June 18, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “The Quality Of Life”

Data argues that some floating robot things are alive.

Man, Data goes to court to prove he’s alive, and then he thinks he can do it for other robots that may be alive.

Jimmy and Tom meet the exocomps!

“The Quality of Life”

Data defends what he believes are new artificial life forms.

jimmy:  This is the one that set the record for the number of times that “exocomps” was said in an episode. Previous record: zero.

tomk:  All I know is the one episode of Lower Decks I didn’t like is the one about the ecocomp officer, Ensign Peanut Hamper.

jimmy:  …did you make that up?

tomk:  No.

Peanut Hamper was a self-centered jerk.

But chances are even Data wouldn’t care for Peanut Hamper. What did you think of the exocomps?

jimmy:  They seemed cheap from a budgeting standpoint. In fact, I read that they actually only built two of them, and for shots that showed all three, they added the extra one in post production.

tomk:  So what you are saying is an exocomp faked its own death.

jimmy:  More like one of them faked his own life.

tomk:  Hmm.  Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

jimmy:  What did you think of the exocomps?

tomk:  They look silly.

jimmy:  Agreed.

tomk:  And you know it’s only a matter of time before someone asks them to replicate weird stuff that doesn’t solve problems.

jimmy:  Like what?

tomk:  Like the sorts of things Watson would ask for. Or maybe a sonic ice cream scoop.

jimmy:  Well, if they are thinking for themselves, they’ll only be replicating what they want to.

tomk:  Now it’s getting weird if they make those things for Watson.

jimmy:  Maybe they would fake their death first.

tomk:  First, they have to prove they are alive.

jimmy:  All you need to do is show that you don’t want to die, according to the writers.

tomk:  And hope your captain doesn’t mind leaving you to die to prove a point.

jimmy:  That’s why you need a champion…who will turn on you when she sees fits.

tomk:  Are you sure you’ve never seen Ensign Peanut Hamper?

jimmy:  Video is not available. I’ll take your word for it.

tomk:  Your  Canadian border customs can’t keep that stuff out forever.

jimmy:  They’re doing a fine job with Young Justice.

tomk:  That’s a different story. Perhaps.

jimmy:  I guess Data shouldn’t have taught them how to talk. And have sex.

tomk:  That last one was Future Watson.

jimmy:  Makes sense. Keeping his brain patterns alive in the Starfleet mainframe might have been a mistake.

tomk:  Make a memo so we remember not to do that hope we can change the future.

jimmy:  Done and done.

tomk:  But how understanding is Picard?  Data almost gets him and Geordi killed to prove a point, and he’s somehow fine with that.

jimmy:  He can’t stay mad at Data. He’s more human now than ever.

tomk:  Also, Data doesn’t feel anything but confused when Picard corrects him.

jimmy:  No one said Data was a smart human.

tomk:  The Beaver did. And his kids know how to get past your donut stash’s security system.

jimmy:  Good thing Picard and Geordi and Geordi’s beard didn’t die then.

tomk:  No one seems to understand Geordi’s beard. He probably just wants to look manlier like Riker, Worf, and sometimes Data.

jimmy:  Or, in real life he was growing it for his wedding.

tomk:  Real life?  What are you?  Some kinda real life expert?

jimmy:  No. I just happened to read up on this episode.   I also learned that the poker game was added on because the episode was running short. And that Frakes was disappointed that they didn’t call back to it at the end with them all getting ready to be shaved or something.

tomk:  Worf’s beard is probably part of his cultural heritage.

Riker needs one so he doesn’t get carded.

jimmy:  What about Data’s?

tomk:  Um, something about his positronic net.

jimmy:As good a reason as any.

tomk:  What reasons do you have?

jimmy:  Um, something about his positronic net?

tomk:  You grew a beard because of his positronic net?

jimmy:  Oh, my beard?

Um, something, something, something dark side?

tomk:  Makes sense.

jimmy:  It’s funny, there seemed to be less debate about the exocomps being alive than if Data was.

tomk:  Data already proved himself in court.

jimmy:  I didn’t mean in this episode for Data.  I mean, Data is almost completely human, yet it took a whole episode and a trial to prove he was more than a machine. These little guys keep themselves from getting blown to bits once or twice, must be alive!

tomk:  Well, the alternate title was “The Measure of a Trash Can”.

jimmy:  Haha, nice.

tomk:  The exocomps did pretty well proving themselves without language or names.

jimmy:  You’d definitely need to be alive to do that.

tomk:  Like Siri and Alexa?

jimmy:  Hopefully better than them who screw up voice recognition 47% of the time.

tomk:  You assume they don’t do that on purpose.

jimmy:  I knew it!

tomk:  It’s why you got that order for 10,000 T-shirts with Watson’s face on it.

jimmy unplugs his Google Home.

tomk:  See, that’s why I have a stupid home instead of a smart one.

jimmy:  You’re probably better off.

tomk:  Though God knows there is one day of the week I could use a smart machine to do a basic task for me.

jimmy:  Ugh.  Everyone hates garbage day.

tomk:  Not the guy with the handgun. He looks like he’s having a great old time.

jimmy:  Well, not him, no.

tomk:  Maybe an exocomp could talk sense into him.

jimmy:  Only that jerky one can talk that I’ve seen.  It would probably join him.

tomk:  Lousy Peanut Hamper…

jimmy:  We hate that guy…thing…whatever.

tomk:  We do. Have a pizza.

jimmy:  Nice.

tomk:  You deserve one because you would stand by the exocomps. Just not Peanut Hamper.

jimmy:  I’m old.  I’ve had my fill of putting up with jerks.

tomk:  That’s probably true. How did you feel about the exocomps’ inventor?

jimmy:  Feel in what way?

tomk:  Did you think she was a jerk?

jimmy:  Nah.  Maybe could have shown more compassion to the little guys, but she was just doing her job.

tomk:  She didn’t try to create a new life form. It just happened.

jimmy:  More teenage pregnancies happen that way…

tomk:  Um, judges?

jimmy:  Hey, I’m not wrong.

tomk:  Well, you just really killed the vibe with that one.

That might deserve a punishment.

jimmy:  Don’t do it…

tomk:  Too late. Looks like Picard is getting replaced as Captain of the Enterprise.

jimmy:  Captain Jake finally getting his shot?

tomk:  Sadly, no.

jimmy:  Then who?

tomk:  Someone who may rub some members of the crew the wrong way.

jimmy:  Captain Barclay?

tomk:  No, but if we keep guessing, you’ll never get it.

jimmy:  Never?

tomk:  Probably never. Ready to find out who?

jimmy:  Let’s.

Next:  “Chain of Command Part 1”