The Aging of Star Trek: The Next Generation

For background noise, I have ST:TNG on from the hideous Spike TV channel. I do that from time-to-time as I go through doing different things. For some reason, tonight I was struck by something — the aging technology of the series.

In season 6’s “Lessons,” there is a scene where they have to set up six deflector shields on a planets surface to protect a facility from a massive fire storm that will destroy everything. Each deflector shield needs a 2-man team to make it work. I laughed out loud as I heard this and laughed even harder when I heard, “We’ll have to manually make adjustments to the field” (or something along those lines).

You see, I work in the computer technology field and in the ~14-years since this episode came out, things have changed a great deal. So while we may not yet have deflector shields, the fact that these things would have to be manually adjusted constantly now seems exactly like what it is — a cheap plot device. After all, each deflector should have its own computer unit, and networked together, why you have the perfectly-tuned deflector shield.

OK, its just a show and that’s very true. But it is moments like this (and also thinking, “So what the smeg to the people on the bridge ‘do’ during their work shift?”) that remind me that time is moving along. Not only that, but as time moves along, we have managed to do some interesting things when it comes to certain technology, yet still have so far to go in other technical areas (like deflector shields).

Lord, help me not to waste so much time. ^_^;;;

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