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May 98

Star Trek DS9: Hard Time (Revisited)

I’m still thinking about this episode (sort of) [See May 17 entry]. And something I should have picked up on Sunday actually occurred to me in, funnily enough, maths tuition tonight! We somehow got on to talking about religion, and then philosophy, and then the philosophical notion that we don’t exist, and that we are all figures that are part of a dream. We aren’t real, basically. Along with this came the butterfly thing… One night you dream you are a butterfly, but are you dreaming you’re a butterfly, or is it a butterfly dreaming it’s a human (seems ridiculous, but try to ignore cynicism for the moment). My tutor pointed out that some psychopaths in society use the argument that since nothing is real (ie: just dreamt), that they can justify their actions as they don’t have any real repercussions. Then it struck me of the significance of the DS9 episode – that it doesn’t matter whether it was not real – the act was still there. BUT, the difference is, unlike a dream, in which you can’t really control yourself (ignoring lucid dreaming, too), this was an “interactive mental program” where O’Brien could choose his actions (as the final scene in the cargo bay depicted). Come to think of it, it’s very much like the previous episode. The harmful action was there, but in the real world, no harm was done (the murder of the imaginary friend, and the destruction of a holographic ship). This week’s episode is screening in a couple minutes… I hope it’s as good, and I wonder if O’Brien makes an appearance (he just won’t be the same man he was… or will he?).

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