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Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast

Meta Treks is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated to a deep examination of the philosophical ideas found in Star Trek. In each episode, Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison take you on a fascinating journey into the inner workings of Star Trek storytelling, deeper into subspace than you've ever traveled before.
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Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast
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Now displaying: March, 2018
Mar 21, 2018

TNG Season 5 - Essential Trek Philosophy.  

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling compare their top picks for Essential Trek Philosophy from season 5 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. From transhumanism and a positive spin on genetic engineering in "The Masterpiece Society" to the philosophy of language and an exploration of non-referential language in "Darmok," season five contains some of the philosophically richest episodes in all of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Mike and Zachary also discuss Kantian ethics versus consequentialism in "I, Borg" and medical ethics in the aptly named episode "Ethics," in addition to the unique explorations of the metaphysics of time and the ethics of time travel in "Cause and Effect" and "A Matter of Time."  


Chapters 
Intro (00:01:20) 
The Masterpiece Society (00:06:15) 
Darmok (00:20:03) 
I, Borg (00:47:31) 
Cause and Effect (00:55:37) 
A Matter of Time (01:01:39) 
Conundrum (01:06:59) 
Ethics (01:10:33) 
Closing (01:20:43)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Mark Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Mar 12, 2018

The Conscience of the King.  

To what extent does a person remain morally responsible for his or her actions over time, even after many years or after changes in character and experience? Can people ever change who they fundamentally are inside, or do they merely become better actors playing different roles?  

In "The Conscience of the King" (Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 1), Captain Kirk suspects the 23rd-Century Shakespearean actor Anton Karidian of actually being the (believed-deceased) former governor of Earth colony Tarsus IV, Kodos "The Executioner," notorious for having executed over 4,000 people. Is Karidian really Kodos after all? And if so, is Karidian now a different person, in a moral sense, than the person he used to be? Or is Kodos "The Executioner" still there just beneath the surface and under the guise of Karidian the actor?  

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the philosophical themes of moral responsibility and personal identity over time in "The Conscience of the King," including the inspired use of theater-acting and masks as metaphors for personal transformation, or perhaps the lack thereof.  

Chapters 
Intro (00:01:20) 
Initial Thoughts about "The Conscience of the King" (00:02:30) 
Morality and Identity Over Time (00:10:31) 
Radical Conversion, Paul the Apostle, and Identity (00:16:31) 
The Sins of the Father: Lenore Karidian (00:24:26) 
Caesar of the Stars (00:26:46) 
Kodos and Eugenics (00:32:18) 
Not Very Human (00:41:03) 
Truman on Trial (00:51:29) 
Guilt and Culpability (00:57:10) 
Riley and Revenge (01:00:25) 
Closing (01:14:29)  

Hosts 
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison  

Production 
Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Mark Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

Mar 5, 2018

Drone Warfare and "The Arsenal of Freedom."  

When the Enterprise is sent to the Lorenz Cluster in search of the missing U.S.S. Drake, the crew gets drawn into a life-and-death game of cat and mouse with the demonstration model of an ancient automated weapon system, including increasingly powerful and adaptive autonomous sentry probes. While the concept of automated drone warfare may have been closer to science and military fiction in the late 1980s during the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the philosophical ethical issues related to automated warfare in "The Arsenal of Freedom" are even more relevant today.  

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling discuss "The Arsenal of Freedom" (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1), from the commodification of war within the military industrial complex to the pros and cons of peace through superior firepower. Mike and Zachary also discuss the distinction between genuine artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.  

Chapters 
Intro (00:01:20) 
Initial Thoughts on "The Arsenal of Freedom" (00:02:44) 
Star Trek and Reagan-Era Warfare (00:09:14) 
Data as The Terminator (00:14:31) 
TNG and Virtues of Drone Warfare (00:20:03) 
Peace Through Superior Firepower (00:27:49) 
The Commodification of War (00:41:41) 
Is Technology Morally Neutral? (00:50:58) 
Algorithms vs. Artificial Intelligence (00:56:23) 
Failsafe Failures (01:07:34) 
Geordi and His First Command (01:16:03) 
Dr. Crusher, Medicine Woman (01:25:37) 
Closing (01:34:04)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Mark Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)

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