I’ve seen my fair share of Star Trek episodes, though I’m not exactly a Trekkie. I’m squarely in the “The Next Generation” generation: Too young to have a pre-ironic appreciation of Shatner, and too over it to get into Voyager.
I grew up watching Picard, Data and LaForge battle the borg. For this history and science geek, second only to Picard’s “Engage!”, the iconic Star Trek TNG moment is Data on the Holodeck, simulating a poker game with his three scientific heroes: Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking.
Because I’m currently living on one of the most remote places on the planet, surrounded by parsecs of water, forests and fog, I feel no less isolated than Data, on the Enterprise, out near the Romulan border, and today I found myself imagining my own holodeck poker game. Which three would I invite?
Interestingly, my mind went first to living persons (Rachel Maddow, Johnny Depp, Richard Dawkins), but they’re alive—I could just beam them up to the transporter room. No, to be true to the established traditions of holodeck poker, they would have to be simulated real dead people. Data spent time on the Holodeck solving mysteries in the fictional world of Sherlock Holmes, but for poker and conversation, he preferred real but extinct personalities.
So who would it be? Sadly, I am primarily monolingual. So like Data, computer translations notwithstanding I’ll stick with speakers of English. How about…
Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.
My creed is that: Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so.
Who are your Holodeck Poker partners, alive or dead?