New World Order: Society, Politics, Law and International Relations in Science Fiction

Introduction

Part A: Society

a. The crews as microcosms of society

b. The Women

c. The Social Outcasts

d. Homosexuality and Lesbianism

e. Inter-Racial Relationships

Part B: Forms of Government

a. Democracies

b. Dictatorships

c. Utopias/Dystopias

d. Other Forms

Part C: Politics and International Relations

a. Overview

b. Treaties and Conventions

Part D: Law and Order through Time and Space

a. Traditional ways of settling legal disputes and reaching verdicts

b. About the contemporary legal system

c. Examples of contemporary Legal Dilemmas

Protection of Privacy

Genetic Engineering/Cloning

Freedom of Information

d. About the futuristic legal system

The Prime Directive

Time Travel and Time Machines

Birth Control

Genetic Engineering

The use of Telepathy and Telekinesis

Criminal Law

Nanotechnology

Cryonics

Definition and Rights of Intelligent Life

Laws of Robotics

Corporate Laws

The Internet and Control of Information

Election Laws and Procedures

Annex 1: List of Peoples and Societies

Annex 2: List of Legal Cases

Annex 3: Bibliography (Partial)

 

 

New World Order: Society, Politics, Law and International Relations in Science Fiction

Introduction

Part A: Society

General

Those who remember Time Trax, the TV show from the 1980', remember that one of its predictions was that in the not so distant future, white males would become an endangered minority in western society. Some claim that this prediction is already coming true in our time, though it may be a while before it reaches the highest levels of society.

Incidentally, it is interesting to note that most of the myths in my list were written before this prediction was made.

Star Trek

Introduction

The creators of Star Trek always took great pride in the ideals of social equality (between sexes and races), justice and ethics that they tried to incorporate into the shows, and won many awards for this. One of the reasons was the diversified ethnic composition of the crews, combined of representatives of different races and species, human and non-human, all living in peace and harmony. An ideal picture Indeed. Or is it?

In the Star Trek Universe there are many kinds of societies, peoples and races. Some of them are extremely stereotyped (The Ferengi = greed, the Borg = resistance is futile), but some of them have a well developed history (and mythology). Here are several examples.

Vulcan

Nietzschean

Ferengi

Klingon

Cardassian

Romulan

See also:

 

Romulan

Bajoran

Borg

Cardassian

Ferengi

And note how a representative of the biggest foe of one show, who turned friend, is always select to join the next show's cast (see Voyager's 7 of 9)...

James bond, for instance, has a leg up in the race with the cinematic franchise of "Star Trek" for confronting the burning social issues of the time, because of the larger number of episodes, as is evident mainly in the changes that took place in the portrayal of the villains over the years, inspired by the historical developments; it should also be noted that Fleming's Bond started out as a chauvinist pig and a right-wing extremist who hated the Beatles, as proven by the following quote from "Goldfinger":

 

"My dear girl, there are some things that just aren't done. Such as drinking Dom Perignon ´53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That's as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs."

 

But don't worry, he grew over it and became politically correct to a fault. He has no problem accepting a female commanding officer and he even allows her to mother him. I’m not sure Flemming would approve, though.

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Psychohistory on the idea that, while one cannot foresee the actions of a particular individual, the laws of statistics as applied to large groups of people could predict the general flow of future events. Asimov used the analogy of a gas: an observer has great difficulty in predicting the motion of a single molecule in a gas, but can predict the mass action of the gas to a high level of accuracy. (Physicists know this as the Kinetic theory.) Asimov applied this concept to the population of his fictional Galactic Empire, which numbered a quintillion. The character responsible for the science's creation, Hari Seldon, established two axioms:

1. That the population whose behavior was modeled should be sufficiently large

2. That the population should remain in ignorance of the results of the application of psychohistorical analyses.

There is a third underlying axiom of Psychohistory, which is trivial and thus not stated by Seldon in his Plan:

3. That Human Beings are the only sentient intelligence in the Galaxy.

This concept is not unique to the realm of Sci Fi. On the 30th of November '02, the Chicago Tribune carried an article about an attempt by a company named ComScore Networks Inc. to apply the principles of psychohistory to forecasting economic trends; An interesting attempt to apply the principles of psychohistory on the Middle East Conflict was also made, but the way to truly predict long term social or economic trends is yet to be found.

Tolkien

Middle Earth is the home of several races coexisting in peace and (relative) tranquility - Elves, Dwarfs, Hobbits and Humans. There aren't many details about the social structure of each of them, but apparently they are all ruled by kings (probably inspired by the British monarchy). The form of government in the Hobbit society, for instance, is unclear. Mayors are elected, but it is unknown whether there is a higher level of government.

Dune

Two main societies – the Empire and the Fremen; Conflicts and intrigue among the three main Houses - Atreides, Harkonnen and Corrino

Star Wars

In the Star Wars Universe, therr are quite a few notable races and peoples, amongst whicih are:

The Wookies

Shaggy giants from an arboreal world, the tall and commanding Wookiee species is an impressive sight to even the most jaded spacer. Despite their fearsome and savage countenance, Wookiees are intelligent, sophisticated, loyal and trusting. Loyalty and bravery are near-sacred tenets in Wookiee society. When peaceful, Wookiees are tender and gentle. Their tempers, however, are short; when angered, Wookiees can fly into a berserker rage and will not stop until the object of their distemper is sufficiently destroyed.

The Gungan

Native inhabitants of the planet Naboo. They are an amphibious species with hardy lungs capable of holding breath for extended periods. As such, Gungans are as comfortable in water as they are on land. While there are a number of different races, most Gungans exhibit the same physical traits. They tend to be tall and lanky humanoids.Their skeletal structure is extremely flexible, as it is made of cartilaginous material rather than hard bone. This makes their faces rather expressive, and makes their bodies more resistant to damage.

Gungans have strong leg muscles for swimming, and are aided by their long fin-like ears. The long Gungan face has a tough yet flexible bill for burrowing and rooting out food. They have long muscular tongues with which they scoop mollusks and lesser amphibians from the Naboo swamps. Their teeth are large and blunt, capable of cracking through shellfish. Their large nostrils completely seal for underwater travel.

While most spacefarers would dismiss Gungans as primitives, they have developed an advanced, albeit unique, technology. They grow the basic structures of buildings, vehicles and technology and adorn them with artistic flourishes and organic lines. This gives Gungan technology a very fluid, non-rectilinear look.

 

The Ewoks

Sentient furred bipeds native to the moon of Endor. They are curious individuals that stand about one meter tall. They are extremely skilled in forest survival and the construction of primitive technology like gliders and catapults. They are quick learners when exposed to advanced technology, however.

The Ewoks accepted members of the Rebel Alliance into their tribe, and allied themselves to their cause. The Ewoks helped in the ground battle to destroy the Imperial shield generator built in their forests, and their primitive weapons felled the stormtroopers and the scout walkers of the Empire. Their help paved the way to victory at the Battle of Endor.

Babylon 5 + Crusade

The Babylon 5 universe is a universe of war and intrigue amongst some major peoples and races, the three most important of which are:

Click here for more:

Vorlon

Minbari

Narn

Centauri

Shadows

Centauri Republic

Earth Alliance

Minbari Federation

Narn Regime

Matrix

Ender

I don't fully understand why a society preparing for war imposes such strict birth control measures, and not necessarily in order to prevent severe over population, that a special permit is required for having a third child. Supposedly, the exact opposite policy, of rigorous birth encouragement, would be in order, unless the assumption is that war is being waged using virtual and technological tools, and therefore there is no need for human soldiers, just for the chosen few who can operate the tools of war…

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

Abydonians

The Abydonians are the people whom Colonel O'Neill's team encounters on another planet in the Stargate Movie. They are the slaves of the alien Ra and are descendants from ancient Egyptians brought through the Stargate to mine the fictional mineral naqahdah. The Moviegives the location of their homeworld (named Abydos in SG-1's pilot episode "Children of the Gods") as the Kaliem galaxy "on the far side of the known universe" in the Movie, and as the closest planet to Earth in the Stargate network in "Children of the Gods". In the Movie, O'Neill and Daniel Jackson inspire the Abydonians and their leader, Kasuf, to rise up against Ra. The military personnel return to Earth, while Daniel falls in love with Kasuf's daughter Sha're and remains behind.

 

Stargate SG-1

 

In "Children of the Gods", set a year after the Movie, the Goa'uld Apophis attacks Abydos, abducting Sha're and her brother Skaara to serve as hosts for his queen Amonet and son Klorel. In season 6's "Full Circle", the Goa'uld Anubis destroys Abydos, but Oma Desala helps its entire population Ascend.

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

Satedans

The Satedans are the people of Ronon Dex, who joins the Atlantis Expedition in the season 2 episode "Runner". In that episode, it is revealed that the Satedans were a civilization comparable in technology to Earth in the mid-20th century, but met the fate of all advanced civilizations in Pegasus when their homeworld Sateda (P3R-534) was devastated seven years ago by the Wraith. In "Trinity", Ronon discovers that some 300 Satedans survived the attack in shelters west of the capital and later moved on to other planets like Ballkan and Manaria. In "Reunion", Ronon encounters more Satedans, his former military comrades, who have been converted into Wraith worshipers.

Athosians

The Athosians are a group of hunters, farmers, and traders from the planet Athos. First introduced in "Rising", they are the first humans encountered by the Atlantis Expedition in the Pegasus galaxy. The Athosians were once technologically advanced, but reverted to a pre-industrial state to avoid the Wraith. Following their contact with the Expedition, the Athosians move to Lantea and their leader, Teyla Emmagan, joins Major Sheppard's team. In "The Gift", it is revealed that some Athosians possess Wraith DNA, resulting from an old Wraith experiment to make humans more "palatable". This allows these individuals to sense the presence of Wraith, to tap into their telepathic communications, and to control Wraith technology. In the third season episode "The Return", the Athosians are asked to leave Lantea by a group of surviving Ancients reclaiming Atlantis from Earth. The Athosian population is subsequently found to have disappeared from New Athos in "Missing". The search for the missing Athosians and their fate at the hands of the rogue Wraith Michael contributes to a major plot arc near the end of the fourth season.

Genii

The Genii appear to be simple farmers, but are in fact a military society with technology comparable to 1940s Earth. First appearing in "Underground", the Genii were once a formidable human confederation until the Wraith vanquished the Ancients 10,000 years ago, and the subsequent victory forced them into hiding in subterranean bunkers during cullings. They have since built their entire civilization underground, and devoted their existence to developing technology such as fission bombs to destroy the Wraith. Their collective desire for revenge has made them paranoid and hostile towards others and they pursue their aims regardless of the cost to anyone else. They become enemies of the Atlantis Expedition in the first season when they attempted to seize an SG team's puddle jumper and weapons, and once tied to invade Atlantis, though after a coup d'etat in the second season they have been more favorable towards cooperation with the city.

Cowen - Colm Meaney

Commander Acastus Kolya – Robert Davi

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

Harry Potter

The wizarding society is divided into two main groups - pure blooded and half-blooded (born to one or two Muggle parents). Up to Dumbledore death, both groups enjoyed full equality even thought there were those who opposed to it and favored purity of blood.

The Dark Tower

Ka-tet

A ka-tet is a group of beings brought together by ka.

"We are ka-tet. We are one from many," says Roland Deschain on the day before the Battle of Algul Siento.

Ka-tet is the belief that a group of people can be tied together by fate, or ka. It is said that a group has shared "khef" or the water of life. Sometimes the symbol of water is used literally, as in a ritual Roland and his ka-tet performs the night before the battle of Algul Siento.

In the seventh novel, Susannah Dean, who ends up understanding ka maybe more than Roland himself, concluding that in simple terms, "ka-tet" means family. This a concept frequently used by King, even in books that do not use the terms ka or ka-tet, such as It, The Stand, Desperation, Insomnia, Dreamcatcher, and Duma Key. (See Kurt Vonnegut's "karass").

Other Examples:

a. The crews as microcosms of society

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

The crew of the Enterprise, the first spin off in chronological order, is comprised of Vulcan officer T’pol (Spock’s ancestor), the Denobulan Dr. Phlox, a Japanese communications officer (see Sulu), an Englishman and an American (See Bones and McCoy). The Commander (penot in T’pol’s mind…) is a white American.

• Scott Bakula as Capt. Jonathan Archer

• Jolene Blalock as Subcommander T'Pol

• John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox

• Dominic Keating as Lt. Malcolm Reed

• Anthony "A.T." Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather

• Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato

• Connor Trinneer as Cmdr. Charlie "Trip" Tucker

ST-TOS

The crew of the original series is comprised of Mr. Spock (Vulcan father, Human mother), A Scotsman (Scott), a Japanese (Sulu) and an African-American (Uhura, her kiss with Kirk was the first inter-racial kiss ever seen on American TV) and a Russian. (Chechov, during the peak of the cold war and the space race). What could be more idyllic? Oh, yes, the Commander is a white American.

ST-TNG

The TNG crew is comprised of Data the Android (Spock’s replacement as the Voice of Reason), Worf (the first Klingon officer in Starfleet), Geordie Laforge (both black and blind) and counselor Troi; The Commander is a Human American Starfleet officer, though of European descent (apparently considered more privileged in the 25th century), at a time when most of the villains in James Bond Movies, for example, were European.

The Vulcans, incidentally, disappeared. In the new Movie (2009), which takes place at the time of the original series, we find out that their home world was destroyed and they became extinct.

ST-DS9

DS9 is an ex-Cardassian space station controlled by the Federation. It houses many races and its crew is racially mixed comprising, among others, of a black Klingon, a Bajoran, a Trill, an entire Ferengi family and a changeling. The Commander is a Human (African) American Starfleet officer.

The creators did attempt to include references to racial tensions (especially in episodes taking place on Earth).

• Avery Brooks as Cmdr./Capt. Benjamin Sisko

• Rene Auberjonois as Odo

• Nana Visitor as Maj./Col. Kira Nerys

• Alexander Siddig as Dr. Julian Bashir

• Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien

• Armin Shimerman as Quark

• Terry Farrell as Lt. Jadzia Dax [ 1-6 ]

• Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko

• Michael Dorn as Lt. Cmdr. Worf [ 4-7 ]

• Nicole deBoer as Lt. Ezri Dax [ 7 ]

ST-Voyager

Among the crewmembers of the Voyager we find Seven of Nine (a Borg) and a black Vulcan (for the first time, I believe). The Commander is an woman (but still, an American).

• Kate Mulgrew as Capt. Kathryn Janeway

• Robert Beltran as Cmdr. Chakotay

• Roxann (Biggs-) Dawson as Lt. B'Elanna Torres

• Robert Duncan McNeill as Lt. (later Ensign) Thomas Eugene Paris

• Ethan Phillips as Neelix

• Robert Picardo as the Doctor

• Tim Russ as Lt. Tuvok

• Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim

• Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine [ 4-7 ]

• Jennifer Lien as Kes [ 1-3 ]

• Majel Barrett as the Voice of the Computer

ST-Andromeda

The crew of the Andromeda, which is also a part of Roddenberry’s legacy but takes place in a more distant future, is also ethnically varied – two white Americans, one Android played by a Philipino actress, one Magog and one undefined, but the commander id still… yes, you’ve guessed it, a white American (Correction – allegedly he is of mixed origin, since his mother was a Heavy-Worlder (descended from a race of superhumans genetically engineered to live on the harsh and hostile environments of high-gravity alien planets. Later on we find out that he is part Paradine, which technically makes him the only Captain in the Star Trek Universe who is not entirely Human).

• Kevin Sorbo as Capt. Dylan Hunt

• Lisa Ryder as Beka Valentine

• Gordon Woolvett as Seamus Harper

• Lexa Doig as Andromeda / Rommie

• Laura Bertram as Trance Gemini

• Keith Hamilton Cobb as Tyr Anasazi [ 1-3 ]

• Steve Bacic as Telemachus Rhade [ 4-5 ]

• Brent Stait as Rev Bem [ 1 ]

• Brandy Ledford as Doyle [ 5 ]  

Asimov

Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring is composed of three (?) Humans, four Hobbits, an Elf and a Dwarf, not a very equitable representation….

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

An international space station manned by a mostly human crew and inhabited by many other species. The commanders are military men subject to Earth Alliance (at least until the rebellion and the secession).

• Bruce Boxleitner as Captain/President John J. Sheridan [ 2-5, TVMs 1-4 ]

• Claudia Christian as (Lt.) Commander Susan Ivanova [ 1-4, TVM 2 ]

• Jerry Doyle as Michael Alfredo Garibaldi [ pilot, 1-5, TVMs 3-4 ]

• Mira Furlan as Delenn [ pilot, 1-5, TVMs 1-2 ]

• Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin [ 1-5, TVMs 1-3 ]

• Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto [ 1-5, TVM 2 ]

• Bill Mumy as Lennier [ 1-5 ]

• Andreas Katsulas as G'Kar [ pilot, 1-5, TVM 1 ]

• Peter Jurasik as Londo Mollari [ pilot, 1-5, TVM 1 ]

• Michael O'Hare as Commander Jeffrey David Sinclair [ pilot, 1, eps 60-61, TVM 1 ]

• Tracy Scoggins as Captain Elizabeth Lochley [ 5, TVMs 3-4 ]

• Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander [ pilot, 2-5, TVM 2 ]

• Andrea Thompson as Talia Winters [ 1-2 ]

• Julie Caitlin Brown as Na'Toth [ 1, ep 98 ]

• Mary Kay Adams as Na'Toth [ 2 ]

• Robert Rusler as Lt. Warren Keffer [ 2 ]

• Jason Carter as Marcus Cole [ 3-4 ]

• Jeff Conway as Zack Allan [ 2-5, TVMs 2-4 ]

Crusade

• Gary Cole as Capt. Matthew Gideon

• Tracy Scoggins as Capt. Elizabeth Lochley

• Daniel Dae Kim as Lt. John Matheson

• David Allen Brooks as Max Eilerson

• Peter Woodward as Galen

• Marjean Holden as Dr. Sarah Chambers

• Carrie Dobro as Dureena Nafeel

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

The SG-1 crew members, except for Teal’c are career air force officers and marines, and here too, the crews are microcosms of their universe.

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

Joe Flanigan as Lt. Col. John Sheppard

David Hewlett as Dr. Rodney McKay

Rachel Luttrell as Teyla Emmagan

Jason Momoa as Ronon Dex

David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka

Torri Higginson as Dr. Elizabeth Weir

Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett

Mitch Pileggi as Col. Steven Caldwell

Amanda Tapping as Col. Samantha Carter]

Rainbow Francks as Lt. Aiden Ford

 

Stargate Universe

 

Robert Carlyle as Dr. Nicholas Rush

Justin Louis as Col. Everett Young

David Blue as Eli Wallace

Brian J. Smith as Lt. Matthew Scott

Jamil Walker Smith as Msgt. Ronald Greer

Elyse Levesque as Chloe Armstrong

Alaina Huffman as Msgt. Tamara Johansen

Ming-Na as Camile Wray

Lou Diamond Phillips as Col. David Telford

Patrick Gilmore as Dale Volker

Peter Kelamis as Adam Brody

Julia Anderson as Vanessa James

 

 

 

Harry Potter

Harry, Ron and Hermione

The Dark Tower

Through his actions both in his world, and in Eddie, Susannah, and Jack Mort's world, Roland saves Eddie and Susannah. He saves Eddie by curing him of his addiction and bringing Susannah, whom Eddie loves. He saves Susannah by helping her fuse her former personalities, Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker, into a stronger single personality, Susannah Dean. Both owe their lives to Roland, and Roland is acutely aware that he may need to sacrifice them to reach the Tower. Each of these people is essential for Roland to continue his quest. They are all part of a ka-tet, defined as "one made from many" and "sharing the same destiny."

Roland Deschain

A cold blooded gunslinger, the only thing faster than his hands are his whistling bullets.

Jake Chambers

The symbolic (and later adopted) son of Roland. First appears in the series in the Gunslinger but gets killed by the second half of the book. Returns to life and the Dark Tower in the third book, the Wastelands

Eddie Dean

"The Prisoner" is Eddie Dean, a heroin addict who is in the process of smuggling cocaine for the drug lord Enrico Balazar. Since Eddie was headed deeper into addiction (at the hands of his brother Henry) or prison (at the hands of the government), or worse (at the hands of his drug lord), he decides to throw his lot in with Roland, although with deep misgivings that he occasionally gives vent to in the form of angry outbursts.

Susannah Dean

"The Lady of Shadows," so called for her multiple personalities and metaphorically, multiple shadows, is Odetta Holmes, a black woman who is active in the civil rights movement. She is wealthy and missing her legs below the knees after being pushed in front of a subway car by a person named Jack Mort. Odetta is completely unaware that she has an alternate personality, a violent, predatory woman named Detta. Roland and Eddie are forced to contend with both of these personalities when Odetta's body is forcibly abducted into their world.

Oy

An unusually intelligent billy-bumbler (which looks like a combination of badger, raccoon and dog with parrot-like speaking ability, long neck, curly tail, retractable claws and a high degree of animal intelligence), named Oy by Jake.

Other Examples:

b. The Women

General

Star Trek

Introduction

The Female characters in the different spin offs of Star Trek made long strides from ornaments in mini skirts saying "Yes, Captain" and "no, Captain" (, even Uhura, who was both female and black, and Troi were no more than that) to the strong, opinionated characters like Kira, Dax's two incarnations, Janeway and T'pol. Incidentally, in the latest Star Trek motion picture (2009), Uhura’s character received a serious upgrade (accompanied by a change of wardrob) and they even gave her a love affair with Spock.

 

On the other hand, female Admirals were seen in all the spin-offs of the show, even though there were hardly any women in the middle levels of command, except maybe Tasha Yar, the Chief Security Officer who preceded Worf, and Dr. Beverly Crusher, who to the best of my recollection was the only woman in the Enterprise’s chain of command who actually got to command the vessel, if only for a short time. In Enterprise too we saw in one of the episodes a sister ship of the Enterprise which was commanded by a woman.

 

All of this makes you wander how all those female Admirals reached their lofty positions, and explains, perhaps, some of the many cases in which male Captains refused to obey orders which they considered morally unjustified or illegal, and they got in a lot of trouble for this (until, of course, they were vindicated).

 

In the Star Trek motion pictures, women did get assigned to command positions (Kirstie Alley in one of her first roles, and Persis Khambatta who disappeared since and passed away).

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

Both the Klingon warrior society and the spiritual Bajoran society are described as being more egalitarian towards women. The former is a Matriarchal society in which women control the family and fight as equals alongside the men; in the latter, they can become a supreme spiritual leader, or Kai, both for good (Opaka) and for bad (Winn).

ST-Voyager

See Captain (later Admiral) Kathryn Janeway, the captain of the USS Voyager and the only senior female officer in the Star Trek universe whose climb up the chain of command is well documented.

 

In Nemesis, we are informed that Janeway was promoted to Admiral. Truth be told, she deserved it. She orders Picard around and he obeys.

 

And why wasn’t Picard promoted to Admiral? This question continues to haunt Star Trek Fans to this very day…

ST-Andromeda

We see three strong female characters – Rommie-Andromeda, Trans Gemini and Becca Valentine, who can each wrap Dylan Hunt around her little finger, not necessarily un minimal dress.

Asimov

Dr. Susan Calvin was the chief robopsychologist at US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc., the major manufacturer of robots in the 21st century. She was the main character in many short stories from the books I, Robot and The Complete Robot.

Susan Calvin was born in 1982 (the same year her eventual employer was incorporated) and graduated from Columbia University in 2003. After post-graduate research in cybernetics, she joined US Robots in 2008 as their first Robopsychologist.

Typically, Asimov portrays Dr. Calvin as a highly driven woman, focused on her work and divorced from normal emotions, almost more "robotic" than her mechanical characters. She likes robots considerably more than human beings; in "Evidence", when asked "Are robots so different from men?", she replies, "Worlds different. Robots are essentially decent." Asimov's own stories leave her misanthropy largely unexplained, but Harlan Ellison's screenplay adaptation of I, Robot investigates its origins, in the end concluding that her attitudes are rather well-founded.

One of the continuing themes in Asimov's work is the essential irony that, although the Three Laws of Robotics make robots value human beings over themselves, Susan Calvin's estimation of robotic decency may not be entirely wrong.

An excerpt from I, Robot has this to say about Dr. Calvin: "She is a small woman, but there is a towering strength in her face. Tensile strength, that speaks to endurance, to maintaining in the imperfect world. Her mouth is thin, and her face pale. Grace lives in her features, and intelligence; but she is not an attractive woman. She is not one of those women who in later years it can be said of them, 'She must have been a beauty when she was younger.' Susan Calvin was always plain. And clearly, always a powerful personality."

It was not until a mention of her in The Robots of Dawn, Asimov's third Elijah Baley Robot novel, that the events of her era (the 21st century) were concretely tied into those of Baley's era, at least two-and-a-half millennia further into the future, and thus into the greater Foundation universe as a whole.

Susan Calvin died in 2064, shortly after retiring from US Robots.

Tolkien

Interestingly enough, there are no women in the Fellowship of the Ring (Arwen does not count).

Dune

In the Dune universe there are several prominent female characters, and they come from every level of society, starting from the Order of Bene Gesserit, whose members, from junior to senior, have a hand in everything from behind the scenes, scheme schemes and match matches, all part of their plan to bring about the birth of the Kwisatz Haderach.

 

In the Empire we have women like Jessica and Lady Fenring, who supposedly belong to the upper class, but they pay dearly for it; in order to play the part assigned to them in the master plan, they were forced to marry against their will; Nor could they bear children by choice. Even Princess Irulan, the Emperor's daughter, does not marry a man of her choice, but rather as a part of the peace agreement between the Emperor and the Fremen (although I do not remember her voicing any hysterical objection to the marriage with Paul).

 

In the Fremen society, however, we find Chani, a leader's daughter and a leader's wife, but never a leader in her own right, though she is Paul's mistress and the mother of his children. We also find Harah, a warrior and a warrior's wife, who is forced to join Paul's household with her children after Paul kills her husband in a ritual fight according to Fremen custom.

Than there is Alia, the freak, the abomination, who has no defined position in society.

Incidentally, all the above examples are taken, to some extent, from familiar feudal models. On the whole, not a very rosy picture of the position and status of women in the Dune Universe.

Star Wars

The three main female characters of the Saga belong to three generations – Princess Leia, her mother Padme Amidala, and Anakin's mother. The first two appear to be strong and opinionated – Leia is a formidable warrior, Padme is a politician, a queen and a senator – while Anakin’s mother cannot exist independently except as "the mother of."

Babylon 5 + Crusade

We see from the beginning strong female characters in middle levels of command - my interim rank of the command (Ivanova, Takashima, Leeta, Lockley, and not only among Humans – see Delenn), but there were all sorts of female Admirals and senior commanders who that were created only so that the male commanders in the field could disregard their orders… By the way, one of the most notorious villains of the show was also a woman (Deathwalker).

The two female members of the Crusade crew are a thief (the last of her kind?) and a doctor

Matrix

Just like Terminator's Sarah Connor (and perhaps Lilly Potter, and Stargate SG-1's Samantha Carter), Trinity is only the Savior's right hand and protector, but never the Savior herself, and just like her she dies before he fulfills his destiny, even though she is an indomitable warrior in her own right.

Ender

In Ender’s universe there is no unusual discrimination against women. The main three female characters in Ender’s life are:

Ender’s mother

Irrelevant

His sister Valentine

His helper in times of need, if not his sidekick, at least the Woman Behind the Man

His wife Novinia

Ender had only what could be described as platonic relationships with women until he married Novinia

Stargate

The Movie

 

Stargate SG-1

 

Samantha Carter – both an opinionated scientist and a formidable warrior

Vala Mal Duran – starts out as a seducer and a schemer who gets Daniel in trouble and becomes an equal member of the team

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

Dr. Weir – a scientist, none of the male team members has ever tried to make a pass at her (why?) She gave up a relationship in order to join the Atlantis Project.

Teyla Emmagan – a warrior who chooses ideals over Ronon’s advances.

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

See Hermione, see McGonagall

For an (almost) complete list of the women in Harry Potter's world click here.

The Dark Tower

One main female character – Odetta-Detta- Susannah (A Trinity?)

Other Examples:

c. The Social Outcasts

General

Star Trek

Introduction

In the Star Trek universe, the attitude towards the social outcast (which, as we know, is one of the main characteristics of the true nature of a society) is really not as different as we would like to think from the prevailant attitude in the real world, and not just in human societies.

 

Ostensibly, the only society that can take all the outcasts in is human society, and more accurately the harsh framework of Starfleet, but most of them cannot find their place there and are forced to deal again and again with dilemmas of conflicting loyalties.

ST-Enterprise

T'pol

ST-TOS

Mr. Spock, the ultimate Vulcan, is a social misfit among his people; His mother was Human and he joined Starfleet against his father’s wishes.

ST-TNG

Klingon Worf is considered a traitor for not following the acceptable Laws of Honor of his people.

ST-DS9

An entire Fernegi family, each of its members being a misfit and suffering because of it. Ishka, the Matriarch, is a warring feminist with an acute business sense, and the financial brain behind two Grand Naguses in a society where women are not even allowed to wear clothes; Her son Rom is considered weak and inferior because his greed is not developed enough (as is evidenced by his smaller than average earlobes), however he proves to be an excellent mechanic and ends up becoming Grand Nagus; his brother Quark, the epitome of greed, fights an ongoing battle against his urges; whereas the grandson, Nog, is the first the Ferengi officer in Starfleet.

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Nietzschean Tyr Anasazi is considered an outcast for failing to act according to the accepted code of honor of his people.  

Asimov

Tolkien

Each of the members of the Fellowship (with the possible exception of Sam) is basically a social misfit - Frodo's pedigree was considered somewhat inferior, Merry and Pippin were two pranksters on the run, Aragorn was an exiled king, Legolas was an Elven prince who believed in coexistence with both men and dwarves, Gimli was a dwarf who was willing to cooperate with Elves, etc'.

Dune

Alia

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

Teal'c

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

Ronon

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Mudbloods

The Dark Tower

Here too, each of the Ka-Tet (including Roland himself) is a social misfit.

Other Examples:

d. Homosexuality and Lesbianism

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Ivanova – both a Russian Jew by origin and a lesbian, but interestingly enough, she didn't become an outcast because of either of those qualities.

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

Non-Existent (the issue never comes up)

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

Non-existents

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

e. Inter-Racial Relationships

General

Star Trek

Introduction

In the different spin offs of the show there were quite a few half-breeds, but in spite of the alleged openness and the enlightenment of the show, in most cases fate hadn’t been kind the mixed couples or to their half-breed children.

And what happens among the humans? Irishman Miles O'Brien is married to Japanese Keiko, and they are the happiest (or at least the most stable) couple in the show. In order to maintain this delicate balance, they gave him both a cute Japanese girl and a cute Irish red headed baby; Both of Sisko’s objects of love, however, were black. Could it be that Avery Brooks was one of the black actors who refused flat out to be caught on screen having an affair with woman who isn’t black?

ST-Enterprise

From the start, the romantic situation between Archer and T'pol is unclear; neither is the situation between Charlie "Trip" Tucker and T'pol. 

ST-TOS

The above-mentioned Mr. Spock (Vulkan father, Human mother).

ST-TNG

Adorable Councellor Troi (Human father, Betazoid mother, Human husband);

 

Klingon Worf (who for some reason cannot find an appropriate Klingon bride…) marries Jadzia, a Trill, and they both have to undergo extensive gene therapy in order to be able to produce children;

 

Alexander Rozhenko, Worf’s son by a Human woman;

ST-DS9

Tora Ziyal (daughter of Cardassian Gul Dukat by a Bajoran woman);

 

Ferengi Rom is married to Bajoran Leeta (they have no children, thank God… his first wife, a Ferengi, Nog’s mother, left him for a richer man);

 

His brother Quark was married to a Klingon woman, though for a short while;

 

Bajoran Kira Nerys had to carry Human Keiko O’Brien’s baby in her womb for a short while.

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Not a single steady relationship – Hunt is too loyal to the memory of his dead wife and too busy reconstructing the Systems’ Commonwealt, Becca is to busy with family affairs, Rommie and Trans Gemini are not Human and Seamos Zelazny Harper is just horny…

Asimov

Tolkien

Aragorn (man) and Arwen (Elf) – She gave up her immortality for him.

Dune

Paul and Chani? Alia and Duncan Idaho?

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

The number of inter-racial relationships is very small The most prominent example is, of course, the affair between Delenn and Sheridan; as I've mentioned before, Delenn had to give up part of Minbariism in order to be with her beloved Sheridan (just like Arwen the Elf gave up her immortality in order to be with her beloved Aragorn in LotR).

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

No lasting romantic relationships (inter-species, same species, same sex or otherwise) buy would you consider Vala or Teila non-human? How about Ronon? Or Teal’c?

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

Teal’c was the only family man in the team, but his wife was a Jaffa like him and when she died he never remarried.

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

Harry Potter

Non-existents

The Dark Tower

Can-toi

The Can-Toi are unofficially but more commonly known as low men, as in Low Men in Yellow Coats, due to their often garish yellow clothing. Their first appearance was in the 1999 collection, Hearts in Atlantis (although coyotes in the 1996 novel Desperation were called by this name) and they later made appearances in the final three novels in the Dark Tower series.

Marvel's Dark Tower Almanac describes the can-toi as being the results of human/taheen interspecies mating, tending to exhibit "the most undesirable characteristics of both species". Unlike the taheen, which have the heads of various animals, the can-toi always have the heads of deformed rats.

The can-toi have extremely poor hygiene (many are infested with fleas and lice), and many carry diseases such as rabies. Their teeth are constantly growing, but are worn down by constant chewing.

The can-toi and humans

The can-toi seem to possess an oddly ambivalent attitude toward humankind, both idolizing and mocking its culture at the same time. Their religion states that the can-toi will replace humans once the Dark Tower falls. Because of this, the can-toi wear synthetic human masks, made from a living latex that is grown by them, which they believe is their first step to becoming human. These masks have bleeding red holes on the forehead in order to breathe, which are described as always welling up but never actually bleeding. These red holes may "dry up" depending on which world they are in.

Their clothing is garish, usually consisting of vibrant colors and clashing patterns. When "Earthside" they tend to get around by driving replicas of classic American cars. Tcars are strongly hinted at being alive; in one instance a tire extruded a tentacle to snatch at a piece of litter.

The can-toi also have a practice of adopting names from American pop culture once they reach adulthood, with occasionally absurd results (such us Van Gogh Baez).

Functions

The can-toi are described as functioning in two major areas of service for the Crimson King: guards at Devar-Toi and as trackers. Their role as guards at Devar-Toi appears to be mostly in subservience to the Taheen supervisors. As trackers, they seem to be allowed a much longer leash as they direct and carry out missions as varied as the recruiting, testing, capture (and in the case of Ted Brautigan, the recapture) of new Breakers and the hunting down of enemies of the Crimson King, such as was described in Wolves of the Calla, through the recollections of Pere Callahan.

The Can-Toi methodology in these seeker/hunter escapades is in-line with their overall absurdist take on human culture. They reach their targets via lost-pet posters and obscene graffiti.

Old Ones

The Old Ones (sometimes also called "Great Old Ones") were a highly advanced civilization known as the Imperium that ruled All-World many centuries before the events detailed in the story. They were obsessed with technological development and saw their inventions as a solution to every challenge, replacing the immortal, magical essence of creation with mortal machinery. The Imperium harnessed the magic of the Dark Tower, using it to travel to other worlds and historical eras so that they could revel in destruction and death. In their hubris, the Old Ones sought to rule the entire space-time continuum, but in order to do this, they first had to destroy and then rebuild the Dark Tower. However, their attempt brought about a great catastrophe that spurred them to wage war against each other. The ancients managed to destroy themselves in one final battle, leaving Mid-world a radioactive wasteland. Technological relics of the Old Ones' era can still be found scattered throughout the land.

Can you honestly say that this doesn’t remind you of the biblical story of the Tower of Babylon?

In the original version of the first Dark Tower novel, The Gunslinger, it was implied that the world of the Dark Tower series is a decayed future version of present-day Earth, thus the Great Old Ones are a future stage in the development of contemporary civilization. However, as the series evolved, it was revealed that All-World (the world inhabited by main character Roland Deschain) and Earth (or, more specifically, "Keystone Earth") are parallel worlds, or different "levels" of the Dark Tower, rather than a single world at different points

Slow mutants

Taheen

The Taheen are mostly mammals and birdlike creatures, and most are under control of the Crimson King. They are first hinted at in the revised edition of "The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger". The Taheen are mentioned but not named when locals describe the kind of horrors that lie beyond Thunderclap. They are described by Roland as "Creatures neither of the Prim, nor of the natural world, but misbegotten things from somewhere between the two." They are sometimes known as "The Third People."

Finli O'Tego, first mentioned in the fifth book, is the best-known Taheen in the final book. Finli is over 300 years old and has the head of a weasel, but brief characters in Song of Susannah and final book include Taheen that have bird heads, such as Meiman (dubbed "Canaryman" by Susannah and "Tweety bird" by Jake for his yellow head) and Jey (who Susannah calls "Hawkman" for his brown feathers).

Taheen are long-lived and, allegedly, superior to humans physically and mentally. Most of them regard humans (or "humes", a pejorative term) as inferior, although some enjoy human arts, such as literature, and some human activities, such as basketball. They are not to be confused with the Can-toi (or low men) who are mostly rat-faced, wear human masks, and are admittedly inferior to humans. In Book VII "The Dark Tower" it is also hinted that they have a culture of their own (a name-change ritual is mentioned) and that their religious beliefs (if any) are quite different (praying seems to puzzle Finli O'Tego).

"Taheen" seems to be plural as well as singular. ("I saw a bird-faced taheen." "I saw some taheen playing basketball.")

Other Examples:

Part B: Forms of Government

General

Every system of government thinks it is the best, the most just and benevolent, to a point that it must dominate all other system of governments around it which are of course inferior, and even destroy them completely if the refuse to acknowledge its superiority. They are all mistaken, of course. And note how we never find out what happens after the rebels (who are also naturally good and just) succeed in overthrowing and replacing the evil government.

Star Trek

Introduction

Is the Separation of Powers Maintained?

ST-Enterprise

The United Federation of Planets was established

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

The structural constraints of the show (the 5 season limit) affected the discussion of social and political issues, but even in such a short period of time the creators managed to squeeze in a lot of social and political turmoil.

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

According to an article entitled Harry Potter and the Separation of Powers: A Law and Literature Review of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by Colette Spanyol, the constitution of the wizarding society is fundamentally unjust because of its ignorance of the doctrine of the separation of powers. This lack of separation of powers leads to tyranny, and this tyranny is exemplified when the principles of natural justice are threatened in the trial of Harry Potter. But it also makes this system of government similar to many others futuristic systems described in Sci Fi and Fantasy.

See:

Article in Wikipedia

Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy, Benjamin H. Barton, University of Tennessee College of Law, Michigan Law Review, Vol. 104, May 2006

Harry Potter and the Separation of Powers: A Law and Literature Review of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Colette Spanyol, Hertfordshire Law Journal 3(1), 12-16

The Dark Tower

Do the police, the president, the government, exist in the Dark Tower Universe?


Some form of a local government does exist, but the State-Federal structure is unclear. For instance, There is no royalty, because the Crimson King is not a king, but a corporate CEO.

Other Examples:

a. Democracies

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

One of the only examples in which we actually see what happens after a successful rebellion is DS9, since the story unfolds from the exact point in time when the Bajorans rid themselves of the occupying Cardassians (assisted by the benevolent Federation), and as we remember, the picture is not exactly idyllic.

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

The Fremen

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Three major races with different forms of government and Earth Alliance

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

Ministry of Magic

The Ministry of Magic succeeded the earlier "Wizards' Council," the earliest-known form of government for the wizarding world. It acts as the Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial authority of the wizarding community in Britain (separate governing bodies for the wizarding community exist in other countries too, such as Norway).

The Ministry's employees appear to be a largely unelected body. The post of Minister itself, however, is an elected position. Who has the power to elect or dismiss ministers is never explained. Nevertheless, both the Minister and the Ministry as a whole are seen throughout the series to be highly sensitive to (and reliant on) wizard publiopinion, which they attempt to influence via the Daily Prophet, the wizarding newspaper. Employment with the Ministry can be obtained right after completion of a wizarding education, though different offices require different levels of education and sometimes specific exam results. The government sometimes appears malicious, and often woefully incompetent, to the point of being unable to detect or prevent an assault on the Department of Mysteries, apparently its most heavily guarded department.

During the Second War, the Ministry of Magic became totalitarian, which led to the close surveillance of those suspected of treason and the establishment of the Muggle-born Registration Commission, putting Muggle-borns on trial for trumped up charges of stealing magic from the wizarding community. After Voldemort's final demise, however, the Ministry was reformed. Among the leaders of the reform were Harry Potter and Ron Weasley in the Auror Office, and Hermione Granger in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and later in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement

Incidentally, Dumbledore was offered the post of Minister of Magic four times, and enjoyed a large support for his candidacy, but he rejected the offer due to his concerns about abuses of power (rings a bell…?

Department of Magical Law Enforcement:

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement, the largest in the ministry, is a combination of police and justice facilities, located on the second level of the Ministry of Magic, and divided into the following Offices:

1. Auror Office

The Auror's mission is to pursue and apprehend Dark wizards. According to Minerva McGonagall, the Auror Office takes in new recruits with a minimum of 5 N.E.W.T.s (with marks no lower than "Exceeds Expectations"). Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Charms, and Herbology N.E.W.T.s as the most appropriate for someone who aspires to be admitted to the training program. A potential recruit also has to pass "...a series of character and aptitude tests.")

Nymphadora Tonks mentions two of the program's courses of study as "Concealment and Disguise" and "Stealth and Tracking" and that the training is hard to pass with high marks (a requirement).

During the First War against Voldemort, Aurors were authorised to use the Unforgivable Curses on suspected Death Eaters. Aurors are also used to protect high-profile targets such as Harry, Hogwarts, and the Muggle Prime Minister

After his victory over Voldemort, Harry joined this Office, follows by Ron. One of the most famous heads of this Office was Amelia Bones.

2. Improper Use of Magic Office

The Improper Use of Magic Office is responsible for investigating offences under the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery and the International Confederation of Wizards' Statute of Secrecy.

3. Wizengamot

The wizard high court of law is known as the Wizengamot. The word derives from the words "wizard", and "Witenagemot" (the Old English word for "meeting of wise men") which was a council of powerful people summoned to advise and appoint kings in Anglo-Saxon England.

 

During the First War, death-eater trials were held by the Wizengamot.

Dumbledore has held the position of Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot for about 50 years, but he is removed during the period coinciding with Order of the Phoenix.

4. Other Offices

The Magical Law Enforcement Squad, which pursues day-to-day law offenses; the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office (Arthur Weasley is first seen in this capacity); the Detention and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects Office (Arthur Weasley is promoted to be its head).

Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes

The Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, located on the third level of the Ministry of Magic, is responsible for repairing accidental magical damage and houses the following offices: The Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, The Obliviator Headquarters (charged with modifying the memory of a Muggles who witnesses incidents belonging to the Wizarding world) and the Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee (charged with explaining any major magical accidents to the Muggles by creating a non-magical reason for the accident).

Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures

The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, the second largest in the Ministry, is located on the fourth level of the Ministry of Magic. It is divided into three divisions (the Beast Division, the Being Division, and the Spirit Division) and contains the Goblin Liaison Office and Centaur Liaison Office. Hermione began her post-Hogwarts career here before transferring to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement in this office.

Department of International Magical Cooperation

The Department of International Magical Cooperation, located on the fifth level of the Ministry of Magic, is similar in function to the real-life British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and various organs of the United Nations. It is an agency that attempts to get wizards from different countries to cooperate in wizarding actions both political and public and it includes the headquarters of the International Magical Trading Standards Body, the International Magical Office of Law, and the British seats of the International Confederation of Wizards.

The Department of International Magical Cooperation by was headed by Barty Crouch Sr. until his death. Percy Weasley started his illustrious career in this department.

Department of Magical Transportation

The Department of Magical Transportation, located on the sixth level of the Ministry of Magic, is responsible for various aspects of magical transport, including the Floo Network Authority, the Broom Regulatory Control, the Portkey Office, and the Apparition Test Centre, that grants Apparition licences to witches and wizards.

Department of Magical Games and Sports

The Department of Magical Games and Sports, located on the seventh level of the Ministry of Magic, is seen as the most relaxed department, responsible for organizing sports events such as the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament. The department includes, inter alia, the British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters, Official Gobstones Club, and the Ludicrous Patents Office.

Department of Mysteries

The Department of Mysteries, located on the ninth level of Ministry of Magic , is responsible for studying particular enigmas (death, time, space, thought, and love) and stores copies of old of prophecies. During Voldemort's regime, the department was forced to lie and claim that Muggle-borns actually steal magic from Pure-bloods, making them "illegal magicals" and allowing their arrest. The reason as to how Muggle-borns acquire magic remains a mystery in the books

Because of the covert nature surrounding this particular branch of the Wizarding government, the Department of Mysteries can be likened to real-world intelligence agencies like the CIA or MI6, in that most of their operations are kept in total secrecy from the general wizard populace. However, the primary operations of the department seem to be more like those of scientists, in attempting to uncover the sources and rules that govern magic.

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

b. Dictatorships

General

(Inter)Galactic Empires, whether or not headed by (evil) Emperors

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

(Inter)Galactic Empires, whether or not headed by (evil) Emperors

Dune

(Inter)Galactic Empires, whether or not headed by (evil) Emperors

Star Wars

(Inter)Galactic Empires, whether or not headed by (evil) Emperors

Babylon 5 + Crusade

(Inter)Galactic Empires, whether or not headed by (evil) Emperors

Matrix

Ender

(Inter)Galactic Empires, whether or not headed by (evil) Emperors

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

c. Utopias/Dystopias

General

The difference between a Utopia and a Dystopia is usually in the eyes of the beholder, thought some Utopias can dictatorships and some Dystopias can be enlightened and democratic (See the Dispossessed by Ursula le Guinn).

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

The Systems Commonwealth was a huge Utopian civilization, spanning three major galaxies of the Local Group. It was founded by Vedrans, the first race to discover slipstream.

The new Systems Commonwealth is ruled by a Triumvirate – a government of three rulers modeled after the Roman Empire (where it failed). It us also unclear why when a Triumvir retires, she is replaced by her sister and there are no general. Free and democratic elections for the office.

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Dystopia

Other Examples:

d. Other Forms

General

1. Hives

One of the few attempts to invent a new kind of a social structure is the Hive society. What is a Hive Society? The most common definition is a society of individuals, all working for a single purpose without any individualism, under the leadership of one Queen. But as we'll see, there are many variations on to this definition.

By the way, in nature, Hives exist only in the insect kingdom. Is that supposed to tell us something?

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

1. Hives

The Borg

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

1. Hives

The Magog, even thought there was an identifiable individual, Rev Bem

Asimov

The Foundation

The Empire

The Second Foundation

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

1. Hives

In the B5 universe, only one race, the Shadows, comes close to the definition of a Hive Society, why? Because we never get to see an individual representative of this race. They are always referred to as the Shadows, in the plural. The Vorlons, however, do have an individual representative, Ambassador Kosh.

Matrix

Ender

1. Hives

the Formics

Stargate

1. Hives

 

The Movie

 

Stargate SG-1

 

Replicators

The Replicators were introduced at the end of the third season of the series. They are a race of intelligent machines, capable of self-replication and able to quickly learn and understand technology. All replicators are built of modular units with independent computing power. The Replicators, who feed on metal, usually appear in the form of mechanical insects, but can also take on human form. Like insects, the Replicators have a Queen, who creates a new generation from available raw materials. The replicators wage an open war against some organic races while completely ignoring the rest, unless they pose a threat to them. The ability to "assimilate" technology and quickly understand it turns the Replicators into sophisticated and dangerous enemies. The Asgard, aided by the people of Earth in their war against the Replicators, realized that the relatively primitive Earth technology and the use of projectile weapons are more effective than their own technology in the war against the Replicators.

In the fifth season it is revealed that the origin of the Replicators, who until then fought the Asgard in another galaxy, is actually in our own galaxy. The SG-1 team discovers their remains on a deserted planet, along with a female Android. When they activate her, they discover that it was programmed with a childish personality and created the Replicators as a game for herself. Initially she could control them, but the Replicators developed free will and destroyed all life on the planet.

The Replicators are the result of an experiment conducted by the Ancients in order to create a nanotechnological weapon to destroy the Wraith completely. The weapon is made of nanite particles programmed to aggressively invade the body of the intended victim and destroy it from the inside (and vice versa, to cure it). Over time the nanites took over their creators and took on human form, and now they are the only weapon capable ostopping the Wraith. However, they also constitute a threat to the Atlantis team, and as part of their war against the Wraith, they kill and destroying worlds populated by humans.

The Replicators are a potent mechanical lifeform using a kiron-based technology composed of building blocks using nanotechnology. They strive to increase their numbers and spread across the universe by assimilating advanced technologies. They are hostile to all other lifeforms in the universe, but are opposed primarily by the Asgard. In the episode "Unnatural Selection", the Replicators developed human-form Replicators, based on the technology they extracted from their Android creator, that appear just like humans and are able to change their form. Standard Replicators are resistant to energy weapons, and can only be destroyed by projectile weapons. Human-form Replicators, on the other hand, are resistant to projectile weapons as well due to the change in their nature from large blocks to smaller units the size of organic cells (cell blocks).

In the episode "New Order (Part 2)", an Ancient weapon called the Replicator Disruptor was developed by Jack O'Neill while he still had the knowledge of the Ancients in his mind. It works by blocking the cohesion between the blocks that make up the Replicators. The Replicators in the Milky Way galaxy were wiped out by the Dakara Superweapon in the two-part episode "Reckoning" at the climax of Season 8. It has been indicated that the Asgard used the same technology to defeat the Replicators in their own home galaxy as well.

Kull Warriors

Creatures created by the Goa'uld Anubis to replace his Jaffa as foot soldiers. They consist of a genetically engineered humanoid form given life using Ancient healing technology, and implanted with a mentally "blank" Goa'uld symbiote to make it subservient. The Kull Warrior is bonded to armor that is impervious to almost all firearms, energy weapons, and explosives. Stargate Command and the Tok'ra eventually find a way to counteract the Kull Warriors' life-sustaining energy.

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

Wraith

The main antagonists in Stargate Atlantis, the Wraith, are the dominant species in the Pegasus Galaxy. They are biologically immortal hive-based humanoids who feed on the "life-force" of humans, causing them to "lose years" in a way similar to aging. The Wraith drove the Ancients out of Pegasus 10,000 years ago; they now maintain the human worlds of the Pegasus Galaxy as sources of food. The arrival of the Atlantis Expedition in the Pegasus Galaxy leads to the Wraith waking prematurely from their hibernation; the human population of the Pegasus Galaxy is not enough to sustain all of the waking Wraith. To sate their hunger, the Wraith try to get to Earth whose population is much bigger than that of the whole Pegasus Galaxy. This can only be achieved either through the Stargate or by getting more advanced Hyper drive technology, both of which are present in Atlantis. After the expedition tricked them into thinking the city was destroyed, the Wraith began a brutal civil war. One Wraith, whom Sheppard named Todd, was particularly cooperative after he was rescued from the Genii by him; Todd subsequently aides the expedition's efforts for mutual gain.

According to the theory, the Wraith originated of in a type of parasitic insect, the Iratus bug, which lives in the Pegasus galaxy and adopts some of the genetic characteristics of its victims, in this case humans found in its home world. They quickly evolved into human-like creatures, which feed on their victims by sucking their life force with the touch of their hands. They have the structure and the behavior of insects, living in a hive-like collective. The Wraith body is free of blocking proteins, which gives the cells an amazing healing ability. As a result, the Wraith live long, do not get old, and are very hard to kill. In addition, they have tremendous physical strength.

Travelers

The Travelers are humans who live on a fleet of ships to avoid the Wraith, introduced in "Travelers". Although not as technologically advanced as the Ancients, the Travelers possess hyperdrives and advanced weapons. Due to their population outgrowing their available space, the Travelers had been forced to abandon some of their people on planets. Their discovery of an Aclass battleship promised to solve this problem, but without the ATA gene they were unable to operate it. They kidnap John Sheppard and extort him to create an interface for them. Though uncooperative at first on account of his abduction, Sheppard and the Traveler leader Larrin eventually came to an understanding after a mutual experience with the Wraith. In "Be All My Sins Remember'd", the Travelers become concerned by the Asuran Replicator threat after one of their trading partners is wiped out. Several of their ships, including their Ancient battleship, join the Atlanteans and the Wraith in battling the Replicators over their homeworld. According to producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, the Travelers were created as a "wild card" along the lines of the Genii, but with advanced technology that would make them a "challenge" for the Atlantis team. Their lifestyle was devised as a way around the established fact that the Wraith wipe out any civilizations that approach them in technological advancement.

Asurans

Artificial life-forms composed of nanites, introduced in season 3 of Stargate Atlantis. They are similar to the human-form Replicators of Stargate SG-1 and so are called that in the show. The Asurans were created by the Ancients to combat the Wraith but were ultimately abandoned for being too dangerous. Extremely aggressive, the nanites thrived and built an advanced civilization. In season 4, Rodney McKay activates the Asurans' attack code, causing them to attack the Wraith, but this eventually comes to threaten all the inhabitants of Pegasus.

Hybrids

A new race created by the Wraith Michael, first seen in "Vengeance". After being outcast by his own kind, Michael sought to combine iratus bug and human DNA to create new followers with the strengths of the Wraith but not their weaknesses. He destroys the Taranians, amongst others, as test subjects for his experiments. The first Hybrids are bestial in appearance, with carapaces and claws. The two-part episode "The Kindred" reveals that Michael has created more "refined" Hybrids using the abducted Athosian population. These Hybrids resemble the Wraith, but do not need to feed on humans. In "Search and Rescue", many of the Hybrids are killed by the destructiof Michael's cruiser, and the rest are captured by the Atlantis Expedition. They are transformed back into their original selves using Beckett's retrovirus. They are interred in a camp on the mainland by the IOA, before being allowed to return to their people. In the episode "Whispers", an Atlantis team discovers one of Michael's labs, containing earlier versions of his Hybrids that incorporate DNA from several other organisms in addition to the iratus bug. These vicious creatures are blind and hunt by sound, and can extrude a fog from gill slits on their necks that interferes with electronics.

 

Stargate Universe

 

"Drones"

The drones are a robotic war system with attack drones and motherships to control them. They appear to attack and destroy all not-self spacecraft. The Destiny crew speculate that their parent civilization is long dead, and that they just carry out their mission to destroy all non-native technology, destroying other races along the way.

"Dust Bugs"

These bugs give the illusion of sand floating around. They can consume large volumes of water at a rapid rate considering they are such small entities. They seem to be intelligent creatures and are passive and helpful unless provoked, in which case they can be extremely lethal. They fly around in "swarms" and will attack together. They were the first species to be encountered in the Destiny expedition, though they were initially dismissed as a hallucination suffered by Matthew Scott. The creatures appeared to develop a rapport with Scott and aided him in his quest for Lime after he offered them water as a test of their sentience. The creatures also revived him on their home world when he collapsed due to the heat, through burrowing into the ground to release some water to wake him.

"Blueberry Aliens"

Not much is known of this species, including their name, but they seem to be a highly advanced race, eager to obtain the Destiny's secrets. They have attacked the Destiny with the intention of boarding it on numerous occasions. They kidnapped Rush and Chloe in an attempt to gain key knowledge of the Destiny. During their captivity Rush had a locator beacon inserted into his body which enabled the Aliens to track the Destiny.

Ursini

The Ursini first appear in "Awakening". They are small bipedal aliens, but are very agile. Their skin is a greenish grey color. They were in pods when Destiny docked with the Seed Ship. These pods were subsequently found aboard a heavily damaged ship floating in space. The pods were uninhabited this time. When Telford was stranded on the Seed Ship with them, they used the pods to transfer their knowledge to him (by the use of a neural interface), and together they repaired the Seed Ship. Eventually they came to the Destiny's rescue when it was being attacked by the same Drone Ships that destroyed the Ursini's ships. It is learned that the seedship Ursini are the last of their race, as no communication with any other Ursini can be established. The Ursini die with the seedship on an attack run on the second Drone Command Ship.

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Did the corporations completely replace the central government? There was obviously a war over the control of the Dark Tower universe between two corporations – the Tet Corporation (controlled by Roland) and the Sombra Corporation (controlled by the Crimson King).

Other Examples:

Independence Day

The invaders are a Hive Society;

I am Legend

Robert Neville logs in his diary an encounter with "a Hive", but that hive clearly has an Alpha Male.

Part C: Politics and International Relations

General

The creators of the myths have always tried to incorporate into their plot lines some prominent social and political issues, such as society, international and global politics, diplomacy, laws of war, contract law, civil and criminal procedure, international law etc’.

The universes that they presented seem to be many light years away from our known universe, but if we review the history of the past hundred years, from before the first world war until today (when there are already those who claim that we in the middle of the third world war), we will find that the similarity is greater than Roddenberry or Straczynski, for instance, would have us think.

Thought they operated in different times, they both based themselves on existing systems of concepts, values and structures (see the diagrams representing the general political structure both universes). It is important to point out that just like in our world, the diagrams present temporary situations, and the names on each side of the triangles are triple can change and do so this without warning, also just like in our world…

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

(Image 3e, mine)

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

(Image 2e, mine)

Matrix

Ender

Mankind ventured out into space and established self-ruled colonies, each populated by one main ethnic group (Portuguese Lusitania, Swedish Trondheim etc'). The colonies are loosely connected to a central government on Earth.

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

The goal of the trips through the Stargate is to create allegiances with other cultures and to find allies in the war first against the Goa'uld and later against the Ori and the Wraith. The problem is that most of the trips that start out as missions of peace and exploration ("Man as an Explorer") end up at best as diplomatic incidents resulting from blatant interference in the affairs of other nations and cultures, and at worst in war.

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The wizarding world maintains strict separation from the Muggle world. Contacts between the Ministry of Magic and the Muggle government take place only in times of emergency or when a new Prime Minster is elected. The Minister for Magic then contacts the Muggle Prime Minister via a wizard's portrait in the Prime Minister's office. The portrait cannot be removed from the wall because of a Permanent Sticking Charm in place. It notifies the Prime Minister of the Minister for Magic's arrival. The Ministers for Magic tend to act in a somewhat patronizing manner towards the Muggle Prime Minister.

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

a. Overview

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

b. Treaties and Conventions

General

Interestingly (and unfortunately) enough, it hasn't occurred to any of the creators (or to anybody else) to publish a full written text of any of the above-mentioned Treaties and Agreements.

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

The convention establishing the United Federation of Planets

ST-TNG

The Khitomer Accords.

ST-DS9

The Temporal Accords of the 29th Century

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

The New Commonwealth Charter

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

The convention outlawing the use of mass drivers by every civilized society (see technical details here).

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The United States, by virtue of its control of the Stargate, is largely responsible for Earth's interstellar policy in the Stargate franchise. More nations gradually come to take part in its use. Following the events of season 3's "Nemesis", Russia briefly establish their own Stargate program based in Siberia, which is terminated and merged with the United States program running out of Cheyenne Mountain shortly after season 4's "Watergate".

The United States and Russia inform the other three permanent members of the UN Security Council (the United Kingdom, France, and the People's Republic of China) in season 6's "Disclosure", in the hopes of pooling their combined military resources to defend Earth against Anubis's fleet. The US President also informs long-time ally Canada about Stargate Command's fleet engagement plans in "Lost City".

After the defeat of Anubis's fleet and the subsequent discovery of the Ancient outpost in Antarctica, an international committee is established to oversee it and the Atlantis expedition. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the signatory members of the Antarctic Treaty (including Australia, Jamaica, Philippines, Portugal, Croatia and Spain) sign the Gate Alliance Treaty, which specifies that all acquired alien technology will be shared between the member nations, in exchange for assistance in keeping the program secret. However, in the following three years, the US military interprets the treaty to only apply to non-military technology, which the Chinese delegate mentions as a sore point in "The Scourge". Still, not all nations have been informed about the existence of the Stargate.

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

In the X-Files, an agreement between East and West requires each party to immediately destroy any captured alien (UN Resolution 1013, it is unclear whether it was adopted by the General Assembly or the Security Council…) The corsortium has dealings with foreign military and intelligence services and with the UN, and some of these intelligence services – the Japanese (731, Nisei), the Soviet KGB (Tunguska, Terma) and the French (Piper Maru) spy afer the Consortium and plot to steal its secrets.

 

Part D: Law and Order through Time and Space

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

a. Traditional ways of settling legal disputes and reaching verdicts

General

The Code of Hammurabi

Hammurabi

1. If any one ensnares another, putting a ban upon him, but he can not prove it, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death.

The old Testament

Hammurabi

2. If any one brings an accusation against a man, and the accused goes to the river and leaps into the river, if he sinks in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river proves that the accused is not guilty, and he escapes unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.

The old Testament

Hammurabi

3. If any one brings an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if a capital offense is charged, be put to death.

The old Testament

Deuteronomy 19: 16-19:

If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother:

Hammurabi

4. If a Builder build a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.

The old Testament

Hammurabi

5. If a man give his child to a nurse and the child die in her hands, but the nurse unbeknown to the father and mother nurse another child, then they shall convict her of having nursed another child without the knowledge of the father and mother and her breasts shall be cut off.

The old Testament

Hammurabi

8. If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or to the court, the thief shall pay thirtyfold; if they belonged to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold; if the thief has nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death.

The old Testament

Exodus 22: 1:

If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

Hammurabi

The old Testament

Exodus 22: 5:

If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

Hammurabi

130. If a man violate the wife (betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who has never known a man, and still lives in her father's house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless.

The old Testament

Deuteronomy 22: 25-26:

But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing…

Hammurabi

The old Testament

Genesis16:9

And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

Hammurabi

196. If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. [An eye for an eye ]

The old Testament

Exodus 21: 24-25:

And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Hammurabi

197. If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken.

The old Testament

Hammurabi

198. If he put out the eye of a freed man, or break the bone of a freed man, he shall pay one gold mina.

The old Testament

Hammurabi

199. If he put out the eye of a man's slave, or break the bone of a man's slave, he shall pay one-half of its value.

The old Testament

Exodus 21: 26-27:

And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.

Hammurabi

202. If any one strike the body of a man higher in rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-whip in public.

The old Testament

Hammurabi

203. If a free-born man strike the body of another free-born man or equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina

The old Testament

Hammurabi

204. If a freed man strike the body of another freed man, he shall pay ten shekels in money

The old Testament

King Solomon's Trial

Medieval Witchs’ Trials - Throw her in the water, if she drowns, she's innocent, if she doesn't, she's guilty and she will burn at the stakes (or hang);

Each party to the dispute will send a champion and we'll let them duke it out;

Let's kill all the lawyers; Self representation, or if you represent yourself you have a fool for a lawyer;

And is ignorance of the law a valid defense against prosecution?

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Wild West Laws?

Other Examples:

b. About the contemporary legal system

General

The Judicial

Civil Law (Vs. Military Law)

Civil

Criminal

Civil-Administrative

(Image 4e, mine)

 

c. Examples of contemporary Legal Dilemmas

 

General

 

When a social process or a technological innovation reach a certain level of maturity or extremity, regulatory legislation is often required. Since legislation usually falls behind technology and ethics, as shown in the following illustration, when we reach the legislation stage, it unusually means that we are too late…

(Image12e, mine)

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

Protection of Privacy

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

Genetic Engineering/Cloning

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

Since the Asgard can no longer reproduce, they perpetuate themselves by transferring their minds into "blank" cloned bodies as necessary. But every time they re-clone the body, it is cloned with the genetic flaw, which resulted from the previous clone. As a result, their physiology has degenerated to the degree that prevents them from ascending to the next plane of existence. They began searching for the Asgard DNA, and as a part of the search a group of Asgards abducted humans for testing, because humans are the ancestors of the Asgard. They were able to slow cloning's diminishing returns by experimenting on humans, but not for long.

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

Freedom of Information

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

d. About the futuristic legal system

General

Neither J. Michael Straczynski nor Gene Roddenberry or the heirs to his legacy (including the creators of Stargate) tried to construct an orderly futuristic legal system, each in his own universe. Instead they all chose to deal with issues of law and justice on a case to case basis. Are there any significant differences between the average modern legal system and the futuristic legal systems, either human or Alien, described in those shows and in others like them? For instance, how do you deal with problems of choice of law and jurisdiction? What are the most controversial legal issues? Since it is clear that our society will be required to deal with those issues in the future and provide legal solutions, just like we are dealing right now with issues such as privacy in the electronic age, cloning of humans and genetic enhancement of food, and since like always, technology is much faster than law, can we use some of the legal solutions already provided in Sci Fi?

Formal Vs. informal;

Rights of the accused;

Choice of Law and Jurisdiction;

On the need for lawyers (and other officers of the court);

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

The Prime Directive

General

One of the most common scenarios in Sci Fi is of course the First Contact with a sentient Alien civilization. In some of the cases of the initiator is mankind, and in others it is the Alien civilization. Naturally, therefore, one of the most common laws in Sci Fi is the law regulating such contacts and encounters, known as the Prime Directive.

This concept of the Prime Directive is based on the lessons of earlier historical encounters between "advanced" and "primitive" civilizations, lessons which were not always implemented. It states that there can be no interference with the internal affairs of other civilizations, consistent with the historical real world concept of Westphalian sovereignty, which is the principle of the sovereignty of states and the fundamental right of political self determination, of (legal) equality between states, and of non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another state.

The concept can also be used as a device for the exploration of interactions between "developed" and less advanced societies without giving the former the overwhelming advantage of easy access to and use of technology, and as a template for stories resembling those of real human societies and their interactions with less technologically advanced societies, such as the interaction between advanced cultures and indigenous peoples.

Acceptance of the Prime Directive wasn't entirely unanimous. There were those who viewed it d as a negative policy, because it prevents introduction of technology (especially medical technology), culture, and resources that may improve quality of life.

There is also a debate regarding the purpose of non-interference. Thought it can be seen as a way of preventing foreign contamination of native unique language and customs, the ends do not justify the means. One opinion was that no matter how well-intentioned, stepping in and effecting changes could have disastrous consequences. Another is the belief that evolution has a "plan" of sorts, driving species toward purposes. Interference would therefore be unnatural, in that it would go against what is supposed to happen to the species in question.

As we are about to see, in Sci Fi there are two main categories of Prime Directives - an overall ban on any kind of intervention, and a more specific ban on sharing advanced technology, and both come in many forms and variations.

Star Trek

Introduction

The introduction of the Prime Directive concept into the Star Trek universe is generally credited to screenwriter Gene L. Coon. According to other sources, science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon was the first to come up with the idea, in an unused script he wrote for the original series, but in fact, the Prime Directive appears fully-formed almost two decades earlier in Robert A. Heinlein's 1948 novel Space Cadet, which describes a military organization bearing a very close resemblance to Star Trek's Starfleet.

In the philosophical view of Star Trek (as expressed in an interview with Gene Roddenberry in the April/May 1991 edition of 'The Humanist' magazine, where he implied that Christian Missionaries were interfering with other cultures – a position which had its roots in his secular- humanistic ideology,) no matter how well intentioned the more advanced people are, interaction between advanced technology and a more primitive society is invariably destructive.

For our purposes, the definition of "Pre-warp" is any culture which has not yet attained warp drive technology. Starfleet allows scientific missions to investigate and secretly move amongst pre-warp civilizations as long as no advanced technology is left behind, and there is no interference with events or no revelation of their identity. This usually requires the use of hidden observation posts, but Federation personnel may disguise themselves as local sentient life and interact with them.

So when is interference forbidden? And when is it acceptable and even necessary, and under which circumstances?

The Prime Directive has been considered as an attitude of moral cowardice by some of the critics, because it can be (and often is) used as an excuse not to act. It has also been criticized for its inconsistency in application, depending on the strategic importance of the planet involved, the circumstances in which a starship crew finds itself, or need to achieve a Federation objective, noting that by 2364, Starfleet had allowed six races to die out. The supporters of the Prime Directive, on the other hand, claim that no one has the right to impose their own standards on others and it is hardly moral cowardice to stick by a difficult, yet ultimately beneficial principle in the face of temptation.

Many accidental violations of the directive have been known to occur when a Federation starship or vessel crashed on a planet that has a pre-warp civilization, and the survivors or the wreckage were collected by the natives, which influenced their society, especially when Federation technologwas recovered and added to the planet's technology.

The Prime Directive has also been broken, ignored or slighted intentionally and unintentionally on many occasions, by all the captains - Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer and Hunt (see also Stargate's O'Neill, Shepard and Ford and Crusade's Gideon, to name but a few).

Still, it's interesting to point out that at least in the Star Trek universe, in spite of the many cases in which humans were prosecuted for violations of the Prime Directive (if I'm not mistaken, Picard holds the record), no conviction of a human for this grievous offence has ever been documented.

The Prime Directive is known to be superseded by only one other directive, the Omega Directive, and there are two special cases in which the Prime Directive does not apply: General Order 24, in which a captain for whatever reason has to destroy an entire inhabited planet's surface, and the Omega Directive, in which a captain is authorized to take any means to destroy Omega Particles upon detection.

ST-Enterprise

The prevailing opinion is that the Vulcans were the ones who initiated the First Contact with mankind, in direct violation of their own Prime Directive (See the Minbari of Babylon 5). In the Movie "First Contact", as we all know, the crew went back in time in order to encourage Zefram Cochran, the inventor of the Warp Drive, to complete his invention (and save Earth from being overrun by the Borg). Cochran's historic maiden voyage attracted the attention of the pointed-eared and sharp-minded Vulcans, and they decided to make contact. This was apparently a very illogical decision on their part, in light of our (and their) knowledge of the history of First Contacts, but go figure a Vulcan mind…

Incidentally, in the episode In A Mirror, Darkly (1), taking place in an Alternate Universe, the unfortunate Vulcan emissary who comes to Earth bearing his greeting of Live long and prosper us murdered by Zefram Cochran…

In the episode Carbon Creek, T'pol tells a surprised Archer the story of an earlier encounter between Vulcans and mankind, which occurred in the 1960' (that is, before the historical encounter with Zefram Cochran and after "Little Green Men"). According to T'pol, a Vulcan vessel crash-landed on Earth near a little remote town (where else) and the three survivors assimilated themselves among the inhabitants of the town, hiding their real identities. One of them even became the Town Hero when he rescued miners trapped in a mine (in spite of the warnings against intervention and "cultural contamination"), and when a Vulcan rescue vessel finally came to pick them up, he decided to stay behind, and if he hasn't died (after all, Vulcans are known for their longevity), then he lives happily ever after on Earth to this very day…

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

By the 24th Century, the Directive was extended to include purposeful efforts to improve or change in any way the natural course of such a society, even if that change is well intentioned and kept completely secret. Later on the Prime Directive was extended to apply not only to pre-warp civilizations, but to any culture with whom Starfleet comes into contact. In such situations, the Prime Directive forbids any involvement with a civilization without the expressed consent or invitation of the lawful leaders, and absolutely forbids any involvement whatsoever in internal politics

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

In the episode Prime Factors, the Voyager crew had an encounter with the Sikarians, who had the technology which could shorten the Voyager's journey home, but refused to share it, citing a policy similar to the Prime Directive - Once the technology is out of their control, it might fall into the hands of those who would abuse it, and their canon of laws strictly forbids that. When a deal was finally made, it turns out that the technology could never be compatible with Federation technology.

The Temporal Prime Directive was formally created by the 29th Century in order to prevent travelers from interfering in the natural development of a timeline. It was enforced by an agency of Starfleet called the Temporal Integrity Commission, charged with the monitoring and the restriction of deviations from the natural flow of history.

ST-Andromeda

The Paradines are referred to both as evolved Vedrans and the first race of sentient beings in the galaxy. According to Trance Gemini, they may have had a "hand in its [the universes'] creation". They are described as beings who are ever present, especially at crucial times in galactic history (such as the fall of the Systems Commonwealth). According to Vedran legend, the Fall of the Systems Commonwealth was foretold, as was the coming of the Spirit of the Abyss and its legions of Magog. A threat of this magnitude spelled doom for all sentient species in the universe, unless they united.

Paradines can also step through time and space, both literally and figuratively. However, these powers are not often used because according to a Paradine, there is too much at stake whenever steps are made (meaning they can interfere in order to help and save but they choose not to do so).

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Babylon 5's Earth Alliance also practices a form of a Prime Directive, as Exec. John Matheson tells his Commanding Officer, Captain Matthew Gideon, who wants would launch a full spread of modified probes uploaded with considerable information about Earth and other Interstellar Alliance worlds (including certain recent events which had transpired aboard the EAS Excalibur) at a pre-hyperspace planet where Humans had been cast (by the local government) in a role reminiscent of the Grey Aliens in our culture, in order to expose the locals to the truth. Naturally, Gideon ignores his Exec.'s warning.

The Centauri

The Centauri are the first Alien race to make contact with Humans in the middle of the 23rd century.

The Minbari

The Minbari made First Contact with Humanity 1000 years after the first Shadows War. The result was as usual catastrophic, and as usual due to mutual misunderstanding.

The Vorlons

The Vorlons uphold the prohibition against intervention, although it is not meant to prevent sharing advanced technology in itself, but to prevent the fall of advanced technology into the hands of those unprepared for it. They denied humanity access to advanced technology, see for example the episode Deathwalker, in which a demonic scientist offered medicine that bestows eternal life, but at a high price - half of Humanity will kill the other half in order to get the medicine. The Vorlons destroyed her and her questionable medicine claiming that "the younger species are unprepared for immortality"; Lyta Alexander also used her telepathic powers in more than one occasions in order to prevent Humans from obtaining advanced Vorlon technology, claiming that they are not ready for it.

Matrix

Ender

The Starways Congress established the law that no alien culture found is to be provided with superior technology or any information about the human society in order to preserve the natural development of the culture. In Speaker for the Dead, this is interpreted very strictly, to the point that the scientists studying the Pequeninos are not allowed to draw blood, for fear of giving the Pequeninos the hint that there is something to be learned from studying blood. The scientists, however, violate the prohibitions.

Stargate

In the Stargate Universe, the Prime Directive as portrayed by Star Trek is hard to follow, as the Stargate network allows even relatively unadvanced civilizations to traverse interstellar distances; Since even the least advanced groups can operate the Stargate, attitudes toward a noninterference policy are varied. The Tau'ri, or humans of Earth, have a totally opposite spin on interference than the Federation, holding it to be Earth's duty to assist humans on other planets, and most other non-hostile races, wherever possible in whatever way possible. However, they never share technology without good reason, and are often hesitant to give away potentially dangerous technology such as weapons or strategically important materials. They also refuse to accept or give technology to any civilization whose morality does not meet accepted Earth standards, including those which practice racial superiority and ethnic cleansing. The relatively middling nature of Earth technology, and the suddenness with which Earth became a major interstellar player, may have something to do with this attitude. For those reasons, The Tau'ri also avoid posing as gods on less-advanced worlds, like the Goa'uld.

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

It is unclear whether pre-ascension, the Ancients used to share technology with other species, but post-ascension they practiced a very strict non-intervention policy, due to their belief in reason and the generally deontological way of thinking. The prohibition may be violated in order to punish another violator under some extreme circumstances.

The Asgard dislike sharing most of their technology, but nevertheless were willing to give technology in gratitude to an inferior race; this is how Earth got its hyperdrive and power source for that hyperdrive. However, they draw the line at providing any form of offensive technology to other races.

The Ori, however, flaunt the technological benefits of Ascension, as opposed to the Ancients, who blocked any attempt to share its secrets; while it cannot strictly be said that they share technology (or that they even have technology to share, other than Ascension), they do interfere with the less-advanced.

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

Any use of magic in the presence of Muggles is strictly prohibited, except in life-threatening situations. When such an incident occurs, the memory of all Muggles involved must be erased at once (see Men in Black...)

Clause 73 of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy reads: "Each wizarding governing body will be responsible for the concealment, care and control of all magical beasts, beings, and spirits dwelling within its territory's borders. Should any such creature cause harm to, or draw the notice of, the Muggle community, that nation's wizarding governing body will be subject to discipline by the International Confederation of Wizards."

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

In Olaf Stapledon's 1937 novel Star Maker, great care is taken by the Symbiont race to keep its existence hidden from "pre-utopian" primitives, "lest they should lose their independence of mind". It is only when such worlds become utopian-level space travelers that the Symbionts make contact and bring the young utopia to an equal footing.

In Jack Williamson's novel The Humanoids, invulnerable robots ruthlessly follow the "Prime Directive", which is to "serve and protect" all humans. It is more closely related to the Three Laws of Robotics. This book was published in 1949, so it predates Star Trek. In The Humanoids and its sequel The Humanoid Touch (1980), the Prime Directive is rather sinister, because the Humanoids take extreme measures to protect humans. This protection even goes against the wishes of the humans being protected. They do succeed in stopping all wars and running a perfect economy. However, potentially dangerous activities such as skydiving or using power tools are strictly forbidden. The Humanoids are so well-designed that all human attempts to thwart them fail. The humans being protected usually disapprove of the Humanoids' restrictions, but any active protesters are drugged into submission.

In Futurama, the Democratic Order of Planets' "Brannigan's Law" is a parody of the Prime Directive, and prohibits interfering with undeveloped worlds. Zapp Brannigan, after whom the law is named, states that "I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's law; I merely enforce it."

In the Animorphs series, the Law of Seerow's Kindness was passed by the Andalites to outlaw the passing of technology to alien species. This law was a consequence of Seerow's Kindness, in which an Andalite named Prince Seerow gave the Yeerks advanced technology, leading directly to their sudden rise in galactic importance.

Sylvia Louise Engdahl's novel Enchantress from the Stars also features the Prime Directive. A member of the original crew is killed upon landing on a primitive planet, Andrecia, when she is shot at. She dies without defending herself despite being able to shield herself using advanced technology.

Thomas Pynchon's 2006 novel Against the Day, a parody of serial fiction, features a young men's organization, the "Chums of Chance", whose Charter includes a paraphrase of Star Trek's Prime Directive, "never to interfere with legal customs of any locality at which we may have happened to touch."

The Swedish artist and poet Johannes Helden made a poetic web-installation entitled The Prime Directive in 2006, located at the Danish virtual exhibition room for visual poetry, literature, and visual art, Afsnit P.

The Star Ocean series of video games features a Prime Directive in all of its titles. For example, the Pangalactic Federation in the game Star Ocean: Till the End of Time has a similar law to the Prime Directive called the Underdeveloped Planet Preservation Pact (UP3), violations of which are only mitigated under situations where there is a significant threat to "life and limb".

Time Travel and Time Machines

General

What is the legal solution to the problems of time travel? One possible solution is to establish some form of a time police…

Star Trek

Introduction

Long before Enterprise was ever written, naturally Jene Roddenberry himself tried to explain how Stardates were calculated in the following words, quoted from Wikipedia :

"This time system adjusts for shifts in relative time which occur due to the vessel's speed and space warp capability. It has little relationship to Earth's time as we know it. One hour aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise at different times may equal as little as three Earth hours. The stardates specified in the log entry must be computed against the speed of the vessel, the space warp, and its position within our galaxy, in order to give a meaningful reading.

It would seem that Roddenberry (by his own admission) did not understand Einstein's Theory of Relativity fully.

For more detail click here.

In all the spin-offs of this show there were many episodes dealing with varied time travel scenarios. In most cases the trip wasn't premeditated, and the destination was random. Needless to say, in the Star Trek universe there are no technological, physical or logical obstacles to time travel.

In all the spin-offs of this show there were recurring plot lines of traveling across parallel universes. In the parallel universe, the good become bad and the bad repent and help the good…

Incidentally, the passage between the universes is usually accidental and caused by some unexplained astrophysical phenomenon not any (a thunderstorm, a radiation anomaly, etc'…)

Before the 29th century, there was no law against the construction and the use of time machine (even if there was, no self-respecting Starfleet Captain would have obeyed it); Still, the prohibition against interference and change was well established (see First Contact, Prime Directive), and the results of such change are usually disastrous. There is also a strict prohibition against a "meeting with self" (either younger or older), although when such an encounter does take place, usually it causes no change, catastrophic or other. The Law against time travel was enacted only in the 29th century, but allowed time travel for historical research purposes. Yet, the human race was not the only one dealing with the issue of outlawing the building of time machine and their use.

For a detailed list of examples click here

 

ST-Enterprise

The Vulcan Science Directorate was the head scientific authority of the Vulcan High Command, well known for its reluctance to embrace unorthodox ideas.

The Vulcan Science Directorate has studied the question of time travel in great detail. By the mid-22nd century, they found no evidence that it exists or that it can exist, ultimately believing that its concept was "illogical". However, the Directorate had no trouble accepting the existence of time travel, micro-singularities or the notion that regions of space in the Delphic Expanse fail to conform to the laws of physics.

In the first 3 seasons of the show there is a recurring plot line involving time travel and traveling across parallel universes, and the Vulcan Science Council's statement that time travel is impossible is mentioned more than once; However, this statement contradicts the fact that both in the "real" world (even according to Einstein's Theory of relativity) and in all of the Star Trek shows, every trip through hyper space (or any other form of FTL travel) is necessarily a trip through time. But was the Vulcan's denial of time travel motivated by other considerations, or maybe the writers were just confused?

The Vulcans, by the way, have other methods of communicating across time, so they have no need for time machines (see "the Vulcan Trilogy").

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

In this Star Trek spin-off, set in a time centuries after the "Voyager", period, of the theme of crossing between parallel universes (and time travel) appears in almost every episode, and every trip through time is also a trip through space, and vice versa ...

After the entire High Guard is surprised at first battle of the Nietzschean uprising, Captain Hunt is forced to evacuate his ship, the Andromeda, but the ship is trapped at the edge of an event horizon of a black hole and it frozen in time.

303 years later, the crew of the rescue ship "Eureka Maru" finds Hunt's ship. When Hunt discovers that the entire Systems Commonwealth and the High Guard have fallen during the centuries in which he was frozen in time, with the beginning of the period known as "the Long Night", he enlists the rescue ship's crew to join him in an attempt to restore the Systems Commonwealth and "rekindle the light of Civilization"

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

All through the Saga there is no mention of time travel or the relativity of FTL travel – Space travel is space travel and not time travel.

Babylon 5 + Crusade

See the legend of Babylon 4.

Matrix

Ender

FTL travel according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Stargate

 

A system of Stargates allows for the creation of stable wormholes and is used as a shortcut for inter-planetary travel. It was built by a race known by the original name the Ancients, discovered foe the first time in Egypt in 1912. The wormhole created by the Stargate stays open for 30 minutes only.

In the three universes of this show, the Ancients are described as having time travel capability, and one of them even built a time machine, ignoring the explicit (but rationalized with all the usual clichés) prohibition by the leadership.

There are also ring transporters and ray transporters used for traveling short distances, but the principle is the same - molecular disintegration.

The show presents some very creative ways of preventing "a meeting with self" in time travel, but in a parallel universe scenario, such a meeting can take place with no incident.

Another preferred method of time travel is the use of a quantum mirror, a device of unclear origin and specification, but apparently a kind of a super-computer, made Naquadah, which can also serve as an illustration aid to Hugh Everett's multiverse theory. It is equipped with a "remote" that allows the traveler to choose the desirable dimension (The same principle was used in Sliders, but we saw only the Remote in action).

The use of the quantum mirror nullifies the existence of "two versions of self" in the same universe and the return to the "original universe" is described as the "rubber band effect".

Incidentally, the Asgard have a time dilation device which makes freezing time possible within the device's range.

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

There were some time travel stories with very intricate loops (1969-2002-2010, Moebius). In the Continuum Movie, for instance, General Landry authorizes a trip back in time, provided the team does not alter the "current" time line. However, there is no official prohibition against the use if time travel devices and the teams use them whenever necessary. See examples here.

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

There is no prohibition against time travel (using the Time Turner), but there are some rules that that must be obeyed – You cannot be seen, you cannot meet yourself, and you must be at the point of departure exactly on time.

The Dark Tower

Can a ten years sleep (the first book) be considered time travel? If so, then only the future...

There are no time machines, but there is the ability to move freely between the universes (the technology is not clear).

Other Examples:

TV Examples:

 

Adventures of Brisco County, the
Ashes to Ashes
Crime Traveler
Daybreak
Doctor Who
Early Edition
Flash Forward
Life on Mars
Outlaws
Quantum Leap
Seven Days
Sliders
Star Trek
Stargate
Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles
Time Trax
Time Tunnel, the
X-Files, the

Literary and Cinematic Examples:

 

12:01
12:11 PM
13 Going on 30
Adjustment Bureau, the
All you Zombies
Army of Darkness
Back to the Future
Bearing an Hourglass
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
By his Bootstraps
Cat who Walks Through Walls, the
Click
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, a
Contact
Dead Zone
Deja Vu
Doctor Who
Don Juan
Donnie Darko
Edge of Tomorrow
End of Eternity, the
Ender Quadrilogy, the
Event 16
Flight of the Navigator
For All Time
Freejack
Frequency
From Time to Time
Groundhog Day
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hot Tub Time Machine
Jacket, the
Kate & Leopold
Kid, the
Knowing
Lake House, the
Last Action Hero, the
Looper
Men in Black III
Millenium
Next
Number of the Beast, the
Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus
Paycheck
Philadelphia Experiment, the
Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes - the New Movie
Planet of the Apes - the original Movie and its Sequels
Premonition
Primer
Race Through Time *Man Who Used to be Me, the
Riverworld
Somewhere in Time
Sound of Thunder
Source Code
Star Trek 2009)
Star Trek Generations
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek: First Contact
Stargate Continuum
Terminator
Time After Time
Time and Again
Time Bandits
Time Changer
Time Line - the Movie
Time Line - the Novel
Time Machine, the - the Movie
Time Machine, the - the Novel
Time Traveler's Wife
Timecop
Timerider: the Adventures of Lyle Swann
Timescape
Twelve Monkeys
Willows Way
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Birth Control

General

After an ecological, atomic or other holocaust, an extreme situation of under-population might occur. An opposite situation would be extreme over-population, which might require drastic birth control measures. Science Fiction has examples of exceptionally brutal laws, compared to which the one child law in China seems benevolent (even after experience has proven that it doesn't work) - which, by the way, did not prevent the government of Egypt from toying with the idea of a similar law in 2008…

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

The law allowing for only two children per family in a society that is still recovering from a deadly war is puzzling, as I've mentioned more than once.

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

Z. P. G.

Zero population Growth: in order to maintain the balance, for everyone who is born, someone must die, and Vice Versa

Logan's Run

When you reach the agof 30 you must die

The Handmaid's Tale

Fertile women are forced to bear the children of high placed men;

Genetic Engineering

General

Genetically Engineered Food

 

Cloning and Genetic Enhancement of Humans

 

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

The Eugenics War

Date: 1990s

Location: Earth (focused in Asia)

Result: "Supermen" defeated

Combatants: Governments of many world powers including the United States of America Genetically engineered "Supermen"

Strength: Unknown:

Casualties: 37 million, near complete destruction excluding small group in suspended animation on the starship Botany Bay (named after the famous penal colony in Australia?)

Eugenics Wars argument: an argument against the contemporary or near-future genetic engineering of human beings, based upon the fear that it may lead to the return of coercive state-sponsored genetic discrimination and human rights violations such as compulsory sterilization of persons with genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized and, specifically, segregation from, and genocide of, "races" perceived as inferior.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

Dr. Bashir and the arguments for and against genetic enhancement of Humans

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Prohibitions spawned by the Jihad also included artificial insemination, which is explained in Dune Messiah when Paul Atreides negotiates with the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam:

"You may have my seed, but not my person," Paul said. "Irulan banished and inseminated by artificial -"

"You dare!" the Reverend Mother flared, stiffening.

"We'll not discuss the things your Sisterhood forbids," Paul said. "I will listen to no talk of sins, abominations or the beliefs left over from past Jihads. You may have my seed for your plans, but no child of Irulan's will sit on my throne."

"Your throne," she sneered.

"My throne."

"Then who will bear the Imperial heir?"

"Chani."

"She is barren."

"She is with child."

An involuntary indrawn breath exposed her shock. "You lie!" she snapped.

Paul held up a restraining hand as Stilgar surged forward.

"We've known for two days that she carries my child."

"But Irulan . . . "

"By artificial means only. That's my offer."

The Reverend Mother closed her eyes to hide his face. Damnation! To cast the genetic dice in such a way! ... Loathing boiled in her breast. The teaching of the Bene Gesserit, the lessons of the Butlerian Jihad - all proscribed such an act. One did not demean the highest aspirations of humankind. No machine could function in the way of a human mind. No word or deed could imply that men might be bred on the level of animals.

"Your decision," Paul said.

She shook her head. The genes, the precious Atreides genes - only these were important. Need went deeper than proscription. For the Sisterhood, mating mingled more than sperm and ovum. One aimed to capture the psyche.

From: Dune Messiah, Frank Herbert (1969).

Star Wars

Boba Fett was a clone of Jango Fett, a bounty hunter who raised Boba as a son.

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

The use of Telepathy and Telekinesis

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

About Psicorp

Telepathic ability can be lost, not just developed.

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

Looper

The fact that in the future about 10 percent of the population have Telekinetic abilities is casually mentioned

Criminal Law

General

Who will be criminally responsible - the parasite or the host?

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

 

In the cold logical world of the Vulcans, is there any nececciy for lawyers? Or is using them and needing them contrary to the laws of logic?

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

A quick lesson in Cardassian "Justice":

You are denied knowledge of what you are accused of until your trial.

You can never know who your accusers are - for "security" reasons.

Trials are a show for the public, to explain how the guilt was determined, not to find a verdict.

The verdict is always predetermined- guilty.

The duty of your Consort is get you to accept the charges and execution.

So how would a Cardassian lawyer look like?

See one possible example in the TNG episode Tribunal.

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate SG-1+Atlantis

Daniel Jackson has to defend Vala Mal Duran when she is accused of crimes committed while under the control of the Goa'uld Qetesh.

Harry Potter

We witness 3 criminal cases, in all of which the accused was wronged and in all of which the wrong was redressed thanks to the intervention of Dumbledore, the supreme moral authority and the guardian of the Separation of Powers and Justice in general.

The defendants were Buckbeak the Hippogriff (a trumped up assault charge by Draco Malfoy), Sirius Black (wrongfully accused of murder) and Harry Potter (violation of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery).

The Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery is one of the strictest laws of the wizarding world, forbidding underage wizard and witches (under 17) to perform magic outside of Hogwarts. Since the Ministry of Magic cannot tell who exactly uses magic in a given area, only that it has been used, Muggle-born wizard minors are more likely than others to be caught if they use magic, and wizard and witch parents are expected to enforce the ban on underage magic within their homes.

After a first minor violation - a Hover charm that was actually performed by Dobby the House-elf - Harry is let off with a mere warning.

After the second violation, blowing up his Aunt Marge, he is forgiven by Fudge because the Minister believes that Harry's actions were justified under the circumstances and his safety after running away from the Dursleys takes precedence.

After his third offence (creating a Patronus to protect himself and Dudley from two Dementors), Harry is threatened with expulsion from school and the destruction of his wand, and is summoned to a disciplinary hearing. Dumbledore reminds Fudge that the Ministry doesn't have the power to expel students from Hogwarts or confiscate wands without benefit of a hearing.

Harry was originally supposed to be interviewed solely by Amelia Bones, head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Instead, he is tried by the entire Wizengamot court. Such proceedings are highly unusual, however, for a simple case of underage magic; but eventually, Harry is cleared of all charges upon Dumbledore's intervention.   

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

Judge Dredd

Description of the System

In the post is apocalyptic third Millennium, after the collapse of the old system of law and order, a new system is established, composed of a High Council and street Judges. The Book of Laws that guides it is very small.

The case

A small time felon is accused of murder and his claim of self defense is rejected; A Judge is framed with murder. Both are sent to the same prison.

Rights of the Accused

Self-defense claim is not admissible; DNA evidence leads to a murder conviction

The need for Lawyers (and other Officers of the Court)

The judges represent each other and also prosecute and judge each other when necessary. New judges can be manufactured by means of genetic cloning.

Choice of Law and Jurisdiction

Street judges serve also as prosecutors, jurors and executioners. Any judge can judge any citizen for any offence.

Comments

Comics- based Movie, high on action and special effects but rather lacking in writing and acting.

See Stallone's final comments:

Judg: Judge Dredd, we have to reconstitute the Council. We'd like you to consider first position as Chief Justice.

Judge Dredd: I'm a Street Judge. And I'm very late for work.

Robocop

Description of the System

In the not so distant future police is privatized and human policemen are replaced with policing robots.

The case

The policing robot against the corporate executive.

Rights of the Accused

None

The need for Lawyers (and other Officers of the Court)

The policing robots are judges, jurors and executioners

Choice of Law and Jurisdiction

The corporation controls the police and uses it according to corporate needs.

Comments

The first Movie only - the others were much worse

I, Robot

Description of the System

In the not so distant future, robots considered to be three-laws-safe become an inseparable part of every aspect of life. Policemen are still human.

The case

Is it possible to charge a robot with built-in Three Laws with murder, or just with for a technical malfunction (which makes it impossible to prosecute)?

Rights of the Accused

Yes – the usual rights

The need for Lawyers (and other Officers of the Court)

There are policemen around, the role of lawyers and judges is unclear.

Choice of Law and Jurisdiction

The corporation controls the robots and considers them its private property.

Comments

Very loosely based on Asimov's novel..

Demolition Man

Description of the System

In a post- apocalyptic future in which the corporations' war was won by Pizza Hut, violent crime was eradicated and the police is helpless against real criminals.

The case

A violent criminal is released from crio-prison; A no less violent policeman, released from that same crio-prison, is sent after him.

Rights of the Accused

Before the apocalypse, the only penalty for any offence was imprisonment in crio-prison; Now for using bad language you get warning notes from the computer.

The need for Lawyers (and other Officers of the Court)

There is a police force managed by a civilian council, but its role is purely decorative and representative.

Choice of Law and Jurisdiction

The corrupt Head of the council uses both criminals and policemen for his own personal goals.

Comments

See the Time Machine's story of the Eloy and the Morlock (also quoted in Ransom);

See the following final dialogue:

Bob: What'll we do? How will we live?

Edgar Friendly: We'll go out drinking, get shit-faced and paint the town. Graffiti slogans, it'll be a blast.

Spartan: This is what you'll do. You'll get a little dirty... You, a lot clean. And somewhere in the middle...

You'll figure it out.

Minority Report

Description of the System

In the not so distant future three "Precogs", two men and woman, can predict and prevent violent crime, which makes trials redundant. After the prediction is interpreted and verified, policemen are sent to apprehend the alleged criminals.

The case

A policeman is accused of a crime he did not even though "Precogs" saw it happen.

Rights of the Accused

The Precogs' prediction cannot be appealed even when there is a "minority report"; The only penalty for every offense is imprisonment inside the body

The need for Lawyers (and other Officers of the Court)

The policemen use invasive electronic surveillance (which the citizens are apparently so used to that they can ignore it).

Choice of Law and Jurisdiction

The system is abused by its creator in order to cover up one crime and frame an innocent person with another crime.

Comments

On the philosophical discussion of a possible future Vs. a certain future click here **link**

Equilibrium

Description of the System

In the first years of the 21st century, a third World War broke out. Those of us who survived knew mankind could never survive...a fourth...that our own volatile natures could simply no longer be risked. So we have created a new arm of the law, the Grammaton Cleric, whose sole task it is to seek out and eradicate the true source of man's inhumanity to man.
His ability... to feel. (From the Movie).

The case

One of the loyal Grammatons, whose wife was executed for sense offenses, and who executed his own partner for a similar offense, protests against the decision to execute apprehended offenders without a trial, and his allegedly logical arguments that detainees should at least be interrogated in order to get vital information out of them are also rejected. He becomes a sense offender himself.

Rights of the Accused

None; the only offense is a sense offence and the only sentence for a sense offence is death.

The need for Lawyers (and other Officers of the Court)

None

Choice of Law and Jurisdiction

Grammatons are policeman, judges and executioners, the system is controlled by what turns out to be a Talking Head.

Comments

Similar to 1984 and V in its imagery.

Note that the common denominator for all the examples mentioned above is that the hero (whether he is a person, a cyborg, a robot or a clone) is a part of the establishment, but when he discovers that he was betrayed or taken advantage of, he switches sides.

Nanotechnology

General

The article in SciAM **link**

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate SG-1+Atlantis

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

Cryonics

General

Can we start incorporating into our health insurance plans?

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

In ** the corporate management votes on whether to defrost a member of the board who was put under cryogenics.

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

The technology is available and in use – see the freezing of Han Solo (in the end of the second Movie)

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

Definition and Rights of Intelligent Life

General

Intelligent life in Sci Fi can be classified into several categories – Organic and non-organic, artificial and natural, man made or alien, or every possible combination of the above. In any case, if and when we encounter such life forms, we will have to learn to communicate with them and live with them in peace – Assuming, of course, we overcome our natural urge to destroy everything different from us (and of course, we ourselves don't get destroyed). If our treatment of animals is any indication, the more an animal is considered to be sentient, he is accorded a higher level of protection. Will that be the guiding principal in the future? And what will happen when those life forms are no longer content to be "a protected species"?

And will Descartes' definition of intelligence, Cogito Ergo Sum (I think, therefore I am) remain unchanged in the future?

Here is one attempt to define intelligent life, by Steven Savage:

I define intelligent life as follows - a life form that is able to process enough information, adapt by this learning, and pass the information on another member of its species. In short, life is that which has a large quantity of its behavior determined by acquired information that it is able to communicate to others. An intelligent creature can, merely by acquiring information, create new behaviors and ways of functioning as well as learn them from its fellows.

The three qualifications for sentience are intelligence, self-awareness and consciousness.

See:

The Turing test

The Voight-Kampff test

The Fermi Paradox

The Drake Equation

Computing Machinery and Intelligence by A. M. Turing

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

In Asimov's Universe there are no non-human intelligent life forms (except robots). There are no Magicians, wizards or demons either.

See also here.

Tolkien

Dune

When humans created a computer with the ability to collect information and learn from it, they signed the death warrant of mankind.

SISTER BECCA THE FINITE

(From Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson)

The chief commandment from the Orange Catholic Bible, "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind", held sway, as did the anti-AI laws in which the penalty of owning one AI device or developing the technology resembling the human mind was immediate death.

As a result, the "human computers" known as Mentats were developed and perfected in order to replace the analytical powers of computers without violating the commandment of the O.C. Bible. Over the millennia, the mental abilities of the Mentats were honed to the point where they became superior to those of the ancient thinking machines.

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Jane

Using the character of Pinocchio, the issue of the Ghost in the Machine is discussed not just as a philosophical concept, but as a practical-existential one

Stargate

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

Fifth is a human-form Replicator introduced in "Unnatural Selection". He is the fifth human-form to be created on the planet Halla, and unlike the others he lacks the programming flaws of the android Reese, on which the human-forms are based. This makes him more "human" than the other Replicators, who consider him "weak" as a result. After SG-1 is captured by the Replicators, Fifth becomes fascinated by them, especially Samantha Carter, and attempts to help them. Carter promises to take Fifth with them if he can give them access to the Asgard time dilation device that could trap the other Replicators. Fifth agrees, but Jack O'Neill believes he represents too great a danger and orders Carter to set the device's timer so that Fifth is left behind.

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

See the house elves (Hermione created the student organization S.P.E.W. - Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare – to promote their liberation, sometimes against their will), and see the treatment of Centaurs and giants (and half-giants like Hagrid and Madame Olympe Maxime).

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

In Philip K Dick’s stories Second Variety (filmed as Screamers), Minority Report and Do Androids dreamof Electric Sheep (filmed as Blade Runner), the distinction betweem man and machine is blurred to the point that it becomes unclear who is the man and who is the machine.

Laws of Robotics

General

Star Trek

Introduction

Is there room for Asimov’s Laws of Robotics in the Star Trek Universe? See the following quote from the TNG episode Datalore:

GEORDI: Doctor Noonien Soong, my friend, just happens to have been Earth's foremost robotics scientist!

TASHA: Until he tried to make Asimov's dream of a positronic brain come true.

RIKER: The positronic brain. He promised it would do so much. When it failed completely, Doctor Soong disappeared

According to this short dialogue, it seems that the creators of Star Trek the show locked onto the "positronic" aspect of robotics as if that were the key quality to Asimov's robots. Asimov's view was exactly the opposite -- his robots are "positronic" because positrons had just been discovered when he started writing robot stories and the word had a nice science-fictiony ring to it. The use of positrons was just an engineering detail and relatively unimportant to him.

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

Data of Star Trek is one of the best-known Androids in Cinema and TV.

 

ST-DS9

The Borg of Star Trek From Locutus to Hugh to Seven of 9 via the Borg Queen (see Picard’s assimilation by the Borg).

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

As I've already mentioned, if iron clad laws do exist in Sci Fi, they are Asimov's Laws of Robotics, which I'll review briefly:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

the Zeroth Law:

"A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm."

A condition stating that the Zeroth Law may not be broken was added to the original Laws.

The Three Laws are, in my opinion, the only attempt to foresee the future legally wise, and they serve as a basis for the discussion if the very definition of intelligent life, whether biological-organic or mechanic, corporeal or spiritual.

the Bicentennial Man

 

Andrew Martin of the Bicentennial Man is a robot who takes a 200 years journey towards Humanity, while trying to avoid being destroyed by its creators.   

 

I, Robot

 

Sonny of I, Robot is an example of what happens when a Robot's creator tries to give him human emotions.

 

Note the following quote from the Movie:

 

Spooner: Robots don't feel fear. They don't feel anything. They don't get hungry. They don't sleep.

 

Sonny: I do. I have even had dreams.

Spooner: Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you. You are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?

Sonny: Can you?

 

Incidentally, the Movie was tailor-made for Will Smith, as we can see form the following comparison with Men In Black, also starring Will Smith:

MIB

I , Robot

Chases on foot an Alien Bug (assumed to be an escaped felon)

Chases on foot a Robot (assumed to be an escaped felon, though by mistake)

Discovers the Other Side

Discovers the other Side

Fights an enemy bent on world domination (a Robot not subject to Asimov’s Laws)

Fights an enemy bent on world domination (an Alien Bug)

Assisted by a friendly Alien Bug

Assisted by a friendly Robot

The command center (as seen in Paycheck)

The command center (as seen in Paycheck)

Hates cockroaches (for no particular reason)

Hates robots (because a robot saved him and not the little girl)

Adopts a dead man’s cat

Adopts a dead man’s cat

A philosophical discussion about robotics versus creativity; was the new breed of robots created in order to save man from himself?

Fixes the arm like Schwarzenegger in Terminator (only with a little less gore)

A loud white superior officer

A loud black superior officer

 Incidentally, Sonny us an unusual example of a robot joining forces with humans fighting the monstrous super-computer.

 

The cinematic version to Asimov's classic novel was loosely based on the first book of the robots series. In the book, by the way, the narrator was the robot, and in the Movie (beware, spoiler!) they tried to manipulate us into thinking, if only for a moment, that the detective is also a robot. And where exactly do we draw the line? Consider yourselves warned!

On Data as an Asimovian Robot click here.

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

C3PO and R2D2 of Star Wars are both called Androids, even thought they are very different. C3PO, the protocol robot, was designed by young Anakin as a helper for his mother – a fact which was mentioned only in the opening of the second trilogy but somehow had no effect on his relationship with the older Anakin.    

 

Darth Vadar of Star Wars was born human, but was transformed into a machine by technological means. A better term for his kind might be a Cyborg (or perhaps a bionic man?) – the voice belonged to James Earl Jones and the body to David Prowse.

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Using the character of Pinocchio, the issue of the Ghost in the Machine is discussed not just as a philosophical concept, but as a practical-existential one.

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

One of North Central Positronics' major products is said to be the "Asimov-class robot". But is the "messenger robot" indeed an Asimovian robot? Do the Laws of Robotics apply to it?

Other Examples:

The issue of a robot's rights and status as a living being was discussed in some unforgettable Movies, from "Blade Runner" to "I, Robot" (which is not exactly based on Asimov's novel…) The issue is also debated in every self-respecting Sci Fi show (See Sarah Connor's Cameron).

 

AI

 

David of AI is a child-robot who longs to be real boy. He is capable of loving, but not of getting others to love him.

 

Blade Runner

 

Roy Batty of Blade Runner is an Android (a term is used along with the derogatory Skin). The defense mechanism of robots of his kind is not the laws of robotics, but a four years life span (so that they "die" before they can develop human emotions).

 

Bryant: Nexus 6. Roy Batty. Incept date 2016. Combat model. Optimum self-sufficiency. Probably the leader. This is Zhora. She's trained for an off-world kick-murder squad. Talk about beauty and the beast, she's both. The fourth skin job is Pris. A basic pleasure model. The standard item for military clubs in the outer colonies. They were designed to copy human beings in every way except their emotions. The designers reckoned that after a few years they might develop their own emotional responses. You know, hate, love, fear, envy. So they built in a fail-safe device.

 

Deckard: Which is what?

 

Bryant: Four year life span.

 

Note Roy Batty's farewell speech:

 

Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave… I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the darkness at Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.

 

According to the Director’s Cut, Deckard-Ford was also a Skin; However, the Machine (played by Rutgar Hauer in one of his best roles) is asking about the meaning and purpose of life, so who is the human and who is the Machine?    

 

Dr. Who

 

The Cybermen of Dr. Who are a fictional race of cyborgs who are amongst the most persistent enemies of the Doctor .The Cybermen were originally a wholly organic species of humanoids originating on Earth's twin planet Mondas that began to implant more and more artificial parts into their bodies as a means of self-preservation. This led to the race becoming coldly logical and calculating, with every emotion all but deleted from their minds. The Cybermen also have a rivalry with the Daleks.

 

Futureworld

 

The Gunslinger of Futureworld is a humanoid robot who malfunctions and creates havoc and terror at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.

 

Ghost in the Shell

 

Motoko Kusanagi of Ghost in the Shell is a cyborg member of a covert operations division of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission known as Section 9. The unit specializes in fighting technology-related crimes. Although supposedly equal to all other members, Kusanagi fills the leadership role in the team, and is usually referred to as "the Major" due to her past rank in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. She is capable of superhuman feats, and bionically specialized for her job — her body is almost completely mechanized; only her brain and a segment of her spinal cord remain organic.

 

Replicant

 

The nameless Replicant was created as a clone of a serial killer in order to help catch him. This is another robot returns to humanity and even finds love in the arms of a big-hearted prostitute. What could be more cliche than that?  

 

Robocop

 

Officer Murphy/Robocop of Robocop was born human, but was transformed into a machine by technological means. His creators left him a blank brain (or so they thought), but in the first Movie, a least, he undergoes the transformation from Human to (almost) complete robot and back, and that’s where its strength lies. And note the total amazement of the scientists as they realize that their machine dreams…

 

Also memorable in the first Movie is the battle between Robocop and the other monstrous machine (won, of course, by Robocop).   

 

Short Circuit 1+2

 

Number 5, Short Circuit 1+2

Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes…

 

More input, More Input!!

 

Soldier

 

The Sergeant of Soldier was born human, but was transformed into a machine by mental conditioning and training.

 

Except for Kurt Russell's ridiculous silences, which became a laughing stock, it is interesting review here not just the machine's journey back to humanity, but rather the reaction of the people to the process and their willingness to welcome into their midst the machine in its new and improved version.  

 

Surrogates

 

Tom Greer of Surrogates is a police officer living in a future where people use Surrogates, an entirely different kind of Robots. There is no external difference between them and humans, an entirely different kind of Robots.There is no external difference between them and humans. The laws of Robotics do not apply to them and are not even mentioned in the Movie, although there is an emphasis on the fact that the Surrogates were built with defense mechanisms which protect their operators from injury in the event of damage to the Surrogate, and the contact between a Surrogate and a person other than its operator is minimal anyway. Apparently, addiction to using a Surrogate is not considered an injury to the operator. However, there is a law against the use of a Surrogate by someone other than its legally registered operator.

 

Bruce Willis is the only one playing both the part of the Surrogate and the part of the operator.

 

Terminator 1-4

 

The Terminators of Terminator 1-4 (in the first Movie Schwarzenegger, in the second Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick, in the third Schwarzenegger and Kristanna Loken, in the fourth Sam Worthington); Only the second and the fourth, in which the Terminator is actually a prototype of the Terminator from the first Movie , including an appearance of a young Schwarzenegger-lookalike, show some kind of a transformation undergone by the Machine.

 

Universal Soldier

 

Luc Deveraux  of Universal Soldier was born human, but was transformed into a machine by technological means.

 

Only the first Movie is worth mentioning.

 

Westworld

 

The Gunslinger of Westworld is a humanoid robot who malfunctions and creates havoc and terror at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.

 

For a list of fictional robots and androids in literature and cinema click here.

Corporate Laws

General

Introduction

The battle of the lone warrior agathe Mega Corporation is a common feature of the Cyberpuk Genre. In this genre, industrial relations in the corporation are simple – the employee is the property of the corporation or its indentured servant (not no mention its slave).

The source of the corporation's power is its control of a vital resource – information, food or a medicine. The level of its evil is directly derived from the level of its control of the vital resource and its willingness to share it with the general public.

Two popular ways of destroying a corporation are undermining its control of the resource or killing the person in charge of it. In the first case, the result is usually anarchy (see "welcome to the human race") and it is unclear whether the liberated resources actually became freely available to the desperate masses. In the second case, at least for now, no corporation in the world will totally collapse if its CEO were removed (see Bill Gates). In Cyberpunk, the destruction of the corporation is the goal and the Hero couldn't care less about what happens if and when the corporation collapses.

In corporate law, the concept of lifting or piercing the corporate veil describes a legal decision where a shareholder or director of a corporation is held liable for the actions of the corporation despite the general principle that shareholders are immune from suits in contract or tort that otherwise would hold only the corporation liable. This is also referred as "disregarding the corporate entity". The phrase relies on the metaphor of a "veil" that represents the veneer of formalities and dignities that protect a corporation, which can be disregarded at will when the situation warrants looking beyond the "legal fiction" of a corporate person to the reality of other persons or entities that would otherwise be protected by the corporate fiction.

See: Payback

For more information click here.

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition -Why elaborate when you can simply quote?

1. Once you have their money, you never give it back (from: DS9: The Nagus).

3. Never spend more for an acquisition that you have to (from: DS9: The Maquis, Part II).

6. Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity (from: DS9: The Nagus).

7. Keep your ears open (from: DS9: In the Hands of the Prophets).

9. Opportunity plus instinct equals profit (from: DS9: The Storyteller).

10. Greed is eternal (from: DS9: Prophet Motive).

16. A deal is a deal until a better one comes along (from: DS9: Melora).

17. A contract is a contract is a contract but only between Ferengi (from: DS9: Body Parts).

18. A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all (from: DS9: Heart of Stone).

21. Never place friendship above profit (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

22. A wise man can hear profit in the wind (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

23. Nothing is more important than your health except for your money (from: ENT: Acquisition).

31. Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother (from: DS9: The Siege).

33. It never hurts to suck up to the boss (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

34. War is good for business (from: DS9: Destiny).

35. Peace is good for business (from: DS9: Destiny).

45. Expand of die (from: ENT: Acquisition).

47. Don't trust a man wearing a better suit than your own (from: DS9: Rivals).

48. The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

57. Good customers are as rare as latinum, treasure them (from: DS9: Armageddon Game).

59. Free advice is seldom cheap (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

62. The riskier the road, the greater the profit (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

74. Knowledge equals profit (from: VOY: Inside Man).

75. Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum (from: DS9: Civil Defense).

76. Every once in a while, declare peace, it confuses the hell out of your enemies (from: DS9: The Homecoming).

94. Females and finances don't mix (from: DS9: Ferengi Love Songs).

95. Expand or die (from: DS9: False Profits).

98. Every man has his price (from: DS9: In the Pale Moonlight).

102. Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever (from: DS9: The Jem'Hadar).

103. Sleep can interfere with... (interrupted) (from: DS9: Rules of Acquisition).

109. Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack (from: DS9: Rivals).

111. Treat people in your debt like family: exploit them (from: DS9: Past Tense, Part I, The Darkness and the Light).

112. Never have sex with the boss's sister (from: DS9: Playing God).

125. You can't make a deal if you're dead (from: DS9: The Siege of AR-558).

139. Wives serve, brothers inherit (from: DS9: Necessary Evil).

168. Whisper your way to success (from: DS9: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River).

190. Hear all, trust nothing (from: DS9: Call to Arms).

194. It's always good to know about new customers before they walk in your door (from: DS9: Whispers).

203. New customers are like razor-toothed greeworms, they can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back (from: DS9: Little Green Men).

208. Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than the question is an answer (from: DS9: Ferengi Love Songs).

211. Employees are the rungs on the ladder to success, don't hesitate to step on them (from: DS9: Bar Association).

214. Never begin a business negotiation on an empty stomach (from: DS9: The Maquis, Part I).

217. You can't free a fish from water (from: DS9: Past Tense, Part I).

229. Latinum lasts longer than lust (from: DS9: Ferengi Love Songs).

239. Never be afraid to mislabel a product (from: DS9: Body Parts).

263. Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum (from: DS9: Bar Association).

285. No good deed ever goes unpunished (from: DS9: The Collaborator).

For more details click here.

And how do you settle labor disputes according to Ferengi law? See what happens when the employees of Quark's Bar go on strike and form a Union in the DS9 episode the Bar Association...

So how do you think a Ferengi Lawyer would look like?

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men (U.S. Robotics) deals mainly in Robotics and AI.

U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men was founded in 1982 by Lawrence Robertson. Dr. Susan Calvin was the first, and for many years, the only robopsychologist at U.S. Robots, and is the main character in many of Asimov's short stories, usually dealing with robot problems in the laboratory. In other robot stories Greg Powell and Mike Donovan, field engineers for the company, try to solve robot issues in the field. The short stories also mention Alfred Lanning and Peter Bogert, the Directors of Research (first Lanning, and then Bogert) during Calvin's time at the corporation.

The physical location of the company is unclear. Ultimately, factories are established in many parts of the world, but in one story, "Robot AL-76 Goes Astray", the main factory is said to be located in Schenectady, New York (which implies a connection or allusion to the General Electric Corporation).

The company's unofficial motto is "No employee makes the same mistake twice. He is fired the first time."

Tolkien

Dune

The Guild deals mainly in Spice Mining and shipping.

Name: Spice Miners Guild

Organisation Type: Guild

Center of Operations: Arrakis

Equipment and abilities: Mining equipment (harvesters, carry-alls) and mining workers.

Function: Spice Mining

Intentions: Continued profit

Star Wars

The Trade Federation deals mainly in Interstellar trade and transport.

The Trade Federation maintained a sizable monopoly on interstellar trade and held considerable sway in the Galactic Republic, even managing to gain a seat in the Senate on the same level as a member world. In particular, they held maps of hyperspace routes closely rather than sharing them, enabling them to cement their hold over trade routes. Only the Jeand the Office of the Chancellor were able to maintain maps of similar quality.

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

There are three major corporations in the Dark Tower universe, two are controlled by the Crimson King and one by Roland Deschain’s Ka Tet.

North Central Positronics

North Central Positronics appears in multiple works of Stephen King, in the Dark Tower series and related works. It is a huge corporation which manufactures technologically-advanced items such as robots, computers, and weapons.

Many of the products are prominent in the Dark Tower series, where the few remaining North Central Positronics products still functioning have gone insane, preying upon life and the remnants of civilization. This is related to the phenomenon affecting much of reality; everything is falling apart. As stated in the books, the world has 'moved on'.

By the time it is encountered by Roland and his ka-tet, North Central Positronics is part of the Sombra Group, owned by the Crimson King, the personification of Satan and evil in the world of the Dark Tower. The Crimson King's stated goal is the destruction of the multiverse/all reality.

Among NCP's creations in the books are dipolar computers, a number of androids and cyborgs and Blaine the Mono, a sentient monorail system that enjoys riddles.

Sombra Corporation

Sombra Corporation is controlled by the Crimson King. Sombra Corporation rose to power in the late 80s and fully monopolized high-tech R&D and manufacturing for an unknown, but certainly long period of time. It is affiliated with LaMerk Industries and North Central Positronics. It owns the Trans Corporation, which finds and recruits young people with paranormal powers to carry out assassinations and eventually become Breakers. In the Keystone World, the reign of Sombra Corporation was challenged and possibly halted by the Tet Corporation, which was founded by Roland and his ka-tet specifically for this purpose.

In the novels, Sombra Corporation's main act of 'evil' was to purchase the vacant lot in Manhattan which contained the rose, the manifestation of the Dark Tower on this plane of existence. The purpose of this move was to demolish the land to build condos, thus destroying the rose and, perhaps in the process, weakening or destroying the Dark Tower, the lynchpin which held the multiverse together.

The short story 'Everything's Eventual' is from the viewpoint of a 19 year-old drop out that was being trained to be a Breaker. After being paid to kill seemingly random people for an undetermined amount of time, he eventually turns against the Sombra Corp and makes plans to escape.

Note: "Sombra" means "shadow" or "shade" in Spanish and Portuguese

Tet Corporation

The Tet Corporation was founded by Roland Deschain and his ka-tet to prevent the destruction of The Rose by stopping the Sombra Corporation from purchasing the vacant lot on which the rose grew.

To preserve their quest for the actual Tower and save our universe in the process, Roland Deschain used the financial resources of a member of his group (ka-tet), Susannah Dean-specifically, the dental fortune her father, an inventor, entrusted to her uncle-to purchase the lot under the name of the Tet Corporation. This phantom company bought the lot to protect it from the malefic Sombra Corporation, headed by the Crimson King (Roland's Archenemy) and thus save our dimension of the universe from ultimate destruction. The Tet Corporation built a black skyscraper on the lot without harming or even moving the rose. The skyscraper, located at 2 Hammarskjöld Plaza (an actual building upon which an actual Black skyscraper stands, likely the reason Stephen King chose this building to be the location of the rose) was believed by Roland to be the Dark Tower's image in that world, built to protect the rose.

In the seventh and final book of the series, Roland is introduced to the modern-day head of the Tet corporation: Moses Carver's daughter, born after Susannah departed New York for Roland's world. Moses Carver is the last living "founding father", ceding control to his daughter after the deaths of John Cullum and Aaron Deepneau. The Tet Corporation uses a mixture of modern technology as well as supernatural, monitoring Roland's progress with a team of trained psychics and even training their own Gunslingers (one of whom is Carver's own daughter). They also review books written by Stephen King, in hopes of finding information that relates to the Dark Tower. In a meeting with Roland, they restore to him the silver cross given to him by Aunt Talitha in The Wastelands (to whom he promised it would be carried with him to the Tower), valuable information regarding his path towards the Dark Tower, and Stephen King’s book Insomnia.

Other Examples:

Terminator

Cyberdine Systems deals mainly in Robotics, AI.

The Cyberdyne Systems Corporation is responsible for the genesis of the supercomputer Skynet and its armies of machines.

Neuromancer

Tessier-Ashpool deals mainly in AI.

Tessier-Ashpool is the family which owns Freeside, a space station shaped like a spindle constructed in high orbit. The family resides in the Villa Straylight, which occupies one end of the spindle.

The family is organized and run as a corporation, Tessier-Ashpool S.A.. Family members are kept under cryogenic stasis and thawed out periodically so that governance of the family is cycled between members. According to the "orbital law", they are legally dead while cryogenically preserved.

The family owns the mainframe to which one of their two artificial intelligences, Wintermute, is attached. This computer is in Berne, Switzerland and has limited Swiss citizenship. The other AI, Neuromancer, is housed in another family-owned mainframe located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The idea of multinational corporations overpowering the traditional nation-state.

Alien

The Weyland-Yutani Mining Corporation deals mainly in resources for making weapons (and money).

Alien

This compound title appeared on the display screen during the ship awakening sequence and at the bottom left of a badly vibrating display screen during the planetoid landing sequence. It was also printed on the prop beer cans in the film, where it is partially visible in some scenes ("Original and Genuine Weylan-Yutani Aspen Beer - Extra Strong - Aspen Colorado").

Aliens

When James Cameron was assigned to write and direct the sequel, the role and significance of Weyland-Yutani increased greatly, becoming an indispensable element in Alien lore. The original Weyland-Yutani logo was an Egyptian winged-sun emblem; it was modified to its current corporo-industrial interlocked W/Y for Aliens. It can be viewed in various places, most prominently on the front of a big-wheel tricycle in a scene from the director's cut.

Ripley discovers that one of the Marines, Bishop, (played by an actor who had a significant role in the original Terminator film), is actually an android. This angers Ripley since an android named Ash tried to kill her in Alien (the robots, incidentally, are created by Hyperdyne Systems, which is a nod to Terminator's Cyberdyne Systems. Aliens' director, James Cameron, also directed Terminator and Terminator 2).

Alien³

Weyland-Yutani's name appears on screen several times written in Japanese. The first six kana of this are part of the Japanese syllabary katakana which is used to spell foreign words, and here they spell weirando (Weyland). The second part is the Japanese name Yutani written with two kanji, which literally means "hot-water valley" in English. The corporation's name also appears in a newspaper headline where the last four kanji read kabushiki gaisha which means "joint stock corporation."

Alien Resurrection

In the Special Edition release, the character of Dr. Wren (played by J.E. Freeman) states that Weyland-Yutani had been bought out by Wal-Mart decades before the start of the film. Consequently an interstellar military force called "United Systems Military" now controls all the weapons and R&D interests previouheld by Weyland-Yutani.

Alien vs. Predator

The founder of the company (then known as Weyland Industries) is shown to be Charles Bishop Weyland. He is played by Lance Henriksen, the actor that played the android Bishop in Aliens and Alien³, suggesting that the android was modeled after him. In the novelization of Alien³ (released before Alien vs. Predator), it is said that the Bishop android was created by a Weyland-Yutani employee named Michael Bishop.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

In the finale, the man who called himself Colonel Stevens meets with a character named Ms Yutani, offering her a Predator gun recovered from the survivors of the explosion in Gunnison, Colorado.

Blade Runner

Tyrell Corporation deals mainly in Robotics and AI.

The Tyrell Corporation, based in Los Angeles, is named for its founder Dr. Eldon Tyrell and is a bio-tech corporation which produces life-like androids called replicants.

Robocop

Omni Consumer Products deals mainly in everything from minor consumer products to military hardware. .

According to Omni Consumer Products’s exec Jones, "Take a close look at the track record of this company, and you'll see that we've gambled in markets traditionally regarded as non-profit: hospitals, prisons, space exploration. I say good business is where you find it."

In Robocop 3, Kanemitsu, the Japanese multinational, buys out OCP.

Resident Evil

The Umbrella Corporation deals mainly in Bioengineering and pharmaceutics.

The Umbrella Corporation is a fictional bioengineering pharmaceutical company in the Resident Evil universe, which serves as one of main antagonists in the series. It is portrayed in the games as a major international player in a number of markets including pharmaceuticals, medical hardware, defense, and computers along with more clandestine operations utilizing genetic engineering and accused viral weaponry. The company is also presented as having a more public face, producing cosmetics, consumer products and foods. One of Umbrella's subsidiaries is a private military contractor with a highly trained security force capable of rescue, reconnaissance, and para-military operations. The corporation uses the force to secure and protect its assets and high profile employees. When Ashford dies, Spencer assassinates Marcus to seize complete control of the corporation. Umbrella establishes multiple secret research facilities to develop various bio-weapons. The most prominent research facility is located in the Arklay Mountains, just outside of Raccoon City. Scientists in this facility were able to develop the “T-virus”, a powerful mutagen that could dramatically alter living organisms. The virus leaks and contaminates most of the Arklay Facility and its surrounding area. The lab is comprised by heavily mutated test-subjects, and researchers that have mutated into zombie-like creatures.

The T-virus eventually spreads to Raccoon City, where infected citizens, local wildlife, and other mutated creatures leave the city in bedlam. The United States government is unable to rescue the local population, and orders a missile-strike to destroy the city to prevent the virus from spreading. Umbrella quickly tries to destroy all evidence that would implicate the company to any wrongdoing. The Government suspends all of Umbrella’s business operations. Due to the series of disasters plaguing the company, and the ongoing legal proceedings against them, Umbrella's stock prices plummet. Umbrella retains one last major stronghold located in Southern Russia. Following Spencer's disappearance, this facility is placed under the leadership of Sergei Vladimir, and now housed the UMF-013, a supercomputer containing all of the company's data. In 2003, Anti-Umbrella forces led by Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine seize this stronghold. While these forces secure the facility, Albert Wesker infiltrates the facility, kills Vladimir, and steals all the data from the UMF-013. Wesker then turns the incriminating data over to the prosecutors working against Umbrella, and testifies under the guise of a friend of Spencer. Umbrella is ultimately found guilty on all charges for its involvement in the Raccoon City incident.

The Internet and Control of Information

General

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

Tolkien

Dune

Mentats instead of the Internet

Star Wars

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

The Matrix

Ender

The Ender universe is one of the only ones which feature the Internet (or Nets for short) more or less in its contemporary form, and it serves more or less the same purposes - on the one hand, the dissemination and sharing of information, and on the other hand, the attempts to limit the disseminated information and control it.

However, there are several distinctive differences between Card's Internet and contemporary Internet, one of the main of which is the phasing of the right of access - minors have no access, students have passive access, only adults have the right to supervised active participation. Also, the Internet is divided into geographic areas. And yes, according to Card, apparently in the future it will also be difficult to keep children away from the Internet…

Mother commented that they were spending too much time on the nets. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," she reminded Peter.

Starting the Blogs (for want of a better word) was actually Peter's idea, inspired by the original Demosthenes and his speeches against Philip II of Macedonia, with the intention to incite public opinion against an upcoming invasion by the Warsaw pact. Interestingly enough, he didn't choose Cicero's passionate speeches calling for the immediate destruction of Carthage as a source of inspiration.

"I've been studying history," Peter said. "I've been learning things about patterns in human behavior. There are times when the world is rearranging itself, and at times like that, the right words can change the world. Think what Pericles did in Athens, and Demosthenes--"

"Yes, they managed to wreck Athens twice."

"Pericles, yes, but Demosthenes was right about Philip--"

"Or provoked him--"

"See? This is what historians usually do, quibble about cause and effect when the point is, there are times when the world is in flux and the right voice in the right place can move the world. Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin, for instance. Bismarek. Lenin."

"Not exactly parallel cases, Peter." Now she was disagreeing with him out of habit; she saw what he was getting at, and she thought it might just be possible.

"I didn't expect you to understand. You still believe that teachers know something worth learning."

I understand more than you think, Peter. "So you see yourself as Bismarck?"

"I see myself as knowing how to insert ideas into the public mind. Haven't you ever thought of a phrase, Val, a clever thing to say, and said it, and then two weeks or a month later you hear some adult saying it to another adult, both of them strangers? Or you see it on a video or pick it up on a net?"

"I always figured I heard it before and only thought I was making it up."

"You were wrong. There are maybe two or three thousand people in the world as smart as us, little sister. Most of them are making a living somewhere. Teaching, the poor bastards, or doing research. Precious few of them are actually in positions of power."

"I guess we're the lucky few."

"Funny as a one-legged rabbit, Val."

"Of which there are no doubt several in these woods."

"Hopping in neat little circles."

Valentine laughed at the gruesome image and hated herself for thinking it was funny.

"Val, we can say the words that everyone else will be saying two weeks later. We can do that. We don't have to wait until we're grown up and safely put away in some career."

"Peter, you're twelve."

"Not on the nets I'm not. On the nets I can name myself anything I want, and so can you."

"On the nets we are clearly identified as students, and we can't even get into the real discussions except in audience mode, which means we can't say ananyway."

"I have a plan."

"You always do." She pretended nonchalance but she listened eagerly.

"We can get on the nets as full-fledged adults. With whatever net names we want to adopt, if Father gets us onto his citizen's access."

"And why would he do that? We already have student access. What do you tell him, I need citizen's access so I can take over the world?"

"No, Val. I won't tell him anything. You'll tell him how you're worried about me. How I'm trying so very hard to do well at school, but you know it's driving me crazy because I can never talk to anybody intelligent, everybody always talks down to me because I'm young, I never get to converse with my peers. You can prove that the stress is getting to me."

He was only 12 at the time and his sister Valentine was 10. He managed to convince her to go along with his plan, and gradually they each adopted an on line persona which was the opposite of their true nature - Valentine was Demosthenes, a bit of a demagogue, trying to stir up the people, while Peter was Locke, a distinctly cooler, more populist head.

The beginnings were humble, but the audiences they reached grew larger and larger and their writings had a real impact on public opinion. Soon they turned from bloggers to paid columnists, and used their writing fees to contribute to certain candidates or certain goals - without anybody knowing their real identities. Amongst other things, Demosthenes opposed the birth control law.

Later on Valentine secretly monopolized the use of the name Demosthenes as she started writing definitive historical volumes, effectively rendering the previous owner of the name irrelevant

If someone had asked Card about this when he wrote the Saga, I'm sure he could never have imagined what a few determined young people can accomplish with posts on social networks…Or could he?

Stargate

 

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

Harry Potter

No Internet in the wizarding world (see technology).

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

The Net

Enemy of the State

Election Laws and Procedures

General

Political Parties as we know them today (regardless of the system of government) hardly exist in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, so we may assume that in the future, they will be a thing of the past. So what do you when you have to hold an election?

a. The Election of the Judges:

Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, Judges 3-9

The Process

Chosen by God

Comments

 

Ehud the son of Gera, Judges 3-15

The Process

Chosen by God

Comments

 

Shamgar the son of Anath, Judges 3-31

The Process

And after him was...

Comments

 

Barak the son of Abinoam, Judges 4-6

The Process

Summoned by Deborah, prophetess and judge, the wife of Lapidoth (A civilian spiritual authority)

Comments

Deborah tells Barak that God ordered him to lead the people into battle. He consents but only if she will join him. She warns him that "I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman",

Gideon, son of Joash the Abiezrite, AKA Jerubbaal , Judges 6-11, 6-14

The Process

An Angel of God comes to his Father's home:

Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel

Comments

The only Judge who defies God and asks repeatedly for signs and portents as proof of his mission;

The only Judge whose son tries to succeed him (and fails)

Jephthah the Gileadite ,The illegitimate son who was cast out by his brothers and became the leader of an outlaw gang , Judges 11-7, 12-1

The Process

Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon

Comments

God refuses to send a savior and the people decide to chose one - as prophesied by Isaiah: When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler (3-6)

Jephtha tries to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the dispute with the King of Ammon, but the King refuses. After the victory, Jephthah (the General) falls out of grace with the local "politicians" - how typical...

A few minor judges between Jephthah and Samson, known mainly for the number of their children, Judges 12, 6-15

The Process

   

Comments

 

Samson, Judges 13-1

The Process

 

Comments

The story of the miraculous birth of Samson, chosen to be the savior of Israel before he was even conceived. His parents even received a very specific set of instructions to be followed in order to make the prophecy come true, but he had wants and desires of his own...

The Election of King Saul:

(First book of Samuel, 10)

17. And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh; 18. And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you: 19. And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.20. And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken. 21. When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found. 22. Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff. 23. And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. 24. And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king. 25. Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house. 26. And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched. 27. But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

Star Trek

Introduction

ST-Enterprise

ST-TOS

ST-TNG

ST-DS9

ST-Voyager

ST-Andromeda

Asimov

The UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I) was the first commercial computer produced in the United States. The first UNIVAC was delivered to the United States Census Bureau on March 31, 1951, and was dedicated on June 14 that year. The fifth machine (built for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission) was used by CBS to predict the result of the 1952 presidential election. With a sample of just 1% of the voting population it correctly predicted that Dwight Eisenhower would win.

Apparently this was the inspiration to the idea that a computer will predict election results, instead of actually holding elections, and that the United States will become by 2008 (!) the first big electronic democracy, as described in the short story Franchise, written by Asimov in1955. Anyone who considers changing the elections procedure in Israel should read this story. Maybe the solution to the problem will be found there. Incidentally, Asimov named his computer Multivac.

Is that any more or less democratic than the present method? You be the judges…

Tolkien

Dune

Star Wars

After serving the maximum two 4-year terms, Padme Amidala was replaced by Queen Jamillia. Jamillia asked for Padme Amidala to continue on serving Naboo as Senator. Padme Amidala "couldn't refuse the Queen", and returned to politics after a brief respite. Jar Jar Binks was also appointed as the alternate Senator, becoming the first Gungan to represent Naboo, while Palpatine, a Naboo himself, remained Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, backed by a Naboo still rebuilding after occupation. Padme Amidala voagain and again against the Military Creation Act, which would allow for the Senate to raise a standing military to serve at the discretion of the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. However, she was out maneuvered and a proposal for the granting of "emergency powers" to the Chancellor was accepted with the vote of none other than Representative Jar Jar Binks.

And than the Clone Wars broke out...

Babylon 5 + Crusade

Matrix

Ender

Stargate

The Movie

 

 

 

Stargate SG-1

 

 

 

Stargate Atlantis

 

 

 

Stargate Universe

 

 

Harry Potter

The Dark Tower

Other Examples:

In the Movie Swing Vote (2008), starring Kevin Costner, due to a weird set of circumstances, the Presidential Election is about to be decided by a single vote... It seems that according to American law, if a ballot is registered but for some reason the vote isn't counted, the voter may submit an application to vote again.

Annex 1: List of Peoples and Societies

 

 

Trill

Bajoran

Borg

Dominion

Vulcan

Vorlon

Minbari

Narn

Nietzschian

Centauri

Ferengi

Shadows

Klingon

Cardassian

Romulan

 

Annex 2: List of Legal Cases

 

For a list of Legal examples click here or choose a topic from the list:

Alien Invasion
Birth Control
Civil Law
Criminal Law
Definition of Intelligent Life
Genetic Engineering
Laws of Robotics
Martial Law
Nature and Nurture
Prime Directive, the
Right to Privacy
Social Bias
Teleportation
Time Travel
Twins, Genetically Engineered
Twins, Inseparable

 

 

 

Annex 3: Bibliography (Partial)

Legal Studies Forum Volume 23, Number 3 (1999) reprinted by permission Legal Studies Forum

LAW, LITERATURE, AND SCIENCE FICTION NEW POSSIBILITIES

BRUCE L. ROCKWOOD

http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/lpop/etext/lsf/rock23.htm

Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 8(1) (2001) 25-36

"STAR TREK" AND STARE DECISIS: LEGAL REASONING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

By Bradley Stewart Chilton
The University of North Texas

http://www.albany.edu/scj/jcjpc/vol8is1/chilton.pdf?bcsi_scan_5085E2C351922AA6=0&bcsi_scan_filename=chilton.pdf

IMAGINATIVE FUTURES: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 1993 SCIENCE FICTION RESEARCH
ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

Milton T. Wolff and Daryl F. Mallett, Editors

(San Bernardino, Cal., SFRA Press, 1995)
reprinted by permission SFRA Press

PERRY MASON IN SPACE: A CALL FOR MORE INVENTIVE LAWYERS IN TELEVISION
SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

by Paul Joseph and Sharon Carton

http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/lpop/etext/sfra.htm

University of Toledo Law Review, Volume 24, Number 1 (1992), reprinted by permission of the authors

THE LAW OF THE FEDERATION: IMAGES OF LAW, LAWYERS, AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM IN "STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION"

Paul Joseph and Sharon Carton

http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/lpop/etext/joseph-carton.htm

PRIME TIME LAW
FICTIONAL TELEVISION AS LEGAL NARRATIVE

ROBERT M. JARVIS & PAUL R. JOSEPH, EDITORS

(Durham, N.C., Carolina Academic Press, 1998)
reprinted by permission of Carolina Academic Press

Chapter 12
Science Fiction
Paul R. Joseph

http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/lpop/etext/ptl/joseph.htm#8

 

For a short graphic presentation based on this chapter click here.