landru), racism, chauvinism, inherent wrongness of autocracies (cardassians), environmental degradation, over-reliance on the strict rule of law, etc. – even the Data – toaster episode seemed to resonate with current controversies. I don't buy into the 'every story is a re-hashed epic' argument unless we are doing comparative literature (which we should rarely do) since this is popular entertainment. That being said, I would also argue that Star Trek is more intellectually-driven (thought-provoking) than much of the Star Wars and conflict-driven (emotion-provoking) dramas now out there.

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  14. I wish that I had the faith that epic and timeless content could be made and/or distributed on such platforms – time will tell. Perhaps more animated than 'live' – especially with creative cartoon (meant in a good way) studios (feed lots that they are) being much more independent and less reliant on big names to make or break them (i'm looking at you Disney+)

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  15. We're already seeing an every growing share of the entertainment market (by time at first, then slowly by dollar as well) shifting to small, independent creators on youtube, ticktock, bitchute, vimeo, onlyfans…

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  16. Last movie I saw "the boy got the girl".
    Guardians of the Galaxy II. 2017

    Admittedly the "girl" was a green skinned alien with distorted features, but close enough.

    Though… the movie before that was Kong. Also 2017. With a couple of attractive young ladies being rescued by heroic men… and not a meaningful glance between them.

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  17. Yes- in America, Dilbert is losing the office culture battle with his pointy-haired boss.
    That has been very apparent to me for many years. That's why Dilbert is so popular.

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  18. Yes and no. What you say is true of all human literature. There are only just so many themes. But I would still say that Star Trek was innovative in that it presented them in new ways, i.e. "Space Seed", "City on the Edge of Forever", or "Yesterday's Enterprise". But now after 54 years there are just no new innovative ways to present them. It's all been done now.

    From a broader perspective, the challenge of the Star Trek story is the same as for Star Wars. Whether you are the Galactic Republic or the Federation you can only defeat the Empire/Borg/Dominion so many times before its get passe. The younger generation has decided it needs new enemies because they are bored with the old. Unfortunately, like a couple of folks have commented above, they've adopted a Marxist view of who that enemy is.

    Chris68

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  19. I agree with the observation, but not the etiology. "the real world and human nature" is a good phrase to discuss, as "real" has a special meaning, is a "term of Art", in Primal Science, which is all about "human nature". When asked what successful patients were like, Janov said that they have a "live and let live" attitude, and are competent in meeting their own needs, independent or non-dependent. So, all healthy people are naturally libertarian. The *cause* of non voluntary control structures is that people are as crazy as they can possibly be, evolutionarily, for 7 million years. So it is a matter of self defense, at best. I am a practical person, and try to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Epigenetic research leads to political revolution. And the concept of self organizing dissipative structures, attractor theory, chaos theory, Transcendentalism, self emergent, also very key to understanding.

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  20. I have not seen Discovery or Picard, but I heard it was bad. But then I searched about it and both shows have good audience ratings everywhere I look.

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  21. If you start inserting ideal behaviours, you are commiting yourself to the same utopian ideals as communists do. The most extremist libertarians are as much as naive utopian idiots as the communists who think people can live in equality.

    Wake up to the real world and human nature. Governments are SELF EMERGENT. You can work to realistically REDUCE THEM, not to run an idealized libertarian society.

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  22. Well, it's pretty bad now. It's very seldom you have a female character that doesn't go lesbian for a while. Comes with the territory of movies/series, you know. Transsexuals are uncommon for now, but it's on the rize, of course…

    But I have good news for you about the knocking over folders. Baring "romcoms" it seems that heterosexual romances are being pushed out all together. Just take "Love and monsters" as an example. Boy treks through dangerous territory to get to girl, but they discover that they have grown apart. Romance is reignited, but they still decide to go their separate ways for an off-hand chance of meeting again in the future. It's more important to stick with their respective buddies…

    Overall, there are few flings in modern films and even fewer couples. Forget about a movie ending with boy and girl walking of together as a couple. I wonder if "Transformers" could be made today? 2007 is a long way in the past already…

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  23. the unfortunate end-game – is based on the reality that everyone knows that preachy/ variety-over-merit/ substitution-cancel values will not attract audiences, especially devoted/ passionate/ monied audiences — the issue is that victim/ identity politics (in general) plays to the end-result that it will 'win by default' strangling all other values and leave us with no other choices – driving merit-based and pro-achievement/ ambition/ risk projects underground. This may or may not be good since many projects depend on freedom from government obstruction such as space, cars&driver-free, widespread AI, etc. Entertainment may become decentralized, disbursed, and easily stealth in such a world — so which way will Netflix, hollywood, etc., go??

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  24. While you may find a def of "right wing" that includes libertarians, it is NOT right wing socialist (the term I used), by definition! Trying to distinguish left and right socialist is to fall for their trick, thinking there is a difference ethically, or long term, and supporting the "other" form of socialism to fight the kind you see as evil. To correctly broaden your insight "politicians have gone and lost their minds – they are nuts, dangerous crazy not funny crazy." Power addicts. See Janov for the mechanism of addiction, and you will see clear description of reality, thru the ages. Think communist China, think national *socialist* Germany. That is the reality of power addiction. At least some left wingers still admit they are socialist. I love to hear right wingers denounce socialism, BTW, esp the not-sees. Just wish they understood the words they use. Liberty, or socialism, now there is a question that has clear definitions.

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  25. The libertarian definition of socialism works for me. Put them all in the same basket. Extreme right and extreme left socialists are indistinguishable in practice. The bottom of the Diamond Chart.

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  26. The paradox is that the people don't stay libertarian (aka Classical Liberalism, sort of, in the past), even if they were to start. Saying something "makes the most economic sense for them" is not a defense, by itself. libertarian def of socialism is the opposite of libertarian: "the initiation of force or fraud to achieve political or social ends".

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  27. In terms of ideas, Star Trek was always just "The Odyssey" with a search/replace run
    monster/alien
    magic/unknown technology
    sword/phaser
    Ulysses/Kirk
    island/planet
    ship/spaceship

    Clearly, there was only a limited number of stories.

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  28. I'm not sure I'd recommend paying for Rogue One, but if you get a chance to see it without sending a penny to Disney, then it's worth your time.

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  29. I wonder if the secret sauce is that Libertarians, Mormons, Republicans and Actual-positive-optimistic-liberals (ST:TOS) are NOT in keeping with Hollywood. Even back in the 1960s.

    Hence, any form of pure preaching or ideology that isn't part of the story line would get a strong push back from the actual actors/directors/etc. that are making the program.
    The result is that there is an enforced discipline that prevents the story getting too political. Because any overt politics leads to conflict with the Hollywood culture.

    But when the politics matches that of Hollywood, the brakes are off and all restraint is abandoned.

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  30. I've become an expert at spotting lesbian adventures before they actually happen.

    Looks like I stopped watching this sort of TV before it got too bad, because I haven't seen any of this. And I'm glad.

    I mean, one of the things that infuriated me with TV and probably led to me giving up was the hetro "love affairs". Which were just unfathomable to me.

    X is a happily married man. Y is a respectable mother of 1 (Usually 10-20 years younger). X walks past Y and knocks a folder off her desk. They both go to pick it up and happen to look in each-other's eyes. Scene change, they are in bed together. What? How? Why? I don't get…

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  31. Even better, don't use the term "Right wing" if you can instead use a more specific term to describe a more narrow group that you are talking about.

    Same for the term "left wing".

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  32. This is only a label or commercial name. In any case, the difference about gate lenght leads to 16% difference about transistor density, which is huge.

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  33. Are you sure? Have they made surveys that shows that viewers in general prefer a lot of lesbians, gays and transexuals to just having normal story lines? How much is optimal with respect to viewer interest and is that less or more than what they have today?

    At least for me, I've become an expert at spotting lesbian adventures before they actually happen. It's like a snooze button. "OK, we are going to have a lesbian detour when nothing of worth happens for two episodes and the protagonist discovers that she has a lesbian streak. Same old same old. Wake me up when it is done"

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  34. Was Romulan ale a narcotic or an alcoholic beverage? a bit of both?

    Seemed to me it was used mostly to have the characters committing slight transgressions.

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  35. Star Trek turned into – "Woke Liberals in Spaaaace" (religious programing and tripe in the name of being PC).
    Firefly – "Libertarians in Spaaace" (with good humor thrown in)
    Babylon 5 – "Republicans in Spaaace" (with angels and devils)
    BSG (original) – "Mormons in Spaaace" (with extra cheese wiz)
    BSG (remake) – "Emos in Spaaace" (bring an extra dose of Prozac).

    I loved all of the above except woke Star Trek. Why? Because while the others would incorporate religion and politics into their shows – they did as part of the story and plot. Star Trek, Star Wars and other shows these days incorporate their SJW ideals as a means to virtue signal and preach to the audience. Forget all the stuff that makes for a good show – let's focus on teaching all those knuckle dragging, unwashed masses out their how to properly think and behave. They are religious programs of the left, not good SciFi stories.

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  36. Star Trek series started to become more and more, "Woke liberals in Spaaaace". The move by the entertainment industry to virtue signal and preach instead of focusing on real stories and plot has hurt. Star wars, and some of the DC comic book series like Super Girl have also been infected by the Woke virus. It ruins shows.
    Fire Fly worked well because of outstanding writing and strong characters mixed with humor. Heavy on its libertarian politics vs a nanny state all powerful government – this enhanced the show and it was refreshing and different.
    Babylon 5 (after a bad first season) was an incredible storyline that mixed ruthless politics, from different cultures, and religion. Had good stories and, again strong characters.
    BSG is interesting because the original series, and the remake were VERY different from each other. The first series from the 70s was great, cheesy, family oriented, hopeful SciFi. While the second was dark, apocalyptic, and a feel of gritty desperation. Both tackled religious themes well in their own way. Good characters in both series.

    Moral, get woke go broke. Until Hollywood decides to stop trying to preach to their audiences the dogmas of leftist group think and all things PC, they will only cause more damage. Some like religious program and they now have there SJW televangelist preaching to them. The rest of us want good stories with a compelling plots and yes… strong memorable characters.

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  37. In their defence, they are doing exactly what makes the most economic sense for them: when you are on the top of a market, if the rules stay the same, the only direction you have to go is down. Therefore you have an incentive to change the rules in order to protect your investment. It is a paradox in the heart of Classical Liberalism in the mold of Smith, Ricardo, Malthus and Mill.

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  38. I think the term "right wing" needs to be more carefully defined. Most who are called "right wing" in the media and the left (sorry that was redundant) are Tea Partiers, Conservatives, some Libertarians. All these groups are very much against crony capitalism. The only ones "on the right wing" that are for such governance are beltway Republican politicians – and most of us can't stand those guys. Often the only thing that keeps them in power is that left wing politicians have gone and lost their minds – they are nuts, dangerous crazy not funny crazy.

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  39. Intel didn't seem to really capitalize on their Altera acquisition, which is now in jeopardy as AMD is now going to buy Xilinx. The FPGA fight is going to get interesting…

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  40. "start adopting socialist attitudes of using the government to block access to competitors" part of welfare for the rich socialism, a form of right wing socialism.

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  41. "Nowadays the only frontier they have is how many invented oppressors and reasons to be offended they can come with, that is, they found themselves an endless quest because lunacy has no bounds."

    Well said.

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  42. I think it's just more than these two companies that are struggling to transition into where things are heading. GE, Exxon, Cisco and others may not be the bellwether names they once were.

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  43. I watched The Phantom Menace when it came out. How
    could I know? That was enough for me to not watch any
    subsequent movie. Maybe one day I will make an exception
    for Rogue One…

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  44. I think the proven case is that George Lucas was corrupted to the dark side sometime around 1990 and HE is a Sith Lord.

    With J. J. Abrams as his even more evil apprentice.

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  45. The utopic world of TOS was a reflection of the world of the
    1960s, which, albeit poorer, was more utopic than ours, and surely more utopic than the preceding decades.

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  46. so, are we, then:
    #1-TNG-S05-The Inner Light;
    #2-TOS-S01-The City of the Edge of Tomorrow
    #3-TNG-S05-Darmok
    #4-TNG-S03-The Best of Both Worlds
    #5-VOY-S03-Scorpion
    #6-TOS-S02-Mirror, Mirror
    #7-TNG-S03-Yesterday's Enterprise
    #8-DS9-S04-Hard Time
    #9-TNG-S06-Chain of Command
    #10(sentimental)-TNG-All Good Things

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  47. agreed. Roddenbury's intention appeared to be creation of an aspirational rather than 'relatable' cast and story-line, unfortunately and eventually, perceived as elitist and colonialist (we know best, savages) in the Wokeverse. Tragedy, as such aspirationalism would likely now be of great benefit.

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  48. Yeah Archer was okay. Unfortunately, by the time Enterprise came out the series had just run out of new ideas. The Star Trek franchise had a great run, but it's day is over.

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  49. Ah yes, Star Wars. Another cherished part of my childhood that has been utterly destroyed by the Hollywood sequel machine.

    The only joy it brings me now is watching the ongoing farcical debate about whether Jar Jar Binks was really a Sith Lord.

    Chris68

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  50. The Orville is terrible. That's why it got dumped into Hulu. It's like a Pauly Shore version of Star Trek. "Dude, let's like explore the universe and stuff." Utter rubbish.

    Now Firefly, that was an awesome show. Too bad only 14 episodes.

    Chris68

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  51. Boeing spent so much time at Number 1 they just became Numb.. So much government money and consolidation under the Boeing brand has led them to think they are irreplaceable for the U.S. military. This attitude of overcharge, who cares, they have to have us is killing many U.S. businesses. Once you get to the top in a capitalist society you start adopting socialist attitudes of using the government to block access to competitors. This has put Boeing's management in a walled garden of sorts. Look at SpaceX. They got a nice contract from the government and immediately prices have skyrocketed above their competitions price for the same deliveries. Government and politician corrupt everything the touch.

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  52. is cancer now. They've killed off everything that made Star Trek what it was. After Discovery I had hope Picard would rescue the franchise but it was toxic.

    I don't understand why Patrick Stewart allowed the good name of Picard to be ruined in the way it was.

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  53. "I think they find normal people boring."

    No, the viewers think normal people boring. The writers write what the customers want to buy, or they lose their writing jobs. Obviously, a show going on Season 3 must have enough buyers to turn a profit.

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  54. Boeing swapped out seasoned developers for noobs because of what Brian said: economic pressures outweighed engineering sensibility. Noobs are cheaper. Cutting safety corners means faster product to market.

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  55. So the major, officially approved, established Star Trek is bad, but the grey market, underground, rebel Star Trek is good, meaning that Star Trek has, as a social phenomenon, turned into Star Wars.

    Or rather Firefly, which was Star Wars rewritten by someone who realised that Han Solo was really the star of the show, and that the whiney emo space wizards should always have been supporting characters.

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  56. I see this as the inevitable result of losing the primary creative force behind it.

    The person that created it is the one that could better foresee where he wanted to take the stories and parables.

    Gene was a liberal, but with some conservative values in his baggage, therefore he avoided certain topics for the sake of delivering an aesthetically pleasant or even palatable story.

    But such values would be seen as "conservative" nowadays, just because the left continued moving towards fighting paper dragons, after they won the hearts and minds of the public several decades ago.

    Remember: the left is about being "progressive", supposedly marching forward, that is, never stopping.

    But some times you just arrive to your stated goal and there is no more reason to continue marching on. Doing so despite that, that's lunacy.

    Nowadays the only frontier they have is how many invented oppressors and reasons to be offended they can come with, that is, they found themselves an endless quest because lunacy has no bounds.

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  57. Well, but drug use and suicide, while they exist in the real world, are actually pretty uncommon. It's a bit of a trope on the left to take aberrations, and treat them as features of ordinary, day to day life. Like the way every third person on TV seems to be sexually deviant in some way.

    I think they find normal people boring.

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  58. "Perhaps a company shifting its focus from a technological to a business one is part of the business cycle, "

    It is, in the same way senescence and death are part of the great circle of life…

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  59. NPC #1: "The Orange man is so Bad! What can we do to #Resist?"
    NPC #2: "I know, we can revive Star Trek!"
    NPC #1: "Ooh good idea! We can show how good things could be if society was run by enlightened people!"
    NPC #2: "Yes and we will make crudely fashioned Kling-orcs that are crude representations of the Orange Man and his savage followers!"
    NPC #1: "Oh yes and then we can civilize the Kling-orcs!"
    NPC #2: "No we will fight a war with the Kling-orcs and lose to them and we will rely on them to help us beat the nasty AI because we are mostly incompetent."
    NPC #1: "Well that will show them!"
    NPC #2: "Also we'll have lots of drug use and suicide and murderous androids."
    NPC #1: "I thought this was Star Trek, not Blake's 7… aren't we going to show how good things could be in our dream utopia?"
    NPC #2: "Well we are going to spend two seasons tearing down the Federation. In season 3 we will have destroyed it and have reduced the quadrant to anarchy. Our characters will reflect on the loss of The Federation, rampant anarchy, ubiquitous privation, and in a stirring moment discuss how hard it has been to live in a galaxy without an endangered species act."
    NPC #1 "You mean the Andorians who have been reduced to being extras in a Star Wars movie?"
    NPC #2: "No, we're talking about endangered worms. Sentient life is overrated and trash, giant endangered worms that can eat people are what matters."
    NPC #1: "Ha! Eat it Orange Man! Feel The Progress!"

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  60. Perhaps a company shifting its focus from a technological to a business one is part of the business cycle, and then when competitors catch up at the technology front the focus moves back to technology.

    Boeing had a breakthrough with the 787 when it had to compete on a product basis with Airbus, while the space industry was never its main focus. Intel has not said the last word in nanometer chips and unlike AND and Nvidia is emerging as a leader in Quantum computing and autonomy.

    The beauty of a free market in the free world is that there is a greater impetus for companies to continue creating better products and the likelihood of the companies that offer the better product overall to win is still greater than in any other system.

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  61. That's because Gene Roddenberry frowned on many topics and kept them out of Star Trek as long as he lived.

    For example drug use was not featured, except in degenerate/evil cultures, because in Roddenberry's future people won't need artificial aids to feel well and fulfilled.

    Same for suicide. The Federation was about feeling well and happy working for fulfillment, not for money or power games, therefore there wasn't people longing for death, except for the occasional villain.

    This intrusion of our modern miseries in the formerly utopic world of Star Trek is what's different (and the result of Gene no longer being there), and what makes it so jarring for old fans.

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  62. Boeing lost their mojo because they swapped their seasoned developers for noobs.

    Intel lost their mojo because they were blindsided by Spectre and Meltdown and spent a generation trying to fix hardware exploits.

    Star Trek lost its mojo because it was outsourced to young English Majors who never learned how to write stories but were educated to look at everything through the dystopian lens of Marxist power politics.

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  63. Star Trek as a franchise is dead.

    Watching clips of Star Trek Picard (S:TP) I was struck by how many characters were drug users and wanted to commit suicide. The writers are idiots and suck. Now with season 3 of Star Trek Discovery the writers have transformed Star Trek in to Star Wars.

    Star Trek is written by people who hate Star Trek. Typical English major stuff.

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