Assimilate This

Construction, destruction and science - BIG science

Welcome to Star Trekking, my attempt to share points of interest and random intersections in the final frontier.

The ongoing thesis of this newsletter is that, whether you’re actively looking for it or not, Star Trek is everywhere.

Sometimes it’s buried deep inside an article by Margaret Atwood, a look back at Laurie Anderson’s seminal album, Big Science.

As the 20th century has morphed into the 21st, as the consequences of the destruction of the natural world have become devastatingly clear, as analogue has been superseded by digital, as the possibilities for surveillance have increased a hundredfold, and as the ruthless hive mind of the Borg has been approximated through online media, Anderson’s anxious and unsettling probings have taken on an aura of the prophetic. Do you want to be a human being any more? Are you one now? What even is that? Or should you just allow yourself to be held in the long electronic petrochemical arms of your false mother?

Surprisingly, Laurie Anderson seems to have been assimilated by Star Trek herself. In 1989 she wrote an opera about Moby Dick.

And in the piece - as excerpted for WNYC’s Studio 360 - she compared Moby Dick to Star Trek - it’s all about losing and gaining control.


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More Trek/Moby Dick convergence.

At the end of the novel, the obsessed Ahab is killed by his obsession just as the obsessed Khan is effectively killed by his obsession Kirk. Then, the book’s narrator Ishmael survives because after the Pequod is destroyed, he uses the coffin as a life buoy, just as Spock is left with a coffin after the Enterprise is almost destroyed. 

Feels like I should also post this.

Meanwhile, in non-whale related content…

That time I tried to make my own special effects shot by painting stars onto a piece of felt. Circa 1980.

And in that same spirit, here is the evidence that someone once made his won Trek film using, essentially, stone knives and bearskins.

The future of Star Trek?

And speaking of the future.

Someone needs to use these for a stop motion film.

And speaking of stop motion, here’s an hour long Enterprise episode a German fan made. Only took him eight years.

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Found on FB.

RIP to one of the architects of the Trek aesthetic.

Repairing battle damage, no doubt.

It’s science.


  1. Design origin of the Discovery.

  2. Review of the published score of Jerry Goldsmith’s ST-TMP music includes a previously unrecorded cue.

  3. Whoopsie.

  4. Needs moar Lorca.

  5. The history of Trek uniform fashion.

Have you come across some random Trek this week? Let me know!

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Until next time,

LOVE long…and prosper.


Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
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