TL;DR — An amusing take on how the humans in Star Trek relate to their technology (and how other aliens relate to them).
Today, in the “I never thought of it like that” file:
Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles, tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they don’t really understand… All those rampant holograms and warp core malfunctions and accidentally-traveling-back-in-time incidents? That doesn’t actually happen to anyone else; it’s literally just Federation vessels that go off the rails like that. And they do so on a fairly regular basis.
But apparently, others have thought of that, and its implications:
So to everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown… Aliens who have seen the Back to the Future movies literally don’t realise that Doc Brown is meant to be funny. They’re just like “yes, that is exactly what all human scientists are like in my experience”.
THE ONLY REASON SCOTTY IS CHIEF ENGINEER INSTEAD OF SOMEONE FROM A SPECIES WITH A HIGHER TECHNOLOGICAL APTITUDE IS BECAUSE EVERYONE FROM THOSE SPECIES TOOK ONE LOOK AT THE ENTERPRISE’S ENGINE ROOM AND RAN AWAY SCREAMING
klingons: okay we don’t get it
vulcan science academy: get what
klingons: you vulcans are a bunch of stuffy prisses but you’re also tougher, stronger, and smarter than humans in every single way
klingons: why do you let them run your federation
vulcan science academy: look
vulcan science academy: this is a species where if you give them two warp cores they don’t do experiments on one and save the other for if the first one blows up
vulcan science academy: this is a species where if you give them two warp cores, they will ask for a third one, immediately plug all three into each other, punch a hole into an alternate universe where humans subscribe to an even more destructive ideological system, fight everyone in it because they’re offended by that, steal their warp cores, plug those together, punch their way back here, then try to turn a nearby sun into a torus because that was what their initial scientific experiment was for and they didn’t want to waste a trip.
vulcan science academy: they did that last week. we have the write-up right here. it’s getting published in about six hundred scientific journals across two hundred different disciplines because of how many established theories their ridiculous little expedition has just called into question. also, they did turn that sun into a torus, and no one actually knows how.
vulcan science academy: this is why we let them do whatever the hell they want.
klingons: … can we be a part of your federation
you know what the best evidence for this is? Deep Space 9 almost never broke down. minor malfunctions that irritated O’Brien to hell and back, sure, but almost none of the truly weird shit that befell Voyager and all the starships Enterprise. what was the weirdest malfunction DS9 ever had? the senior staff getting trapped as holosuite characters in Our Man Bashir, and that was because a human decided to just dump the transporter buffer into the station’s core memory and hope everything would work out somehow, which is a bit like swapping your computer’s hard drive out for a memory card from a PlayStation 2 and expecting to be able to play a game of Spyro the Dragon with your keyboard and mouse.
There is no phrase in Vulcan for “the particular moment when you understand that the true way to serenity is to embrace chaos as much as logic.”
Vulcans that work for Starfleet though, have a particular look that passes between them when sharing war stories featuring human shenanigans that might mean the same thing.
<rant>I loathe the way Tumblr shows replies. It’s like the worst aspects of a single-page mailing list dump, but for the “social media age” (so, an excess of needless indenting that screws up both the text and the embedded images).</rant>