Cloak and Swagger, TOS: S3E2 “The Enterprise Incident”

Romulan cloaking technology has been a reoccurring feature of the Star Trek universe ever since it was first described in this episode.  Dangerous and unethical, the ability to cloak ships would give the offending party an unfair advantage in war, as well as the ability to carry out espionage without detection.  It was up to … More Cloak and Swagger, TOS: S3E2 “The Enterprise Incident”

What is Brain, TOS: S3E1 “Spock’s Brain”

We often think of scientific and technological progress as a steady march forward, but the reality is more complex.  Factors such as natural disaster, war, or even isolation can cause a culture to ‘forget’ its previous advancement.  This is known as technological regress and the idea behind it, according to Aiyar et al. (2008), is … More What is Brain, TOS: S3E1 “Spock’s Brain”

Leap of Trust, TOS: S2E26 “Assignment: Earth”

Humans have obsessed over the possibility of extra-terrestrials finding, observing, or possibly even visiting planet Earth and its inhabitants. However, the recent United States Pentagon report confirming its mysterious ‘UFO Program’ was met with… not much fanfare. At first this may seem surprising. Wouldn’t confirmation of alien life be the most important discovery of mankind? … More Leap of Trust, TOS: S2E26 “Assignment: Earth”

The Human Spectacle, TOS: S2E25 “Bread and Circuses”

In the darkest periods of human history, we consigned some people to be sources of entertainment.  The more barbaric of these times, when the Roman empire forced enslaved people to fight for their amusement, is long past.  The original Star Trek seemed to love imagining alternate histories for Earth, however implausible they would be on … More The Human Spectacle, TOS: S2E25 “Bread and Circuses”

The Human Replacement, TOS: S2E24 “The Ultimate Computer”

Artificial intelligence has progressed to a frightening extent since Captain Kirk and crew graced the world’s living rooms in the 1960s.  The modern trend of replacing human workers with machines was felt even in a time before cell phones and search algorithms.  Technology is already quickly replacing low skilled jobs, with touch screens in restaurants … More The Human Replacement, TOS: S2E24 “The Ultimate Computer”

Chicken or Pledge, TOS: S2E23 “The Omega Glory”

Exploring the origins of a specific cultural belief often turns into a chicken or egg question.  Historians can speculate whether a society adopted a new creed based on the environmental pressures of the time, or if it was a natural progression of their already existing values.  The reality is most likely an intricate combination of … More Chicken or Pledge, TOS: S2E23 “The Omega Glory”

It’s Life Jim, but You Don’t Want to Know It, TOS: S2E22 “By Any Other Name”

The universe is huge, and it is teeming with planets which could potentially harbor life.  True, most of these wouldn’t have hospitable conditions, but given the sheer number of planets in the universe, there should be at least a few with alien life.  The chances we are alone in the universe is incredibly small, but … More It’s Life Jim, but You Don’t Want to Know It, TOS: S2E22 “By Any Other Name”

A Shift in Power, TOS: S2E21 “Patterns of Force”

If “A Piece of the Action” was a cursory view of cultural contamination, this episode’s adventure is a fully realized infection of the worst disease in philosophy.  Much like the mafia planet, the citizens of planet Ekos were introduced to an outside viewpoint by a Starfleet bungle.  This time, a historian and cultural observer John … More A Shift in Power, TOS: S2E21 “Patterns of Force”

Brain Drain, TOS: S2E20 “Return to Tomorrow”

Kirk and Spock seem to have no shortage of mind-altering adventures, which is reasonable considering one of the final frontiers still beyond our understanding is the mind.  If space offers anomalies and aggressive aliens, the human body provides complex mystery and questionable theories.  Brushing up against this frontier, Kirk, Spock, and Lt. Cmdr. Mulhall respond … More Brain Drain, TOS: S2E20 “Return to Tomorrow”

Friend of my Enemy, TOS: S2E19 “A Private Little War”

With great power comes great…capacity to make things worse.  Starfleet wields amazing strength due to its superior weaponry and the governing capability of a united political force.  With so much influence, it is not surprising that many powerful organizations find themselves in dilemmas when weaker states look to them for help.  Is it immoral to … More Friend of my Enemy, TOS: S2E19 “A Private Little War”