Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It's Federation Day! Yes, again...

Hey, guess what today is? Give up-huh? Yeah, it is Federation Day. How'd you know? Did you look it up while I was talking? Because that's cheating. You're a cheater. I hope you feel good about your-oh, or maybe you just read the title of the post.
Speaking of, if you're ever playing poker with Data from Star Trek and he doesn't
win, either you're cheating or he's throwing the game. Don't give me that human
bullshit. either. You're playing cards with an android. A literal computer.
In other accurate predictions
about the future: guyliner.
Anyway, for those who didn't look it up, or remember from previous years (like this one, this one and it's sequelthis one, this and that one and that time I almost forgot) it's the day marking the founding of the Federation from Star Trek which according to Roddenberrian prophecy is now only 145 years away. Sure, it was just a TV show, but it made a lot of accurate predictions. Take cell phones, they used to flip open, just like the communicators so...you know, prophecy. Excited? Don't be. You and I will be long dead.

Einstein, pscht...what did he know?
No, seriously, he was a mathematician,
why'd they name a med school after him?
At least according to these jerks from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in The Bronx. Their new study published last week in Nature (it's a scientific journal, not like, nature the thing), suggests that no matter what advances we make in the way of longevity, the ceiling for living long and prospering (sorry) is about 115-ish and no amount of drugs, genetic engineering, or yogurt that helps you poop is going to change that. Ok, you say, but what about that French lady that lived to be 122? Shut up say the scientists. She, according to study co-author Professor Jan Vijg, was an outlier.

"Work to better ourselves...did I
did I really say that? Was I high?"

-some space captain
Ok, so thanks to Professor Vijg and the funsassins at AECM, none of us living today will actually get to see the bright, peaceful utopia where everybody gets along and humans have abandoned money in favor of an economic system where we all:

"...work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity."

-Captain Jean-Luc Picard on 
the one Star Trek prediction even 
less plausible than warp drive

Bummer, right? Yeah, sure it is, but not entirely, this is just mostly a bummer.

"Captain, tell me of this thing
you earthmen call, 'the clap.'"
Long lifespans have a downside as well and one that was explored in one of the original Star Trek's stupidest episodes. It's called "The Mark of Gideon" and it's about the planet Gideon whose inhabitants have cured all diseases and increased life-spans to such a degree that overpopulation has run wild and there's not an inch of free space anywhere. Sort of like the Bay Area (burn!). What makes the story so preposterous is that the planet's leader concocts a scheme to trick Captain Kirk into having sex with his daughter so that she can catch some space STD's and re-introduce pathogens to their world.

-huh? I...oh, right. Well ok,
maybe that one time.
Yup, her planet's in trouble and only Captain Kirk can save it. With his junk. Ok, so leaving aside the fact that Gideon's president needed to trick James 'Space-Whore' Kirk into sleeping with a female, and the part of the plan where the Gideonians felt the need to construct an exact replica of the Enterprise to do it instead of, you know, renting a room at the Holiday Inn near the space port. While the episode does point out the dangers of not letting people go gently into that good night, this is totally why I was a Next Generation fan, they never did anything as insultingly stupid as-

Above: the Holodeck where you can have
sex with computer simulations of other
people and no one thinks it's weird.
Ok, so we're doomed to bite it long before calamitous future wars and alien contact inspire us to put aside our petty bullshit and found a space-UN. That doesn't mean we shouldn't celebrate the nerdiest holiday of the year. How? By living the life, that's how. We're probably not going to see Star Trek's predictions come true, fine. 3-D printers are decades away from being replicators, warp drive could easily be a pipe dream and those ridiculous virtual reality headsets are no where near the holodeck, but those aren't the best parts about the future. Well, ok, they are, but they're also like the least attainable, so let's focus on the things we can do.

We can learn to talk to one another instead of resorting to violence, we can accept people's differences and we can just generally be decent to one another. See? It's that easy. Easy, of course, being a relative thing. Let's just say it's somewhat easier than breaking the light barrier. Oh and we can totally dress up like characters from the show. That's totally easy. You can do that today. What are you waiting for?
In fact, don't even wait for a Comic Con, just
go nuts. Like, anytime you want. Fly that flag.

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