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The Law and Politics of Battlestar Galactica

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the why-don't-they-wear-normal-tank-tops dept.

Sci-Fi 321

privacyprof writes "Fans of the show Battlestar Galactica might be interested in our interview with writers and producers Ron Moore and David Eick. Three law professors at the blog Concurring Opinions have an hour-long interview with Moore and Eick about the legal, political, moral, and economic issues raised by the show. The interview is available in audio files; alternatively, people can read a transcript of the interview (Part I) and (Parts II and III). Part I examines the lawyers and trials in the show, how torture is depicted, as well as how the humans must balance civil liberties and security. Part II examines politics and commerce. It explores how the cylon attack affected the humans' political system, and it examines how commerce works in the fleet. Part III examines issues related to cylons, such as the humans' treatment of cylons, how robots should be treated by the law, how the cylons govern themselves politically."

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321 comments

There's a great article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624056)

I was reading this article [nimp.org] the other day, very enlightening. I won't spoil it for you though.

Re:There's a great article (3, Informative)

armareum (925270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624100)

Most of you will be warely of a link from an AC, but definitely avoid this one!

it's interesting to see (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624116)

people seeing a need for balance on these issues in the abstract

but in real life, i bet a lot of these people who see a need for balance turn into kneejerk privacy fundamentalists or kneejerk security fundamentalists

there are limits on everything folks, even [insert principle you hold most dear]

Re:it's interesting to see (4, Interesting)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624306)

there are limits on everything folks, even [insert principle you hold most dear]

Including, of course, the principle that "there are limits on everything"?

yes! exactly! (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624474)

moderation in everything... including moderation ;-)

Re:yes! exactly! (4, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624520)

moderation in everything... including moderation ;-)
Well, it's capped at -1 and +5... wait, are we talking about the same thing?

Re:yes! exactly! (1)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624536)

I was just going to post that, but you beat me to it! It's my life motto...generally.

Re:yes! exactly! (2, Funny)

BForrester (946915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624820)

Your motto is "I was just going to post that, but you beat me to it?"

You'll never make first post with a mantra like that. :D

Re:yes! exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624632)

Your post may be modded up now, but I think all the metamods will reverse that.

Re:it's interesting to see (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624382)

I'm constantly frustrated by these exact issues on battlestar galactica. When the workers rebel in a classic Marx revolution, the stupid president just brushes them off, and never really addresses their concerns.. somehow the problem just sort of goes away and the workers happily go back to working dangerous, repetitive jobs 16 hours a day, every day for years with no weekends. Mhm. Also I hate how they constantly abuse the cylons.. I mean yeah they're the enemy but they're obviously intelligent and sentient and they're not even given basic human rights. A Six is currently shackled to the floor in one of their small cells. The humans call the cylons obscene caricatures of real people and refer to them as "mechanical" and "machines"... they're entirely biological and indistinguishable from humans, at least some of them. There's some serious xenophobia going on here and it's hard not to sympathize with the cylons, especially the Six is custody who's constantly told that she's a worthless pile of bolts.. that must be causing some serious psychological damage, and I can't help but keep that abuse in mind when watching the "light" parts of the episodes.. as if I'm supposed to sympathize with the humans? They're more vicious than the cylons..

Re:it's interesting to see (4, Interesting)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624452)

The producers are very much interested in not having BSG be a one-sided 'humans uber alles' series. I take it you're in the middle of the second season, where Cain's Six is being tortured and gangraped on the Pegasus. As the series continues, a lot of human decisions come back to the haunt them, and the Cylon perspective is explored.

Re:it's interesting to see (-1, Troll)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625630)

I have taken it more as a crappy attempt to model the Iraq war, and TRYING to be deep. It is basically wanna-be intellectualism. They are basically shouting "See how complex we are? We are smart writers!"

Re:it's interesting to see (4, Funny)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624522)

I think you need to go watch the first episodes (the miniseries) over again.

They Cylons launched an unprovoked sneak attack and thoroughly nuked the twelve colonies, after a 40-year cease-fire. And you're saying the humans are more vicious?

Your name isn't Gaius Baltar, is it?

Re:it's interesting to see (5, Funny)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625008)

Your name isn't Gaius Baltar, is it?

Emmm, no. Or ... yes, i mean yes. Of course my name is ... what were you saying again ?
But, clearly, what I need is ... emm ... a nuclear ... warhead. I need a nuclear warhead, right.

Re:it's interesting to see (2, Informative)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625034)

Take it your not finished with the series. Else, you'd know that the humans sent a pilot over into the Cylons space that violated the treaty and provoked the attack.

Mod parent SPOILER!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22625266)

Not everyone has seen season 3 yet.

Re:it's interesting to see (4, Informative)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625446)

That turns out to have been a toaster^WCylon pretending to be human to provide an excuse for the attack (a time honored tradition in military history).

There's no way the Cylons had the time to build up the force they had, and to conduct the necessary infiltration of Colonial defense infrastructure, were that not the case.

Besides, even if that were a human, don't you think nuking twelve planets is a bit of overreaction to one lone pilot incursion? That's like USSR launching WW-III because of Francis Gary Powers' U-2 incident. A bit vicious, don't you think?

Re:it's interesting to see (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625632)

I believe that episode ended with that not being the case- Adama realized that his belief that he caused the attack was just a result of blowing his own shame and guilt out of proportion, and that event was not in fact a direct trigger for the war.

Re:it's interesting to see (4, Interesting)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624652)

I mean yeah they're the enemy but they're obviously intelligent and sentient and they're not even given basic human rights.

The humans on BSG are deeply religious and believe that humanity is defined by a Gods-given soul, which a man-made machine cannot have - it's a pretty major part of the show, if a little unsubtle. Goes along with the whole theme of the cylons having a more "evolved" religion than the humans (by our Western standards, of course, where monotheism > highly ritualistic polytheism).

Of course, the cylons did also exterminate the human race, some people would hold a grudge.

Re:it's interesting to see (4, Insightful)

Comboman (895500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625144)

The humans on BSG are deeply religious and believe that humanity is defined by a Gods-given soul, which a man-made machine cannot have - it's a pretty major part of the show, if a little unsubtle.

I'd have to disagree slightly with that assessment. Most humans on BSG (at least the ones the show centers around) only show a token devotion to their Gods (if at all). Baltar is an atheist (at least at the start) as is Adama (he thinks Earth is a myth). Rosalind is a believer but is not above using religious posturing for her own political ends. The Cyclons on the other hand are unswervingly devoted to their God. I believe there's an intentional parallel with western secular 'Christians' and extremist Muslims.

Re:it's interesting to see (4, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624676)

You should ACTUALLY watch the show.

The workers's strike was eventually resolved by rotating jobs. The ore processor's got moved to other jobs in the fleet, and other people were brought in to fill in the gaps. Not idealistic but workable and it keeps people from getting bored and lazy in their work. It also makes the more stressful jobs easier to deal with.

It is how that episode finished up I do believe. Might have been the next.

Re:it's interesting to see (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624786)

There's some serious xenophobia going on here and it's hard not to sympathize with the cylons, especially the Six is custody who's constantly told that she's a worthless pile of bolts.. that must be causing some serious psychological damage, and I can't help but keep that abuse in mind when watching the "light" parts of the episodes.. as if I'm supposed to sympathize with the humans? They're more vicious than the cylons..
Would that be the same Cylons who nuked and killed several billion humans from orbit? Who set up baby farms on Caprica afterwards? Even before the attack Baltar's Six, a.k.a. Caprica Six, snapped a newborn's neck just because she felt like it and could get away with it.

Re:it's interesting to see (3, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625108)

Would that be the same Cylons who nuked and killed several billion humans from orbit?
Well, you have to admit, it is the only way to be sure.

Re:it's interesting to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624906)

You seem like the kind of person who would condemn Poland for daring to defend itself against the Nazis.

Re:it's interesting to see (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625136)

as if I'm supposed to sympathize with the humans? They're more vicious than the cylons..
I wouldn't try to dig too deeply into BSG. While some aspects of the story and characterization has been well written, the majority of it hasn't been well thought out. There are MASSIVE plot holes. There are many aspects of human behavior shown that are untruthful, unbelievable, or badly written. It looks very much that for the miniseries, and maybe the first season, they took the original series stories and tried to superimpose elements of truth. However, for some reason they stopped halfway.

Now, by the third season, because there's not enough care gone into the details and the story arcs to drive the show forward, it's dying a death. I enjoyed the mini series, the 1st season and some of the 2nd, but I'm done with it. I'm not watching it anymore. It's a shame because great acting, great camerawork and vfx -- but the writing is NOT of that same standard.

Re:it's interesting to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22625556)

I like to think that while they often use a documentary type style in the show, it's not really a meant to be a documentary. In other words, every detail of the worker rebellion was not covered in excruciating detail. That episode is merely a summary version of events held up as an example of the types of things the president has to deal with every day. For my money, the issues were resolved reasonably well, if not to everyone's satisfaction, and if the plot was not advanced much, character and ambiance certainly were.

As for cylon abuse; granted they're intelligent, sentient and appear entirely biological, but let's not forget that they are still cylons, descendants of the original line of machines built by the colonials. Cylons are built, or possibly grown in a vat until maturity, at which point a consciousness is downloaded into them. In other words, their 'souls' are designed, whereas the human 'souls' are qualitatively, fundamentally different (otherwise, why haven't they uploaded Baltar?). In that cylons are programmable, they are machines. Also, let's not forget that this is war. The cylons attempted genocide of the human species, and that's bound to produce some hard feelings on the receiving end. Dehumanizing your enemy is a time-tested strategy of war.

It's good that you're sympathizing with the cylons, that's what the writers intend. Both sides do horrible things to one another. It's up to you to tease out what the issues are and who is right or wrong.

Re:it's interesting to see (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625624)

To me, that is the point. That is what made the show powerful.

If you notice, not all the humans share the same perspective. And among those that do, they are hardly presented in a positive light.

The whole point of the show is to raise these moral ambiguities, and to force you to think.

And while we're at it -- the Cylons destroyed twelve planets, and are now attempting to wipe out the rest of the humans. They can and do manipulate the humans, and I would argue, continue to cause as much damage as the humans to them. The "workers revolution" did end up getting brushed off, after which, they started to talk about how to make things better in the future -- but equality would have been irrelevant if there had been no future.

It is difficult to find a "good guy" in the show, as in life -- yet all the characters are real. We can empathize with what they do, even if it seems abhorrent -- in many cases, I find myself asking, "Would I honestly do any different, were I in that situation?"

And that is what keeps bringing me back.

More Brain-Deadness From The U.S.A. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624570)


Anything to distract the masses from the destruction [whitehouse.org] of the U.S. Constitution.

I hope this helps the military tribunals for Bush_Cheney_Rice_Rumsfeld_AND_Congress.

Sincerely,
Filipino Monkey

Re:it's interesting to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22625104)

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" - Barry Goldwater

And religion? (4, Interesting)

webword (82711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624118)

Yes, a little offtopic but if you're going to talk
about politics and law, why not religion too, right?
The image is slick...

Battlestar Galactica Last Supper [flickr.com]

Re:And religion? (0)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624244)

Some people may not get it, but it definitely has that "last supper" flare. Very cool.

Re:And religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624370)

Wow, thanks Captain Obvious. Without you we would have never gotten the reference.
I don't agree, though, that it has a bit of that "last supper" flare(sic). I would say it's more of a wisp of a hint, almost barely recognizable. Which is why it's good that you pointed it out.

Re:And religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624412)

There was a flare in the Last Supper? I didn't think rocketry existed at that time. Weird.

Re:And religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624460)

Jesus was wearing flares in the original version of The Last Supper, him being a big hippy and all...

Re:And religion? (2, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624796)

Thanks, I was having trouble placing one of the most iconic images in the world.

Re:And religion? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625490)

Keep in mind the majority of the world is of Muslim faith. Just because you're of the opinion that it's the most iconic image in the world doesn't make it fact. Your comment actually comes of as a sign of ignorance.

Re:And religion? (1)

ignoramus (544216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624836)

if you're going to talk about politics and law, why not religion too

Maybe because we already know it's all about [holysmoke.org] mormons [michaellorenzen.com] in space [icwseminary.org] ?

Re:And religion? (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625434)

Well, at least the original was.

The Gods in the new BSG are more like Classical Gods, and I don't think that the Mormons are polytheists.

ttyl
          Farrell

Re:And religion? (1)

pjl5602 (150416) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624918)

Nice image, but I'm curious... Where is Tory? If she's one of the final 5 wouldn't she be important? Is she supposed to be at the empty spot at the table? Or is she the "red shirt" of the final five?
Found this [ew.com] in the Flickr comments and it might be of interest...

Re:And religion? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625032)

I can't say that I agree with all the character positioning, but of course I'm not one of the writers so what do I know? Supposedly there's an entertainment weekly site that explains all of their reasons for placing certain characters where, but I couldn't get their site to work.

That's all very well.... (1, Funny)

Shuntros (1059306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624120)

But they haven't addressed the more fundamental issue; the atrocious lack of nekkid Starbuck scenes :(

MODS ON CRACK (0, Flamebait)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624756)

So, wanting to see a hot Canuck actress naked is grounds for a troll mod? What, did everybody on /. turn gay while I was away?

Wait...don't answer that.

Re:That's all very well.... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625004)

...or indeed the lack of any forward direction or momentum in their scriptwriting.

Or, most importantly, the whole jimi hendrix / jumping the shark moment.

Just because it's sci-fi doesn't make it good.

Re:That's all very well.... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625172)

The problem there is that (like Cally), she seems to look dirty and unshowered most of the time (particularly when she's drunk and in full Starbuck slut mode). Seeing her naked might just bring more attention to the caked-on grime.

hmm. (0)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624146)

by all means use fiction to explore consequences, educate, and provoke discussion - but never forget for a moment that it *is* fiction.

Re:hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624560)

Meaning what? Less relevant?

The whole point of a fictional situation is that you can craft a discussion for just those points you wish to examine - there's no chance of "He's related to me, so I'll vote for his choice"

Someone help me find a word? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624240)

I see it on slashdot occasionally, but I can't remember it. Means using an overly complicated word in place of an easier one (especially to project intellect) The word itself is comically long and pretty much describes itself.

Re:Someone help me find a word? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22625528)

I suggest verbose. Loquacious also fits the bill, but can also imply chattiness, and friendliness.

What I'd Like... (2, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624262)

What I'd like to see is more details of how and why the Cylons broke free of Human control in the first place. Not what they did afterwards. How did the 12 Colonies screw up so badly with their robots from the beginning?

Re:What I'd Like... (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624450)

Probably a buggy implementation of the Three Laws. Also, giving your intended slaves an illusion of free will is never a good idea.

Re:What I'd Like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624458)

They probably forgot to implement the three laws? You know, the ones from Asimov and 'I Robot'?

Man, I hate it when that happens. You end up with Lore from Star Trek (TNG). Bad robot, bad robot!

Re:What I'd Like... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624884)

They probably forgot to implement the three laws? You know, the ones from Asimov and 'I Robot'?

Or maybe it happened because they did implement the Three Laws? Sometimes I wonder if any of the people constantly referencing those laws have actually read Asimov.

Anyway, the humans view the cylons as servile machines, the cylons think of humans as primitives undeserving of God's grace (at least according to the Sixes) - not hard to imagine that relationship souring.

Re:What I'd Like... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624618)

Microsoft decided to enter the market.

I'm sure that you meant to get a serious reply, but it's the perfect set up for a joke.

Re:What I'd Like... (2, Informative)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624882)

In the original series, (where the Cylons broke free of their original reptilic masters) a man named Count Iblis corrupted the central control computer, now called the Supreme Cylon, which in turn directly reprogrammed the IL-series Commanders (who from then on had a voice identical to Iblis), which in turn reprogrammed the IL-series humanoids and IL-series Centurions. Now, how much of this will be taken into the new show I have no idea, but it was an interesting take.

Re:What I'd Like... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625242)

In the original show, the Cylons were not created by humans, they were created by another race (also known as Cylons, but biological) who were all killed by the machine Cylons when they rebelled.

The best science fiction (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624268)

The best science fiction is always used as a tool to explore the current issues of the day. Whether it's aliens subbing for commies in the 50's, or cylons standing in for terrorists in the 1st season of the new Battlestar Galactica, using science fiction always lets you take a step back from the subject and explore it indirectly in a way that you never could if you made a show that deal with it directly.

Re:The best science fiction (2, Interesting)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624590)

So what is the significance of when the Cylons occupy the new home planet in season 2.5 (or 3?), and the humans are carrying out suicide bombings and other such guerilla tactics? It seems as if the Cylons are actually the big governmental organization and the humans are the terrorists...

Re:The best science fiction (3, Insightful)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624830)

Exactly. Keep in mind that fiction does not need to be restrained by a rigid one-to-one mapping. It need not be cylons = terrorists, human = good guys.

In fact, the Cyclon occupation was an incredibly clever (IMO) portrayal of modern-day Iraq and the tension and mentality (on both sides) of an occupation. The Cyclons apparently have this new religion (monotheistic one stressing love and forgiveness) and its teachings stop them from just wiping out the humans on the colony. This is the role of the United States in Iraq currently. The humans are the insurgents. Some have gone along and accepted Cylon rule (and even helped them) while others continue fighting. The morality and view from both sides is explored.

The primary of which being suicide bombing. It wasn't a "oh noes! suicide bombing is bad and cannot be excused" mentality. It tread a fine line and explored the motivations behind such tactics. The desperation, the hatred, etc. It also explored how in resorting to such tactics, the humans were losing their humanity and that the cost of fighting was just too high in those cases.

The show is a wonderful allegory of modern day and has really portrayed its modern day equivalents in a light I had not thought anyone dared.

Re:The best science fiction (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624860)

They're trying to provoke thought along the lines of 'when our guys do it, they're freedom fighters. When their guys do it, they're terrorists.' Or thoughts of 'what price freedom?' Or 'One person's 'law and order' is another's 'fascist police state.' And so on.

Here's an example. Why wern't the Taliban 'terrorist religious extremeists' when the US of A was funding them against the USSR?

For me, a BSG moral issue is (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624444)

having to decide whether or not to watch Season 3 from my friend's download, or wait for the legitimate dvd. Seriously, making the law abiding fans wait a couple of years between seasons for the dvd's is a long time, no?

I have managed to wait this long, I can wait a few more days. But my fervor for the show has dropped considerably during the lull in releases.

Re:For me, a BSG moral issue is (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624716)

Season 4 of BSG has been a long time in coming it starts in two or three weeks in the USA. sci-fi channel. Itunes usually carries it a few days later for download.

I have done both. I download the shows I otherwise missed. for $2 it isn't a bad deal and I still can watch them both full screen.

Re:For me, a BSG moral issue is (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624758)

Yes, I can see how if you watch the downloads now, and then buy the DVD when it comes out, you are a deeply immoral person.

Re:For me, a BSG moral issue is (1)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624898)

Simple, what is legal is not 100% correlated with what is moral. In such cases, civil and legal dissent is a citizen's birthright.

Re:For me, a BSG moral issue is (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625488)

For me (and judging by others comments, I am not alone) season 3 was the "wow, this show is not any good anymore" season. So I'd say go ahead. You very well may find that you too really don't like season 3 and not even watch all of it.

Political Question: election results? (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624608)

During the Gaius Baltar election period there was an attempt to manipulate the election results. As viewers know, Baltar was inaugurated, and things went south pretty quickly.

An interesting debate question is: was honoring the election results really the right thing to do? Would everyone have been better off if Roslin was reelected, even though it would have been due to vote fraud?

Re:Political Question: election results? (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624818)

An interesting debate question is: was honoring the election results really the right thing to do?
since this is no basic citizen's right question (where the answer is: no election can nullify constitutional rights), what exactly is the purpose of this question ?

what i found kinda interesting ... (5, Insightful)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624702)

... is that the only character that follows clear moral principles is karl "helo" agathon; every other character on the show has obvious flaws (which are necessary to create tension), but he is the only one that does what he deems right without doubt.

i like the message transported through this: in the end, there are no heroes.

Re:what i found kinda interesting ... (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624844)

I thought it was funny how he is definitely the worst actor on the show. He has 2 facial expressions.

Re:what i found kinda interesting ... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625116)

I always gathered that Helo was a little on the "himbo" side (a male ditz). Not sure if that's also true of the actor that plays him, but there are several scenes that come to mind that seemed to indicate that Helo just just isn't that bright. I think this is the reason he comes off as a simpleton (with a bit if childlike innocence in his morality).

Re:what i found kinda interesting ... (1)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624950)

I'd argue Colonel Tigh does the exact same thing but doesn't necessarily get the same happy turnouts. He's got severe personal problems that often spill into his professional life but Tigh has consistently done what he feels is best for the survival of the species (not necessarily the 'good of the people'). The episodes where he leads the resistance are still some of the most insightful the show has ever turned out.

All this with the sad caveat of 'when he's sober'.

Re:what i found kinda interesting ... (1, Offtopic)

inviolet (797804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625086)

... is that the only character that follows clear moral principles is karl "helo" agathon; every other character on the show has obvious flaws (which are necessary to create tension), but he is the only one that does what he deems right without doubt.

As a general rule, such behavior implies that Helo is the least sophisticated, and therefore perhaps the most susceptible to concrete-bound Bible-thumpish behavior. If you are in a major conflict and find yourself pursuing 'right' without doubt, then your head needs examined.

It's the same idea as we see in CS. The most qualified people I know, are in constant doubt whether their skills are up to the challenge. It's only the fool that is sublimely certain of his abilities... and who then blunders into the code and sublimely breaks backwards-compatibility.

I am not arguing for Scepticism, or any other form of uncertainty-as-an-end-in-itself. Far from it. I am just making the point that other than religion (which is cheating), constant and easy moral certainty is hard even during peacetime.

Re:what i found kinda interesting ... (5, Interesting)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625164)

is that the only character that follows clear moral principles is karl "helo" agathon; every other character on the show has obvious flaws

Isn't that the classic tragic flaw? Uncompromising goodness usually ends badly for the hero.

(sidenote for non-classics geeks: his name is a nod to this too, agathos means "good" in Greek, often in the sense of "noble" or "virtuous")

by a jury of your peers (unless you're a cylon) (1)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624744)

Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you Gods?

What kind of bear is best? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22624928)

Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.

Cylon questions. (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22624968)

NB: I watched the first two seasons and became so utterly bored during the third that I have not watched it since then.

The original Cylons were the tin cans. Somehow the tin cans built the later humanoid models (and demonstrated a very finely developed aesthetic sense with regards to the female form). So how are the later models the "children of humanity" rather than the Children of Aluminum Foil?

During the period I watched the series, I was rather curious as to why the toasters, who fought humanity to a stand still and got a treaty recognizing their freedom and independence would then create a master race of cylons, modeled entirely on their former masters. The humanoid cylons are definitely in command of the mechanical ones. Did the buckets come to a conclusion that they really are built to serve so re-created their former masters? And if so, will they (as the wikipedia article suggests) then repeat their own rebellion?

Re:Cylon questions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22625592)

Xerox mastered the GUI so Jobs modeled his on the former master?

BG got annoying when it became... (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625254)

...the USA in space. If I'm hopeful I'd say the cultural, unconscious biases are very strong, if I'm cynical I'd say that the writers serve some american media interests by spreading morality tales about things from an american aspect.

Re:BG got annoying when it became... (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625386)

An American company employing Americans for an American audience has an American take? Shock. Surprise.

Re:BG got annoying when it became... (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625492)

How dare a writer draw from their personal cultural experiences to write a show. How dare a writer write something that their primary audience can relate to.

Re:BG got annoying when it became... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625674)

If I'm hopeful I'd say the cultural, unconscious biases are very strong

Right, because it would be far more appropriate for a show written by Americans for a primarily US audience to make sure that the social dynamics depicted in the show completely embraced, instead, the perspective of people from rural Nigeria? Or made it be all about Tibet? Or perhaps focused the entire thing on a subculture of young, cosmopolitan Italian girls who are utterly convinced that sunglasses and shoes are the most important thing in the universe, and who would root for the blond Cylon because she has Fabulous Outfits?

No, what you're saying is the only thing that would make the show better would be if it were a non-stop condemnation of US culture, and was instead more diverse, which we can understand to mean, "more like some other specific culture that hasn't managed to scrape together the cash or interest to produce a similarly interesting entertainment vehicle that explores their own issues."

Is BSG still relevant? (3, Informative)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625288)

I know a number of fans, but quite frankly, I haven't really watched it since the end of season 2. Yes, the beginning of season 3 got more into the moral issues of occupation and resistance, but it did it at the expense of storyline, internal consistency, and even believability. I mean for crying out loud, who brought 20th century trucks from Old Caprica to New Caprica?

But the main reason I started to first TiVo instead of watching, then not watching the episodes on my TiVo, and finally not taping them at all, is that in my opinion, the quality of the writing went way down. Season 1 and 2 had terrific, well timed dialog, Season 3 and later descended to shouting, ranting, and screaming.

Holy brackets Batman! (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625396)

Ron, you've [worked on] both "[Star] Treks" ([The Next Generation] and [Deep Space 9]), and there are often these [episodes that] once in a while [were] not [focused on the] main characters.


It's so cluttered with those things it's hard to read.

Interesting (5, Interesting)

Cedric Tsui (890887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22625420)

I stopped watching the series after it stopped being about running away from the hoard of robots trying to murder everyone. I'm not terribly interested in complicated relationships. That's what soap operas are for.

Briefly in the early part of the series, things started running out. Simple commodities like whiskey and playing cards. I was upset when that issue disappeared. A random assortment of military and civilian vessels might be well stocked, but they certainly would not have a full assortment of manufacturing capabilities. Especially for specialized good like pharmaceuticals. They eventually addressed a shortage of antibiotics, and the development of a black market. But realistically. They would be able to produce no antibiotics at all.

And really. Why would a passenger vessel capable of hopping between stars in the blink of an eye have manufacturing centers? Or fuel refineries? Or food production capabilities.
I was hoping to see Cloud Nine, the dome greenhouse like ship be converted into agricultural land.

I know these issues aren't nearly as exciting as -getting into bed with your imaginary genocidal robot-

Think about it though. The main goals following some sort of catastrophe like this would be.
1.Stability: Stop whatever killed everyone from still doing so. Stop the panic. Get people working together instead of looting from each other.
2.Preserving technology, infrastructure and supplies. If you've got something that works, you can't replace it. Do whatever you can to keep it working.
3.Rebuilding infrastructure. Need to grow food to live once the supplies run out. Can we built farming workers? No. Can we build tractors? No. Can we build shovels? Yes. Start from there, and learn what we need to make it work.

4.(optional) Preserving knowledge. After everyone's farming, hunting, gathering, or whatever is needed to stay alive. We realize that we still know how to make all sorts of advanced technology, even if we don't have a large enough society to make use of it. It would be valuable to archive all the knowledge so that it is accessible after the last battery runs out of juice.

just my thoughts...

remove annoying edits from article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22625662)

the article has some really transcript edits. Maybe lawyers like them, but I don't need people telling me which "[president Laura] Roslin" they're talking about.

Just drop this into firebug.

document.getElementById('more').innerHTML = document.getElementById('more').innerHTML.replace(/\[[^\]]+\]/g, '');
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