It’s the 24th century.
Humans have left behind the earth, and their sense of shame in wearing Lycra to boldy go places. They have faster-than-lightspeed transport and communication technology. They’ve also developed immersive virtual realities of amazing sophistication and subtlety.
Some my question is: why go anywhere in spaceships?
Why not fire off sophisticated, autonomous drones that travel to every point of the cosmos at warp-speed; to survey and construct immersive, explorable Holodeck simulations of where they’ve got to and who they’ve met?
Why not stay at home in The Presidio and wander into a holosuite at your leisure to wrestle with a green lizard man – safe in the knowledge that no harm can come to you. Knowing you can wander at home at night to your family – and some great mexican food rather than some galactic-goop brewed up by an irritating stowaway?
Why have ‘authorised’, trained Starfleet officers at all – if the ‘mass-amateurisation of everything’ is starting right now – then where will it be in the 24th century?
Grid-distribute the experiences and associated tasks to the millions of CosmoBloggers or the equivalent telepresent hordes, a la Patrick Farley’s Spiders. Let First Contact be with kids, goat herds and losers rather than uptight French hornblowers, macho Iowans or drippy ex-quantum-leapers.
Why do these people have to construct giant spaceships with detachable saucer sections to pack their kids onto?
It’s just dumb!
And, sure Mr. TV-producer, it be harder to churn out the episodes without having to rely on Jefferies Tubes or reversing the tachyon-converter polarity nonsense – but you’d be able to tell better stories!
Our heroes would just go to incredibly strange places and do incredible strange things, and be heroes without weapons or science or tools of any kind!! I guess there would be a big downside in merchandizing, without nice big books of cut-away transporters and guns, but hey.
And don’t give me the answer I got back in the restaurant, that they need to fly places in spaceships “to be there”. They are there in any way their monkey brains can understand it!
These people have had 400 years to read Baudrillard!!!