Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:23 AM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,756
Are Vulcans Possible?

Possibly one for GQ, possibly one for GD. But it involves the fictional Vulcans. So I will put it in Café.

In the purely dramatic Star Trek universe, the Vulcans are a only logical. They have emotions. But they keep firmly in-check.

Something I have wondered since childhood: is such a race possible?

I know I only learned as an adult, some people believe morals and ethics are purely emotional. They have no logical component.

Also, Star Trek, like any fictional work, sometimes plays loose with the facts. It doesn't have to be based on science and truth (at least not completely).

Also, I vaguely remember asking a similar question in the past. But it has been so long, I honestly don't know. Now, the search option for this site won't work for me (I do remember posting that once). So if anyone knows what I am talking about, feel free to post a link. Again, I honestly don't remember, and think it was about something else anyway.

__________________
"Love takes no less than everything." (from "Love Is", a duet by Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight)
  #2  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:30 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 39,176
Vulcan adherence to logic isn't a genetic thing, it's cultural. I think the Star Trek series and movies make it pretty clear that Vulcans actually struggle with controlling their emotions.

To give the quick and dirty lowdown on how they are how they are, based on my admittedly poor memory, Vulcans were once incredibly warlike, and nearly killed themselves off. A philsopher named "Surak" came up with the idea of being logical and stoic as a solution to all the fighting, and one way or another everyone came around to it. Vulcans by the time the show happens put enormous value on being stoic, and base a lot of their culture on it.

This doesn't strike me as being an outrageously impossible thing. In the real world we have or have had cultures that place a huge amount of value on manners, or religious faith, or belligerence, or any number of things. Why not stoicism and logic?
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #3  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:37 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 22,988
But, based on that, one might expect Vulcan criminals to be incredibly violent, random and evil, as a form of rebellion against logic and stoicism.
__________________
Little packets of Fear and Outrage, sold like crack from your Computer and TV

"The worst things in the world are justified by belief" - U2, Raised by Wolves
  #4  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:44 AM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 21,527
It's also canon that the Romulans were a group of Vulcans who rejected Surak's philosophy and went off to build their own Planet of Hats, with hookers and blackjack.
  #5  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:47 AM
Inigo Montoya Inigo Montoya is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 13,870
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
Vulcan adherence to logic isn't a genetic thing, it's cultural. I think the Star Trek series and movies make it pretty clear that Vulcans actually struggle with controlling their emotions.
I'd say it's at least partly genetic, even if it is just the case that a full-blooded Vulcan has been "bred" to have a more controllable disposition--full on logic all the time except during pon farr when a capacity for unbridled fury must also be demonstrated.

Spock's whole schtick was about being somewhat handicapped by being a half-breed. He could act like a Vulcan, but it seemed it was unusually difficult for him to do so owing to his genetics.
__________________
Y'all are just too damned serious. Lighten up.

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 01-09-2018 at 11:47 AM.
  #6  
Old 01-09-2018, 12:13 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Under Oveur & over Unger
Posts: 11,099
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
But, based on that, one might expect Vulcan criminals to be incredibly violent, random and evil, as a form of rebellion against logic and stoicism.
thus the Trek film which Should Never Be Named.
  #7  
Old 01-09-2018, 12:30 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 14,501
I guess in the realm of sci-fi anything is possible. But if you're asking if humans could become somehow predisposed to a purely logical method of thinking, well, humans who've had brain damage that inhibit their ability to access their emotions become almost completely incapable of making any decisions at all. Link.
  #8  
Old 01-09-2018, 12:56 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 38,137
I think it stretches credibility that super-strong humanoids who go nuts when they get horny would develop a cultural practice of purely logical thinking that over-rides their innate emotions.
  #9  
Old 01-09-2018, 01:00 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,348
In real life, it is certainly possible for a culture to be stoic, laconic, etc. And all children learn to control themselves as part of the process of maturation.
  #10  
Old 01-09-2018, 01:19 PM
Eonwe Eonwe is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Burlington VT
Posts: 8,186
Quote:
Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
thus the Trek film which Should Never Be Named.
I was going to say the exact same thing.

*smacks head on bulkhead and knocks self unconscious. Wakes up having no recollection of said film.*
  #11  
Old 01-09-2018, 01:35 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 9,146
Name it! Name it!
  #12  
Old 01-09-2018, 01:41 PM
mbh mbh is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,913
The subtitle is "Shatner Happens".
  #13  
Old 01-09-2018, 01:47 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 21,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
In real life, it is certainly possible for a culture to be stoic, laconic, etc. And all children learn to control themselves as part of the process of maturation.
Indeed. Take the word "Laconic", it means "from Lakonia", aka Sparta. Where, you know, children learned to control themselves as a part of the process of maturation.
  #14  
Old 01-09-2018, 01:47 PM
Andy L Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eonwe View Post
I was going to say the exact same thing.

*smacks head on bulkhead and knocks self unconscious. Wakes up having no recollection of said film.*
You know that ship like the back of your hand... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGUYN8bUJB8
  #15  
Old 01-09-2018, 02:02 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 38,137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Indeed. Take the word "Laconic", it means "from Lakonia", aka Sparta. Where, you know, children learned to control themselves as a part of the process of maturation.
Learning to control yourself and becoming a peaceful and purely rational actor are quite different. Spartans learned to control themselves so they would be better at slaughtering others.
  #16  
Old 01-09-2018, 02:08 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 76,114
And the Vulcans are apparently quite good at slaughtering others, too, as evidenced by the fact that it was the Romulans who had to go off and find another world for themselves, not the followers of Surak. They just don't have to do it very often.
  #17  
Old 01-09-2018, 02:34 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago
Posts: 6,360
I always assumed that the Vulcans were an analogy for a specific part of human nature (just like most aliens are): they are an exaggeration of how humans learn to behave in society by suppressing their baser instinct. How many times have you wanted to yell at someone but bit your tongue instead? How many times have you been tempted to cheat on your spouse, but didn't because it would be wrong? How many times have you wanted to rip your clothes off and jump into Buckingham Fountain while belting out ABBA songs? Okay, maybe that one is just me. But anyway, I see the Vulcans as just another way to extrapolate and explore human behavior through fictional narrative.

Same with Klingons (violent side of human nature), Romulans (sneaky side of human nature), Ferengi (greedy side of human nature), etc.
  #18  
Old 01-09-2018, 02:39 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 19,207
Vulcans exist, they're called sociopaths. They are people whose emotions are mostly controlled and who have to use logic and reasoning a lot more to compensate for the fact that they don't have emotional motivations.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #19  
Old 01-09-2018, 02:40 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 82,771
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
In real life, it is certainly possible for a culture to be stoic, laconic, etc. And all children learn to control themselves as part of the process of maturation.
No, it's not possible that all children will accept that indoctrination and that none will rebel. As someone already said, you can make anything "possible" in Sci Fi, but if we accept what we know about humans and work within those limits, then no, it's not possible. You'd have lots of rebels unless you had a ruthlessly authoritarian society like North Korea. And you'd still have plenty of rebels even then.

Last edited by John Mace; 01-09-2018 at 02:41 PM.
  #20  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:05 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 17,704
From the standpoint of human cognition, emotions are not a seperate or more primitive level of interpretation or decision making but are an innate part of our sapience which allows us to make value judgments and anticipate consequences in absence of sufficient information to make rational decisions. As Inner Stickler notes, a cognitive inability to intepret or manage emotions renders a person incapable of volition. (People with the Asperger’s Syndrome and on the autistic spectrum appear to lack the normal capability to interpret the behaviors of others in emotional terms and to manage their own emotional responses, requiring special conditioning and training to compensate in order to be functional in society even when they display otherwise normal intelligence as measured by IQ testing.)

As more is being understood about cognition and the activity of the brain by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) it actually appears that many of our daily activites and decisions are driven on an emotional level below conscious awareness (by viewing that all parts of the brain, and not just the forebrain, show incresed activity during processes invovled in higher cognitive work) and that much of what we view as rational behavior is actually post hoc rationalization of decisions or influence judgments that we believe to be entirely conscious in nature. For instance, you may think that you’ve deliberately decided what to have for lunch, but in fact the complex of ten billion odd neurons in your gut is signalling to the hypothalamus what it (thinks it) needs for homeostatic regulation of metabolism, which tells you to get delicious foods with lots of calorie-rich fats and starches instead of that bland dry salad you put in the back of the breakroom fridge. This totally makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint where you should eat all the calories you can get when they’re available, but not from a modern post-scarcity caloric lifestyle. If you haven’t made the habit of ignoring those pangs and eating the salad anyway you’ll make an excuse for getting that burrito (“I have to be social”, “I’m going to the gym later”, “I need the energy for that afternoon meeting”, whatever) that will seem completely rational at the time, and then only feel guilty about it after consuming the meal, and then repeat the whole cycle again tomorrow.

The major reason for emotional responses driving much of cognition is they allow us to anticipate future events based upon prior experience without having to directly recall the experiences or compile lists of pros and cons to consider. This is what lets you operate an automobile on the highway at 80 miles an hour and avoid someone who cuts across lanes without signalling or to intuit that the cute brunette on the seat opposite you on the train is shyly giving you attentive looks. (Whether she wants to have dinner with you or is just enthralled with the giant blackhead on the tip of your nose is a separate issue that you’ll have to figure out for yourself.) The brain does so much anticipating that it fills in the blanks for things you can’t see or hear, allowing you to make out a conversation on a crackling cell connection or move across the court to be in place to return a tennis ball before it even crosses the net. However, that can also be a problem or an opportunity for misdirection, as optical illusions and a magician’s sleight of hand aptly demonstrate, and can also create cognitive problems in the case of emotional trauma such as those which lead to PTSD and some personality disorders where the anticipatory reactions are not tied correctly to causal impulses.

Much of the advanced structure of the brain, and particularly that involved in sentience (self-awareness) and sapience (applying previous experience and a “theory of mind” to behavior of yoruself and others) appears to be build around such anticipatory responses, and I think it would be difficult to construct a path toward the evolution of cognition that doesn’t have some analogue to emotion to provide a basis for anticipation. Of course, that may just be a limitation to how we conceive of cognition, and an intelligent alien species might have some totally different way of ‘thinking’, but then we’d likely have little basis for communication or mutual comprehension of anything more than very fundamental physical principles, and the result certainly wouldn’t look like pointy-eared humanoids with an affectation to shaved eyebrows and bowl cuts.

Someone will no doubt come along and point out that Vulcans aren’t actually lacking in emotions and that they just restrain them by self-control and conditioning, but this still doesn’t really make much sense, nor is it consistant with the character of Mr. Spock, who often makes illogical and emotionally-driven decisions. (And yes, Spock is half-human, et cetera, ad nausum, but the conceit is that he controls his emotions like a Vulcan.) At best, Vulcans are very good at managing their expression of emotion and rationalizing why they do what they do, but fundamentally they’ve simply conditioned themselves from impulsive behavior and expression, and have developed a certain degree of mindfulness that permits deeper reflection and selflessness, or at least being able to consider the viewpoints of others. Which is something anyone can do to a greater or lesser extent with medication and mindfulness training.

The aliens of Star Trek are, of course, pretty much just singular human archetypes repackaged in improbably human-like forms complete with highly restrictgive monocultures and often openly racist physical and behaviorial characteristics. Exchanges with them are not anything like what we would anticipate meeting and trying to communicate with an intelligent extraterrestrial species would be, not withstanding the implausibility of biological and genetic compatibility with any extraterrestrial life.

Stranger
  #21  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:24 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 21,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Learning to control yourself and becoming a peaceful and purely rational actor are quite different. Spartans learned to control themselves so they would be better at slaughtering others.
Vulcans are not pacifists. They're perfectly capable of fighting and killing when doing so is...logical.

Anyway, the point is that the Lakedemonians deliberately cultivated their famous murderous stoicism, and invented all sorts of systems to indoctrinate their children into it. It wasn't something that came naturally, it was a system to create a certain type of person who was fitted to a certain social order, and it sounds like a living hell to me. Note that the Spartiates themselves were only a small fraction of the population of the territory they ruled, the majority being helots kept in brutal slavery, brutal even by the standards of antiquity. Their system enabled the Spartans to win military victory after military victory and rule their lands for ages, and all it cost them was their souls.
  #22  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:32 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 17,704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Vulcans exist, they're called sociopaths. They are people whose emotions are mostly controlled and who have to use logic and reasoning a lot more to compensate for the fact that they don't have emotional motivations.
Sociopaths are not emotionless, and are not generally speaking any more logical than other people. What they are is lacking in genuine empathy (although some sociopaths are very good at synthesizing empathic responses and manipulating other people emotionally) and any sense of remorse or responsibility over how their actions affect others.

Some sociopaths have difficulty intrepeting any emotions and are compelled to commit crimes to feel a sense of excitement or stimulation (this is the general distinction made between psychopaths and ‘ordinary’ sociopaths) but the notion of the logical genius serial killer or expert manipulator like Hannibal Lector is basically the construct of screenwriters and thriller novelists; for the most part, these predators take advantage of people who are emotionally inexperienced or socially isolated.

Stranger
  #23  
Old 01-09-2018, 04:22 PM
guestchaz guestchaz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: boise idaho
Posts: 1,787
Stranger said what I wanted to say only a whole lot more of it. In short, Vulcans have emotions, and according to Spock, they feel them quite strongly. They've learned to control the expression of those emotions, and curtail impulsiveness, and they also highly value intellect, incredible memory recall capacity it would seem from watching the various Star Trek shows, and education as part of that conditioning and control. They are still influenced by their emotions. Long before there was any sign of the "Vulcan Alzheimers" that was his fate, Sarek himself said his logic was uncertain where his son was concerned.
__________________
"I find your lack of candy disturbing" Darth Desserticola

Last edited by guestchaz; 01-09-2018 at 04:24 PM.
  #24  
Old 01-09-2018, 04:46 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 82,771
But there is also some implied physical aspect to the whole "emotion suppression" thing. On the Original Series episode about the farm colony with the happy spores, Spock is in danger of dying when he is forced to feel emotions. I suppose you could hand-wave that away as being psychosomatic, but I do think there is an implied biological aspect to Vulcans and their lack of emotions and not just a bunch of mental tricks.
  #25  
Old 01-09-2018, 05:05 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 17,704
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
But there is also some implied physical aspect to the whole "emotion suppression" thing. On the Original Series episode about the farm colony with the happy spores, Spock is in danger of dying when he is forced to feel emotions. I suppose you could hand-wave that away as being psychosomatic, but I do think there is an implied biological aspect to Vulcans and their lack of emotions and not just a bunch of mental tricks.
”Kid, it ain’t that kind of movie.”

I’m pretty sure we’ve put more thought into the neurophysiology and evolutionary psychology of Star Trek in this thread alone than the collective mental effort of everyone involved in the franchise has in the last forty-odd years, even handicapping the spasmatic J.J. Abrams side-boot movies out of the equation. Star Trek was originally intended to be Wagon Train to the stars, TNG it’s Love Boat cousin, Deep Space 9 the X-Files offshoot, and Voyager was an interstellar Gilligan’s Island. The Star Trek narrative universe and the alien species within it make about as much sense as life insurance for kamakazi pilots.

Stranger
  #26  
Old 01-09-2018, 05:22 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 56,922
i kinda thought this thread would be asking about the plausibility of copper-based hemoglobin.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #27  
Old 01-09-2018, 05:34 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Indian Land, S Carolina
Posts: 13,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Vulcans are not pacifists. They're perfectly capable of fighting and killing when doing so is...logical.
Actually, in the series Star Trek, there were several references to Spock (and Vulcans in general) being pacifist. On more than one occasion, Kirk over-rules Spock's attempts at generating a peaceful resolution. And no, it wasn't just because peace was more "logical".

But being pacifist doesn't mean refusing to use force ever. Hence, Spock's recommendations in "Run Silent, Run..." er, that is, "Balance of Terror."
  #28  
Old 01-09-2018, 05:48 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 15,049
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
Also, I vaguely remember asking a similar question in the past. But it has been so long, I honestly don't know. Now, the search option for this site won't work for me (I do remember posting that once). So if anyone knows what I am talking about, feel free to post a link.
Was it this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
You actually provide me with an opportunity to make clear what I meant. I think I meant a couple of things, actually.

I guess I have to confess, I was partly inspired by Star Trek, and Vulcans, specifically. Vulcans have no emotions. Now, I am not saying there could be an alien civilization with no emotions. But what about just, say, less emotions, or more blunted emotions? This actually would make a good thread in itself (can a humanoid civilization exist, where the "people" have no emotions?).
  #29  
Old 01-09-2018, 05:50 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
But there is also some implied physical aspect to the whole "emotion suppression" thing. On the Original Series episode about the farm colony with the happy spores, Spock is in danger of dying when he is forced to feel emotions. I suppose you could hand-wave that away as being psychosomatic, but I do think there is an implied biological aspect to Vulcans and their lack of emotions and not just a bunch of mental tricks.
I believe you're misremembering. In "This Side of Paradise," no one was ever in danger of dying from the spores. Quite the opposite. They were protected against the Berthold rays bombarding the planet and were left in perfect health when their emotional influence was overcome.

The closest I can think of Spock coming to harm because of emotions was in "All Our Yesterdays," when he began to "revert" to how Vulcans once were after traveling 5,000 years into the past. Though it was made clear he was in danger because he hadn't been properly "prepared" at the cellular level, it was also apparent the change in his physiology affected his control over his emotions, indicating this aspect of him was due to both cultural conditioning and evolutionary biology.
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #30  
Old 01-09-2018, 05:59 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Actually, in the series Star Trek, there were several references to Spock (and Vulcans in general) being pacifist. On more than one occasion, Kirk over-rules Spock's attempts at generating a peaceful resolution. And no, it wasn't just because peace was more "logical".
In "Arena," Spock reluctantly agrees that the Gorn ship must never be allowed to reach its home base after attacking Cestus III. He also overrules McCoy's objections to destroying the Romulan ship in "Balance of Terror" by emphasizing that if the Romulans are Vulcan offshoots, weakness is something they dare not show.

Vulcans in the Parallel Universe, while still logical, also seem to be a particularly nasty lot. In "Mirror, Mirror," Evil Sulu nearly shits his pants when Evil Spock reminds him that "My operatives would avenge my death ... and some of them are Vulcans."
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #31  
Old 01-09-2018, 06:03 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
i kinda thought this thread would be asking about the plausibility of copper-based hemoglobin.
Are there not organisms on Earth that have such blood?
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #32  
Old 01-09-2018, 06:27 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 76,114
I think that the "Vulcans are pacifists" thing goes along with "Vulcans never lie". That is to say, both are things that we only know to be true because Vulcans tell us so. Which doesn't mean that they actually are pacifists or always truthful-- They just find it logical to make other races believe that they are.
  #33  
Old 01-09-2018, 06:33 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I think that the "Vulcans are pacifists" thing goes along with "Vulcans never lie". That is to say, both are things that we only know to be true because Vulcans tell us so. Which doesn't mean that they actually are pacifists or always truthful-- They just find it logical to make other races believe that they are.
Like most people who claim to follow Christian (or Muslim, or Hindu, or any other) teachings, they may try but that doesn't mean they actually do. Maybe they just feel better about themselves that way.
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #34  
Old 01-09-2018, 06:35 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 56,922
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
Are there not organisms on Earth that have such blood?
I see you are correct and I probably knew that but had forgotten.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #35  
Old 01-09-2018, 07:26 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 17,704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I think that the "Vulcans are pacifists" thing goes along with "Vulcans never lie". That is to say, both are things that we only know to be true because Vulcans tell us so. Which doesn't mean that they actually are pacifists or always truthful-- They just find it logical to make other races believe that they are.
Sedak: These humans are quite...gullible.
T’Pong: They are indeed. They should make an excellent servitor race.
Sedak: Their native aggression may be useful in provoking the Klingons into a war that will weaken both so we can exploit them more easily.
T’Pong: They do appear to engage in pointless conflict with themselves with great frequency. I like your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsbeacon.
Sedak: We should also tell them that we are vegetarians so they do not get suspicious when we invite some of them back to our ship ‘for dinner’, wink wink, nudge nudge.
T’Pong: That is very...logical. Hah, we can pretend we don’t understand what they mean because of logic!
Sedak: You are catching on quickly, T’Pong. Now, quick, let’s do a happy dance before they return.
*celebratory energetic grinding ensues to the tune of Pharrell Williams “Happy”*
Stranger
  #36  
Old 01-09-2018, 07:33 PM
Andy L Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
Sedak: These humans are quite...gullible.
T’Pong: They are indeed. They should make an excellent servitor race.
Sedak: Their native aggression may be useful in provoking the Klingons into a war that will weaken both so we can exploit them more easily.
T’Pong: They do appear to engage in pointless conflict with themselves with great frequency. I like your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsbeacon.
Sedak: We should also tell them that we are vegetarians so they do not get suspicious when we invite some of them back to our ship ‘for dinner’, wink wink, nudge nudge.
T’Pong: That is very...logical. Hah, we can pretend we don’t understand what they mean because of logic!
Sedak: You are catching on quickly, T’Pong. Now, quick, let’s do a happy dance before they return.
*celebratory energetic grinding ensues to the tune of Pharrell Williams “Happy”*
Stranger
I wish to subscribe to your newsbeacon.
  #37  
Old 01-09-2018, 07:33 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 22,988
Since they portray Vulcans, in some portrayals, as barely controlled logic machines over a seething ocean of emotion, could you imagine the infrastructure they'd need to deal with all of the breakdowns?

"I can't take it anymore! I'm living a lie! My life is a swirling mass of emotions and I can't show it. You won't let me show it. I can't hide it anymore. I can't. I can't. I FEEL THESE THINGS! I can't pretend I don't! It isn't LOGICAL!!!"

"*sigh* Freakout in Sector 7-243B. Send the carts."
"Third one this week, Frank."
__________________
Little packets of Fear and Outrage, sold like crack from your Computer and TV

"The worst things in the world are justified by belief" - U2, Raised by Wolves
  #38  
Old 01-09-2018, 08:34 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Since they portray Vulcans, in some portrayals, as barely controlled logic machines over a seething ocean of emotion, could you imagine the infrastructure they'd need to deal with all of the breakdowns?
That's why they developed things like the mind meld and nerve pinch, and über-ritualized the mating protocol.
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #39  
Old 01-09-2018, 09:02 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,348
I watched the new episodes of Star Trek, and they don't even attempt to keep it subtle: the "Vulcan hello" consists of opening up on sight of the enemy with overwhelming force, the ruling Vulcans are straight-up racist (no humans allowed in the Academy), they have various factions of "logical terrorists" gadding about, things like that.

Speaking of Star Trek, if we were meant to understand Klingons = Soviets, Federation = USA, Romulans = Chinese, then who were the Vulcans?
  #40  
Old 01-09-2018, 09:12 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
FWIW, Romulans were given that name because it was thought their culture bore some resemblance to Ancient Rome, and they lived their beliefs with great dignity. The Klingons were vicious pond scum with absolutely no redeeming features, not poorly understood noble-but-somewhat-dim warriors.

Spock was originally supposed to be half-Martian, but the red makeup looked phoney when photographed.
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!

Last edited by terentii; 01-09-2018 at 09:13 PM.
  #41  
Old 01-09-2018, 09:19 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 17,704
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
Speaking of Star Trek, if we were meant to understand Klingons = Soviets, Federation = USA, Romulans = Chinese, then who were the Vulcans?
Israelis.

Stranger
  #42  
Old 01-09-2018, 09:24 PM
adaher adaher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 28,030
Given that there are people with very Vulcan like qualities who never seem to get perturbed about anything and are not prone to ill considered actions, sure it's possible. It all depends on how well they can resist their biological impulses. What makes us persons is that we can choose to ignore what our instincts and biology tell us. Some people give in to every thought and impulse. These people could fairly be called non-persons, IMO, and indeed they tend to be committed either to prison or a mental facility eventually. Most people are slaves to their biology and instincts to some extent, but given that some people can transcend that more than others, I'd say it's quite reasonable to believe that an intelligent species could evolve even further.

It's important to remember that we're the first species on this planet to create civilization. Tens of thousands from years from now, even without us intentionally altering ourselves, we'll be replaced by another species just as we replaced Neanderthals. Other planets might be on their fourth, fifth, or hundredth post-civilization species.
  #43  
Old 01-09-2018, 09:24 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
Israelis.
... Which is why the Vulcan salute is actually a rabbinical blessing?
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #44  
Old 01-09-2018, 09:57 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 82,771
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
I believe you're misremembering. In "This Side of Paradise," no one was ever in danger of dying from the spores. Quite the opposite. They were protected against the Berthold rays bombarding the planet and were left in perfect health when their emotional influence was overcome..
When Spock was hit with the spores, his reaction was to wince in physical pain, and his "girlfriend" made a comment about how no one else had been affected like that. You're right in that I don't think they said anything about dying, but it was not a pleasant experience for him like it was for the others.
  #45  
Old 01-09-2018, 10:52 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
When Spock was hit with the spores, his reaction was to wince in physical pain, and his "girlfriend" made a comment about how no one else had been affected like that. You're right in that I don't think they said anything about dying, but it was not a pleasant experience for him like it was for the others.
True, his immediate physiological reaction was one of distress, but it passed quickly and left him with no ill effects (other than the contentment the spores gave him---if one considers that an "ill effect").
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #46  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:34 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Indian Land, S Carolina
Posts: 13,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
When Spock was hit with the spores, his reaction was to wince in physical pain, and his "girlfriend" made a comment about how no one else had been affected like that. You're right in that I don't think they said anything about dying, but it was not a pleasant experience for him like it was for the others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by terentii View Post
True, his immediate physiological reaction was one of distress, but it passed quickly and left him with no ill effects (other than the contentment the spores gave him---if one considers that an "ill effect").
Here is the scene in question:

Spock kisses Leila

Whether the original distress was physiological, or simply a result of his mental attempt to reject the influence of the spores is not clear.

It is, btw, one of my favorite Star Trek episodes.

Last edited by DSYoungEsq; 01-09-2018 at 11:35 PM.
  #47  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:37 PM
I wasn't truly absent I wasn't truly absent is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: hell
Posts: 52
I'll be accused of being a bigot I'm sure but a lot of Russian and Polish people who came to live in Ireland in recent years look sort of expressionless and have a very strong "fock you" vibe, I've heard that random smiling and cheeriness are regarded as for well not necessarily for, but rather serve as an indication toward simple-mindedness , from the whole hard times history or something. So in flights of fancy one could draw parallels to Vulcans, if you were the kind of bigoted person who made such heinous observations , probably smiling to yourself while you do it too, you monster!!!!
  #48  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:46 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by I wasn't truly absent View Post
I'll be accused of being a bigot I'm sure but a lot of Russian and Polish people who came to live in Ireland in recent years look sort of expressionless and have a very strong "fock you" vibe, I've heard that random smiling and cheeriness are regarded as for well not necessarily for, but rather serve as an indication toward simple-mindedness , from the whole hard times history or something.
Having lived full-time in Russia for much of the last 30 years, I can tell you yeah, this is a typical reaction if you smile at a stranger there. In East Europe (Poland, the Czech Republic, the Baltics), not nearly so much.
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #49  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:49 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 15,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Whether the original distress was physiological, or simply a result of his mental attempt to reject the influence of the spores is not clear.
I agree; it was probably a combination of both. As noted above, none of the humans reacted the way Spock did.
__________________
I may be a dirty old man, but I'm a GREAT dirty old man!
  #50  
Old 01-10-2018, 01:06 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 37,787
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
No, it's not possible that all children will accept that indoctrination and that none will rebel.
When someone rejects social standards too much we get to put on them a bunch of nifty labels, from Oppositional Disorder to Selfish Jerk. The immense majority of people do learn to say "please" and "thank you", and the immense majority of people also absorb the values of the culture they grew up in. There are cultures which value precission in language and others which do not; all cultures value music but some value playing music more than dancing, some value singing above dancing; some value group work, some are more individualistic. Does every individual share every single value with the rest of that particular group? No, and variations on how many people hold certain valies is one of the ways in which cultures evolve. But those who share enough values, priorities and manners to be able to live in society are the ones who get to stay out of jail and of the local psychiatric.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
Israelis.

Stranger
I don't think they argued enough for that.
__________________
Life ain't peaches and cream, but sometimes it's laughing your ass off when you have no ass. - WhyNot

Last edited by Nava; 01-10-2018 at 01:08 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017