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[personal profile] collacentaur
I finished watching the animated Star Trek series earlier this week. I had stalled out after several really dreadful episodes in a row. It seems those were the worst of the batch, because the rest were better and some were quite good.

I'm also back to watching Doctor Who. I know better than to try for completing all of that, of course. I'm just watching what's available streaming on Netflix. Tonight I've gone from the third Doctor to the fourth. It's certainly an interesting way to sample the changes in society. I do hope that not all of the companions prove to be so... ordinary. I understand that it's a way to handle the necessary infodump, through the Doctor having to explain everything to the silly widgets. I just think it would be nice if at least one of them could hold an intelligent conversation.

There's a certain amount of humor inherent in buying a brand-new television and then (so far) using it only to watch TV programs older than I am.

Meanwhile, [livejournal.com profile] oidhche and [livejournal.com profile] palingyuan and I are still watching ST:TNG on Friday nights. It's slow going, because we don't get through more than four episodes a night, and we don't do it every week. But there's progress. Last week, the crew visited the colony that had sustained itself by cloning the same five people repeatedly and was suffering replicate fade. When Riker and Troi refused to provide genetic material, they were knocked out and it was taken from them.

This prompted a certain amount of discussion on our part. I agree wholeheartedly with the outrage at the violation and theft. I also agree with the point that even if they had that material, they would just suffer the same problem in another X generations. But I wouldn't have been so offended by the request in the first place. Oid sided with the characters. He said he didn't like the idea of lots of him running around out there somewhere, and was horrified by the possibility of someday coming face-to-face with himself. That doesn't really bother me. Clones of me wouldn't be me. They'd just be people who happened to look like me. Their knowledge and experience would make them very different people. I do feel that anyone who wanted to clone me exactly, without altering or combining the genetic material, would have to be out of their mind. There's too much wrong with me. But if someone wanted to risk it, then I think I'd let them. It would be fascinating to learn about those clones as adults, to see if we had anything in common. What is controlled by nature instead of nurture? I know they do those studies of separated twins. But is a clone the equivalent of a twin?

Then again, my favorite book is Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh. One of the major plotlines of the book is the attempt to replicate an individual after her death, not just physically but psychologically. The clone was raised with as many as possible of the same influences as the original, most memorably including having her foster-mother sent to a far-off space station when she was the exact age as when the original's mother died. The ways in which this succeeded, and failed, and which triggers were or were not necessary, is a large portion of the book and its sequel. So these ideas are not new to me.
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collacentaur

May 2011

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