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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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Jul 31, 2017
Star Trek Philosophy of Education.  

An advanced future civilization such as the United Federation of Planets would surely have an equally advanced educational system. After all, we are told in Star Trek: The Next Generation that 24th century schoolchildren learn calculus in grade school aboard the Enterprise! But other than an accelerated math curriculum, what are the defining characteristics of the educational system and the philosophy of education within in the Star Trek universe?  

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss 24th century philosophy of education. From Wesley Crusher's Starfleet Academy entrance exam and future educational technology, to issues of multiculturalism and pluralism in education aboard Deep Space Nine, Zachary and Mike go back to school for a refresher course on all things education in the Star Trek universe.  

Be sure to listen carefully! There will be a quiz afterward, proctored of course by Quark's alternate-timeline schoolteacher avatar from the Deep Space Nine episode "Children of Time"!  

Chapters 
Intro (00:01:20) 
Education Improves Over Time (00:05:32) 
The Role of Technology in Education (00:07:42) 
Starfleet Academy vs. Civilian Education (00:10:13) 
"Samaritan Snare" - Specialization vs. General Education (00:13:10) 
24th Century Life-Hacking - The Meaning of Life Won't Be on the Exam (00:17:10) 
Scrubbing Plasma Conduits - Work Ethic, Dirty Jobs, and Intrinsic/Extrinsic Rewards (00:21:27) 
Setting a High Bar and Taking Ownership (00:33:18) 
Educational Simulations and Learning by Doing - Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher (00:37:33) 
Competing Worldviews and Multicultural Education on Deep Space Nine (00:44:59) 
Star Trek EdTech (01:01:12) 
Like Magic - Educational and Technological Utopianism (01:12:08) 
24th Century Homeschooling - Educational Introverts and Extroverts (01:14:29) 
Final Thoughts (01:22:43) 
Closing (01:34:00)  

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) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)  
Jan 16, 2017

Ferengi Virtue Ethics. 

From the fur-wearing, whip-wielding villains of the early seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation to the more developed and nuanced Ferengi in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, profit is the underlying motive for practically all Ferengi action. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss Ferengi virtue ethics, or which character traits uniquely define the Ferengi. But is this drive for profit an essential biological or psychological Ferengi instinct, or is the drive for profit a culturally reinforced learned behavior? Join Zachary and Mike as they discuss the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition and the need for a kinder, gentler Ferenginar. 

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 55 (00:01:43)
Initial Thoughts on the Ferengi (00:02:52)
Rules of Acquisition: Rule-Based Ethics or Virtue Ethics? (00:06:25)
Profitability as an Underlying Ferengi Virtue (00:11:02)
Character Exceptions (00:14:35)
Ferengi Ed-Tech: Quark Speak & Spell (00:18:23)
Nature vs. Nurture - Instinct or Learned Behaviors? (00:21:10)
Nog - A Ferengi Out of Water (00:26:26)
Human/Ferengi Moral Role Reversal (00:32:58)
Ferengi Stoicism: "Nature Decays but Latinum Lasts Forever" (00:36:46)
How Should Ferengi Virtues Be Perceived by Non-Ferengi? (00:41:58)
Cultural Assimilation (00:46:18)
A Kinder, Gentler Ferenginar (00:49:56)
Ferengi Family Values (00:52:18)
Change of Heart - Saul to Paul and Zek to Rom (01:00:15)
Final Thoughts (01:02:08) 

Hosts
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison 

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

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Jul 18, 2016

Nationalism.  

It is a commonly-held belief that humans in the 23rd and 24th century world of Star Trek have progressed beyond nationalism. The Federation, however, is only one of many intra-galactic nation states. The Federation, the Romulan Empire, the Klingon Empire, and the Cardassian Empire each has its own "national" symbols, colors, political structure, and cultural values. To what extent has the Federation helped humanity transcend the need for nationalism, and to what extent is it still bound by nationalism but on a larger, galactic scale? In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling debate the role of nationalism in the Star Trek universe, asking the fundamental question, "Is nationalism something to be transcended or to be embraced within the idealism of Star Trek's vision of the future?"  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 34 (00:02:02) 
Brexit and Withdrawing from the Federation (00:03:11) 
Bajoran Nationalism - To Join the Federation or not to Join (00:07:03) 
The Pros and Cons of Nationalism (00:09:44) 
Federation Nationalism or Trans-Nationalism? (00:12:05) 
The Causes and Forms of Nationalism (00:22:08) 
Tribalism and Origin Stories (00:25:46) 
24th Century Swag - Trek.fm Nation! (00:42:18) 
Federation National Symbols and Rituals (00:48:24) 
Nationalism and Sports - Take Me Out to the Holosuite (00:51:53) 
Tragedy and Colonialism as Causes of Nationalism (00:59:17) 
Final Thoughts (01:10:14)  

Hosts 
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison  

Production 
Mike Morrison (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Janeway (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)  

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Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm

May 2, 2016

Euthanasia in Star Trek. 

In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, we debate the ethical issue of euthanasia in Star Trek. From the flashback scene of Dr. McCoy removing his father from life support in Star Trek V, to the ritual suicide practices of various alien races, we examine a variety of examples of euthanasia in Star Trek. We also cover several key philosophical distinctions related to euthanasia, such as the distinction between voluntary and involuntary euthanasia and the distinction between active and passive euthanasia, along with competing arguments for and against euthanasia from the different moral standpoints of consequentialism, rule-based ethics, and virtue ethics.  

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 26 (00:02:02)
Greek Etymology of "Euthanasia" - "Good Death" (00:04:45)
Examples of Euthanasia in Star Trek (00:05:29)
Euthanasia in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (00:07:51)
Motivations for Euthanasia - Ending Suffering and Preserving Dignity (00:10:06)
Klingon Euthanasia - A Glorious Death (00:13:50)
Euthanasia and Cultural Relativism (00:18:29)
The Value of Life - Intrinsic Value vs. Instrumental Value (00:19:55)
Voyager "Death Wish" - Is an Immortal Life Worth Living? (00:26:13)
Voyager "Emanations" - Moral Judgments About Other Cultures (00:33:45)
Voyager "Coda" - Euthanizing Captain Janeway (00:40:00)
Key Distinctions - Voluntary/Involuntary Euthanasia and Active/Passive Euthanasia (00:47:15)
Distinguishing Euthanasia, Killing, Murder, and Suicide (00:58:04)
Final Thoughts (01:09:55)  

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)  

Send us your feedback! 
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Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
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Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm  

Feb 22, 2016

Media Ecology with Dennis Castello. 

In the 24th century, is the holodeck the primary mode of media creation and consumption? And if so, what effect does the holographic medium have on Federation society as a whole? In this episode, Meta Treks editor and producer Dennis Castello joins hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison behind the microphone to discuss the sociological sub-discipline of media ecology. 

Media ecology holds that the different types of media a society consumes influence the behavior of society as a whole. This core idea of media ecology is summed up with the phrase, "The medium is the message." Dennis Castello provides an overview of media ecology and its core concepts, followed by a discussion about the role media ecology can play in analyzing different types of media within the Star Trek universe. 

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 17 (00:01:08)
Introducing Dennis Castello (00:01:44)
Media Ecology - The Medium is the Message (00:05:00)
Changing Media Over Time (00:06:54)
Type of Media - Slow vs. Fast Media (00:08:57)
Societal Trend Towards Faster Media (00:12:41)
Content Consumers and Content Creators (00:14:33)
Cycles of Media Technology - Creativity vs. Norms (00:16:18)
Media Ecology and Photography (00:21:40)
Primary Orality vs. Alphabetic Societies and Abstract Thought (00:27:08)
Is Media Ecology Normative or Descriptive? (00:30:19)
Criticisms of Media Ecology - Technological Determinism (00:33:47)
Changing Media - Political Discourse and Star Trek Discussion (00:35:34)
Media Ecology Inside and Outside the Star Trek Universe (00:44:47)
Holography as the Federation's Dominant Medium (00:46:36)
23rd Century Dashcam? (00:56:22)
"Photons Be Free" and Holographic Rights (01:07:37)
Final Thoughts (01:12:14)

Hosts
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison

Guest
Dennis Castello
 
Production
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)

Send us your feedback!
Twitter: @trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm

Support the Network!
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm
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