|Visual mash-up by Ray X.|
"If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear." - Gene Roddenberry
Back in the 1960s a producer had to push to have any diversity in a TV program. In creating the original Star Trek TV series Gene Roddenberry wanted to show a crew of many different cultures working in harmony.
For some the concept of multinationalism was impossible to accept. But Roddenberry persisted: his starship team included characters like Communications Officer Uhura who was of African descent. She was an important crew member, not someone cast in a lowly support role.
One way this tolerance of other cultures was expressed was through the IDIC concept: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. One shouldn't automatically fear "the other."
All of this was brought to mind the other night when I happened to drop in to listen to the Liberty Net, a gathering of ultra-conservative ham radio operators who not only express their views on shortwave radio but simulcast their discussions online at www.3950.net . After recently writing a long-delayed post about their previous exploits I thought it was to check in again.
Some of the LibNetters are into science fiction and even Star Trek has been mentioned in passing. But this time the talk was really bizarre: mankind developing teleportation as seen on ST was linked with the growing threat to the endangered white man.
Experiments have been conducted that indicate that teleportation might someday be a form of transportation. Some LibNetters really got into the discussion about how important this would be for man's advancement in the universe.
But it was also mentioned that other races are outbreeding the white man, causing a severe deterioration of civilization. In particular people of African descent were undermining all the great work of the Supreme White Man. Civilization might collapse by a global dumbing-down before it could achieve teleportation and other wondrous breakthroughs.
Meanwhile at the grave of Gene Roddenberry twirling and hurling sounds could be heard.
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