Blog Archives

Boldly Go


I actually own this.

I like Star Trek. I like it a lot, and I like it unironically. I actually own the pin pictured here, and the only disappointing thing about it is that I cannot use it to contact the bridge. Somewhere, there’s a VHS tape of me pretending to be a Vulcan in front of a blue screen at Universal Studios Orlando.

So, I’m a fan. One of the primary reasons I like Star Trek is its sunny optimism about the future. In the Federation, we’ve all worked our way to the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and we’re just enjoying the view with a replicated cup of Earl Grey.

People often reference the peacefulness of the United Federation of Planets or the lack of money and competition when discussing the Star Trek utopia, but the computer is a big part of this halcyon vision. On the shows, it is a constant benevolent presence that is often in stark contrast to our daily experience with computers. It is flexible and adaptable, accepting inputs in a variety of formats, and always providing outputs in a useful and meaningful format. Despite its omniscience, the computer is nonthreatening and discreet.

It appears they do training on the holodeck. I wonder if they have boring regulatory training with a holographically produced instructor?

You can buy the pin here.

Off Topic for #edcmooc

In happier MOOC news, I’m participating in the outstanding E-Learning and Digital Cultures course. Participants are asked to share the perspectives on the course through a blog or other format, so I’ll be doing that here.