The dumbfuckery of storage drive data integrity

With all the complicated standards including data integrity, it is outrageous how useless it all still is.

I got a 4 TB WD Black harddisk that is probably 99.99999999% just fine, but it is telling me it will die in less than 24 hours and I better throw it in the trash.

If your harddisk suffers from a bad sector, the file occupying it is ruined. But you usually won’t even know that until you try to access it manually, directly, intentionally, and that fails.

Generally you might get a warning of some kind. So you know there’s a defect.
Now, to find out where it is, you need a special tool like GSmartControl that can show you the log and then the 24 or so latest entries shown and spammed with the same error are hopefully indicating only onw bad sector.

Then you would have to use a Windows command line tool nfi.exe to inquire what file if any is using that sector. And once you get that info you know which one is damaged and thus lost.

But now the real insanity starts: Unless repair attempts on the sector succeed, no dozens of failed and time-wasting read attempts can convince the firmware to reallocate the sector, to replace it with a spare or simply block access. I haven’t seen it happening so I cannot even confirm it, but AFAIU this only happens if you WRITE to that sector the next time. BUT… things like secure erase of the file won’t do, because the sector also needs to be unused before you attempt to write to it.
AND apparently even secure erase still leaves a filesystem remnant, basically a nameless undeletable garbage file, and it seems that this is still considered part of the filesystem for God knows how long. Because I verified that the bad sector is not used by any file, and yet chkdsk gets stuck for all eternity on the files check at the start, as if that sector was still part of the filesystem contents. (And if you try chkdsk /b, it might take far too long to get to the damaged spot and even there it is not guaranteed to succeed.)

So to clarify: Failing to read a single damn spot on the disk for half an hour that procudes tons of SMART log spam about the exact location does not convince the drive to replace that bit.

Also, DiskGenius can do targeted scans of disk surface to identify damaged regions, but its repair attempt will fail quite like chkdsk, endless freeze. Sadly it doesn’t offer to replace it without that futile attempts. (It did manage to repair a weak sector, but since SMART does not report a new reallocation event, I have to assume it merely repaired it through writes, so it could start making trouble again soon.)

HDDScan offers such a surface test, too, but its output seems to get stuck on reporting bad sectors long after the one that actually is bad.

But the most frustrating thing about all this pretend-SMARTness that is F.U.C.K.I.N.G.D.U.M.B. is that while I am being informed there is “Current Pending Sector Count = 1”, it does not inform me which sector is the pending one that I haven’t identified yet, even though it would have to know the position from knowing it is there.

More or less realistic options you have:

  • Go to Linux and use command line hackery with smartctl and hdparm to manually surgically replace the bad sector.
  • Alter the disk’s partitioning to exclude the area with the defective sector. (DiskGenius can tell you the megabyte-based region on the disk based on the sector.)
  • Slow-format or secure-erase the whole disk. (But AFAIR I have had issues with such in the past because the system pretended the problems had been repaired but then they reoccured later after I recopied all the data onto it. Not on those writes, apparently, but afterwards.)

So, since I have an installation of that relatively shitty Linux, I went there and after some basic hassle this command did the trick:
“sudo hdparm –write-sector 6960709 –yes-i-know-what-i-am-doing /dev/sdc”
It is described as an alias for “–repair-sector” and I thought ‘damn, not that again’. And it went so quick with no delay whatsoever and reading the sector only yielded zeroes that I was wondering whether it was the correct sector, but after checking back in Windows, the obstacle was gone!
So apparently it can be easy to accomplish such simple and intelligent things!
(But as I keep pointing out, Linux has its own infuriating shortcomings.)

I am still not over my skepticism, though. The reallocated sector count is still the same, so I have to wonder whether under Windows the repair attempt just failed for some reason or whether under Linux that method simply doesn’t trigger the counter.
Also, Offline Uncorrectable is still 1, and I read it is supposed to go back to 0 when everything is fine, not be a history-type statistic, although that’s unreliable info.

Now, what SHOULD happen in this data safety system, as an integral part, is that the OS warns and informs which file is affected by a defective sector and not in its original state anymore, and the drive should also reallocate sectors that are just weak, because in my view there is no such thing as a repaired sector, as my own experience with this drive has shown. If it is weak, it cannot be trusted anymore, and there should be plenty of spares. It is no drama to lose even a couple megabytes, although that will rarely be the case, and if so, the harddisk is probably finished. – But to cause such an obstacle out of a single sector, that is nuts. A late surprise of data corruption and a huge drama. Very unprofessional and sloppy, kinda defying the purpose of accurately tracking what is happening with the data.

The existing system looks like not designed primarily to protect your data but to convince you to buy a new product.

Eine überschätzte Doku

Ich kopiere einfach mal meinen Kommentar hier rein. So viel ‘Cringe’ in einem Video hab ich schon lange nicht mehr erlebt, und in so einem massiven Meta-Kontext.

1:35 Exakt die Zahl da? Ich glaube eher nicht. Unwissenschaftlich. Ist doch eine exakte Maßeinheit.
6:18 “Sind sie allein, oder einfach nur unbedeutend?” – Wieder mal ne Möglichkeit ausgelassen. Zu hoch für den kleinen ‘rationalen’ Verstand. 😏
12:19 “ganz objektiv gesehen … unbedeutend” – Und noch ein Indiz, daß diese Dokumentation einfach nur eine Antithese glorifiziert. – Unbedeutend? Wie nahe sind denn andere Arten daran, sowas wie ein Video im Internet zu publizieren oder Atomwaffen zu bauen? Ist das nicht das Ergebnis eines Sieges in einem System, das sich durch Artenkampf weiterentwickelt? Der Mensch hat sich quasi wie jeder kleinster Organismus per Überlebenstrieb bis zu Spitze hochgearbeitet. Kann man werten, wie man will, aber objektiv ist der Mensch damit sehr bedeutend. Aber die Angst vor Überheblichkeit kann dumm machen.
13:05 “dreimal weniger” Autsch. 😖 Gruselt mich jedesmal, wenn ich sowas höre, besonders im wissenschaftlichen Kontext. Sprache als Abbild des Verstandes.
15:02 Das Vakuum des Weltraums und diverse andere genannte Bedingungen nur in verkapselter Form! Schlechte Animationswahl.
18:30 “der einzige, der seine Intellgenz entwickelt hat” – Schon wieder so eine Idiotenformulierung. 🤦 Wie entwickelt man denn seine eigene Intelligenz verglichen zu dem, was alle anderen Lebensformen machen?
20:53 “Schwacher Abklatsch”, huh? Bei näherer Betrachtung. Nicht vielleicht eine radikale Weiterentwicklung und Verknüpfung mit vielem anderen? Wenn ich noch einmal den Spruch mit dem “unbedeutend” höre, klassifiziere ich das Video als selbstverspottende Komödie mit unabsichtlichem Metacharakter.
24:05 Der Mensch zeichnet sich nicht durch Intelligenz aus? … Ja, die Macher dieses Videos definitiv nicht. Auch dadurch ausgedrückt, wie sie nur von sich selbst generalisierend auf andere schließen können. – Die Summe aller Errungenschaften wird einfach ignoriert und stattdessen wird kdurch ein Astloch geguckt.
28:15 🤦 Totale selbstkasteiende, moralisierende Öko-Hybris, die vergleichbare Prozesse nicht bei anderen Tieren sieht. Tierarten haben sich schon immer durch Konsumboost und Verdrängung gegenseitig ausgelöscht.

Dieses Video ist wie eine künstlerische Darstellung davon, wenn ein sehr dummer Mensch besser die Finger von LSD gelassen hätte.

Außerdem ein massiver Wdierspruch: Wenn der Mensch so unbedeutend ist, dann gibts ja auch keinen Grund für uns, Umweltschutz zu betreiben. Macht ja eh keinen relevanten Unterschied. Wir sind ja so schwach und machtlos. Außer wenn es darum geht, wie böse wir sind, dann sind wir plötzlich ohne Gleichen.

Praise the Time of Revelation

Seemingly intelligent people on all sides are now revealing their true limits.

Initially I learned a lot about China from SerpentZA, but he and his buddy Laowhy86 have continually been going down the dork path since they moved to the USA.

They are still able to communicate good things to this day, but they are blinding themselves with their chosen bias, their crusade against the CCP.
Picking a side cannot nourish peace, and we see that a lot lately, that folly. Catering to a zero-sum game never adds something new, something good.
I did my best to try and enlighten them, but it is no new experience to me that people tend to be set in their mind and rarely embrace growth in an inconvenient direction.
I have learned to not expect much from people and to not assume I know them until I have seen them in testing times. (As a saying goes: If you start with truth and sincerely pursue truth, you will find nothing but truth. – meaning don’t have any expectations about finding pleasing things if you need them)

Their recent livestream was the so far lowest point I have seen in that development, and maybe not even in quality, but in quantity of hypocrisy, naivete and lack of understanding of the true differences and similarities between China and the USA and in broader context of world politics and society.
At times they stumbled into outright inverting the sense of an argument. (I have to restrain myself from not starting to point out every single thing. I did my work already.)

Especially if you have a good understanding of politics and society, if you value truth and consistent sticking to that principle over a biased agenda, you can watch it for yourself and see what whammies, facepalms and kneeslappers you can discover.

I will just post one example that is not even the most consequential, but just as a little peek, a sample, into what I mean, how this Time of Revelation is increasingly allowing all kinds of people to show their true makeup, merit, intelligence, integrity, whatever you want to call it.

Here they are comparing the F-35 Lightning with the Shenyang FC-31 (I could swear they called it a Chengdu) to underline how China stole military secrets from the USA. (And even here I would not take that story at face value but would have to do my own reading-up. Not anymore. Not from them.)


fighterjet clownery 1


fighterjet clownery 2


f35 photo

Shenyang FC-31

That is meme-level behavior of OMG, THEY’RE VIRTUALLY THE SAME!!!)

Sadly, some of their prominent critics are even worse. Much worse.
But that is just natural when you have two fronts waging war. Fear makes stupid.
Only the truth will set you free.


If you have questions about what you saw and would like to have some unbiased context, feel free to ask me for more insight.


UPDATE 2020-08-14:
Next-level doozie in this vid, thoroughly serving the Time of Revelation:

In it, SerpentZA not only claims his being a South African makes claims he is working for the CIA ridiculous, but he interviewed a buddy of Western-imperialist media mogul Limmy Lai, and when they explained they consider what Julian Assange did a clear exemplary case of treason, to contrast it to Lai’s US-coordinated incitement propaganda campaign, basically advocating for the suppression of journalism and whistleblowing while advocating for a US-servile press to commit crimes, Winston Sterzel did not object but even casually acquiesced to the statement.
Now it is very clear how much (or little) he actually does his homework. He has chosen his path towards the dark side.
He has basically joined the Coup Clux Clan.

This makes my work so much easier. It means everything is coming out now.

Several times in the past Winston said the more the CCP is opposing him the more vigorously he will push back. It is clear he does not understand how that makes him a tool of the dynamic here. He is just like the CCP: a reactionary element destined to be a nemesis for someone else. – I.e. … unfree, through own action. This is not how to attain or create freedom.

Shopping cart requirement – idiot-proof is always bad

Some supermarkets have implemented a rule that makes me as a smart, thoughtful person cringe. I went to one today that had implemented that rule that forces you to use a shopping cart – so that you keep distance to others!
This is one of those stupid-simplistic ideas that have potential to cause more harm than good.

Awareness of the COVID problem is widespread anyway. In other markets you can see people being thoughtful in their conduct anyway, but regardless of rule of not, people can still act in a stupid way.

Interacting with anything touched by many people is an issue and that made me turn around and not do business with said market. They offered some dispensers for gloves and disinfectant wipes, but you also have to interact with those, and the wipes might not be very effective. And even though in that case I could at least disinfect in my own thourough way, other people are likely less thorough and, as is so common in society, execute standard rituals that are expected from them and then believe they did enough. This is a tendency incentivized even more when a measure is mandatory.
And the coin slot of the shopping carts might be a problem zone. (Also, if you use physical money all high-level safety goes out the window anyway.) I wasn’t in the mood to do a detailed study, but my general behavior based on own thoughtfulness resisted a coersive measure to interact with something I do not need.

This is a frequent experience of mine: The pain of living in an idiot society, to say it bluntly. Whenever I can freely do things my way, it works well, because I think about what I do and focus on the outcome. But too often one is forced into idiocies like this. Rules that are designed to manage severe idiocy of the rabble are a really bad compromise, and smart people suffer from it.

This is probably in line with various other disinfection acts we can see in the world that very much look like only being done so governments can say they did something. Like disinfecting the pyramids of Gizeh, as if the burning sun and dry hot sand of the place gave the virus any chance. Or disinfecting a popular tourist site that has been closed for a while anyway and continues to do so, so any viral contamination there would be dead by now, or if there is interaction through animals and weather, would be restored quickly anyway.

There are also at least more thoughtful ways to implement the shopping cart system. Another supermarket had a cart ready at the entrance, no coin needed, and it is ready and thoroughly disinfected by an employee, including side railings and everything. But in that case I still wouldn’t trust it as much as my own process, if I was to do it, which I wouldn’t, because I don’t need a cart and naturally keep distance to people! (When I was there, apparently the employee was somewhere else, so it is not a rigidly enforced system, and that is good. It should be seen as a service provided for those who do not object. It was probably not driven by that stupid unreliable idea of forced distancing, but was a safer way to offer shopping carts for those who use them anyway.)

The safe-and-stupid way of steering the rabble instead of educating people into self-reliance is a constant issue that also leads to erosion of democracy. Even in such a crisis, governments try to avoid having to turn people into intelligent, self-reliant beings who can run society just fine without government meddling. Instead, early-on they were offered a buffet of pundit opinions, and then pestered with said questionable panic measures.

People Power cannot be avoided forever. But since it is the enemy of capitalism, there will be more suffering for humankind as long as capitalism dominates. Smart people (again) understood the inherent problems with it long ago. Others need a pandemic to see the obvious, in gross intensification.

The profound spiritual divide that affects your whole life

That one time I armwrestled a guy…
…and I defeated him by making him give up.

I don’t mean that I toyed with him.
I never had the upper hand.
Most of the time he had me at three quarters, but there he ran into a brick wall.
This not only exhausted him physically, but also weakened him psychologically, because in his mind, based on his cultural (self-)indoctrination, what is supposed to happen is that the more you dominate, the easier it gets.
So he faltered and I gained ground.
And as soon as I was threatening to move past the middle, to gain even the littlest bit of upper hand, he found new strength and pushed again. And again ran into that brick wall.

That’s when he resorted to cheating. But that didn’t get him much farther either. It only hastened his surrender.

This is internal power.
Where you know when you have enough and can rely on that.
Those who aim to win will lose. The game distracts you from what’s real.

This is showing the profound difference in mindset that drive capitalism and socialism as world view and way of life, way of being.
In the former, the more you gain the more important it becomes. In the latter, the more you gain the less important it becomes. Because it focuses on building a baseline for everybody and the understanding that that makes the world safer for everybody. It is not driven by fear (selfishness, individualist obsession), but by love (altruism). This requires social intelligence, which is inherently a spiritual path; realizing the connectedness of all things.
Don’t fall for the great con, tempting you with borrowed power.

Sacrifices need to be made anyway. If you realize this early-on, you can make them on your terms.
If not … then your enemy decides whether you live or die.

This video’s message sounds great, but it is painfully naive/foolish

I’ll mostly write my Youtube comment here. It is important to not happily stumble into more of the same folly, and that video bothers me a lot. It’s like a bullshit indoctrination commercial for more of the same insanity. I guess that it was basically funded by Bill Gates speaks for itself.

0:59 Everything changed with the industrial revolution? LOL! Zero sum/positive sum is all in the mind and it never changed because the people with power were and are still craving more, more, MORE as always. And it’s still zero sum if there’s just a temporary growth, if the sum cannot grow indefinitely and sustainably. This is exactly the mind’s folly that keeps perpetuating the problems. The solution is not “positive sum”, but ‘doesnmattersum’. Transcending the thinking that creates the problem.
1:50 More of this BS, claiming the growth of prosperity is continuing today when we see violent conquest and mass theft of all kinds as a way of life for certain countries. (Also, I guess once someone dies, they fall out of the statistic of how many things people own, hah.)
3:03 And there we see that what’s called “positive sum world” is just a choice of what speed of change to label as such and what not. Again, it’s an attitude and perception thing. With the speed of change came more pressure by the limited ‘confines’ of this planet and more total power of greed, so guess what the bottom line is: same. No change to society if it’s all external. But back then we had the same problems, and since there were less people living on the planet, it was just as foolish and sick. Or did we forget the rule of monarchs in their lavish castles and the miserable poverty among the People? Without that crap you could go and call those times a positive sum world. But since we still have that crap today, I don’t see a distinction as valid.
Videos like this emerge from minds too enamoured by science and technology and not enough by spirituality. (And I don’t mean the label, the mass culture, I mean the looking inwards, the very personal, the part where you actually discover your own bullshit.)
4:30 Oh yeah of course, now the cancer cure clichée. – Billions of dollars have been flowing and are still flowing into developing new lucrative treatments while dodging the cures. Raising people’s financial power against cancer doesn’t drive cures, but treatments, unless the People stop being tools, which I don’t see happening because the masses are way too emotionally convenient and are sometimes rather willing to die than to give up a convenient belief that makes them sick.

Gist of the video: ‘We need more money for the existing system! More money for everybody will solve everything!’ – so frickin’ naive and insane. In part because it is imagining a reality that cannot even come to pass because of the very system that is being glorified in the video.

The Weakest-Link Issue

If there is a giant birthday cake with a small turd on top, I will not eat from the cake.
Some people will discard that as emotional-irrational and overly sensitive and advocate a more pragmatic and “strong” approach and just cut from the cake’s outer rim.
Those people will lose the ability to question why there is a turd on a birthday cake in the first place and also get sick from parasites moving from the turd all through the cake.
They’re literally getting used to eating shit because their mouth is watering. It is a lack of self-discipline. It is weakness. Eventually they will condemn those without parasites for their “unrealistic” and “holier-than-thou” attitude.

Energy has to transform from low to high level to raise the quality of the system, not the other way round. But there is that perception of “normal” again, even going so far as labeling it “law of nature”. Well, “law” is a relatively low frequency concept, a means for managing the failure to manifest a higher frequency.

Do not fill black bars on vertical video!

The black bars fill where you duplicate the video content onto a lower layer and magnify and blur it is one of those very stupid effects that are used because to a toddler’s mind they seem like a great idea. But it provides zero benefit. It reduces compression efficiency by leeching off bitrate and generates a constant distraction for the watcher’s attention through pointless movements over the majority of the picture, which is especially bad because human vision is more sensitive to movements towards the periphery and because the zoom amplifies the actual movement energy of the source video. It also blurs the perceptual boundaries, making it more difficult to clearly and easily identify where the actual informational video content ends. This is even worse on videos that are intended to be fully informational and not artistically playful, like for example this one:

In short, it is added effort to make a video a PITA. (In German this is called Verschlimmbesserung. Could be translated as worseprovement.)
Here is a good video demonstrating how easily attention can be diverted:
(It is a somewhat different case, but it is about moving elements drawing attention.)


UPDATE: I recently encountered a typical result of when people follow some trend thoughtlessly; a 16:9 video with mixed media content in which all 4:3 (so not even 9:16) aspected content had black bars fill, but cinemascope content did not have it for the black bars on the top and bottom. Suddenly black bars are totally fine. Why? Because everybody leaves them black.
This is just one example for many common inconsistent habits that show how people can be programmed into behaviors if they don’t question them.

UPDATE 2: Related issue with what Twitter has been doing for a while now:

I also made a short clip pointing out the somewhat arbitrary, inconsistent behavior and how it has to do with herd following and how it’s not happening if no one starts it:

UPDATE 3 – 2020-08-16: UNBE-FRICKIN-LIEVABLE! This is collective derangement!

Vertical video, put a fat frame around it to further reduce vertical image resolution/size, add the notorious blur fill to a high-motion scene, zoomed(!)… and then flipping the blur content horizontally!!! (Actually the video itself is flipped and the blur cloning didn’t follow.) … And the image isn’t even perfectly vertical, but rotated slightly to the right!

What will be next? No blur but earthquake effect? Maybe some strobe lights on negative image? Spinning motion would surely be fun, too.
Why even use the original footage? Just put some blurred lewd action there and then we can forget the actual video content altogether.
Now I also finally know that at least that linked Youtuber adds this all later, which is even more insane. The original video is nice and sane native vertical resolution smartphone video and that’s it. Ideal. (If we ignore that often – but not always – horizontal video is better.)

UPDATE 2021-02-04: Eventually a theory occured to me that maybe people are doing this in order to prevent the GooTube algorithm from labeling Fair Use content as ripped off and demonetizing the video, but this would only work on videos with large black bars anyway and also I have seen a lot of content like that that was uploader-original, so that would have to be a pointless habitual thing then. – And also, still, to this day, no one ever responded to my inquiries about why they are doing this stuff, so I have to assume they know they’re doing something stupid but want to continue. (I’m really working with an utter lack of external information here.)

Your language speaks volumes

Ever wondered why there’s so much logic-perverted action in/from the USA?
It’s probably worth a scientific paper why so many people tend to make a mixup mistake in both directions, i.e. always getting it wrong – a comma where none belongs and then omitting it where one should be. Stuff like that.
But there are many other issues with language and they reflect what I often say: “Language shapes thought and thought shapes language. Your speech speaks volumes.
I cringe every time I hear stuff like “three times less” (which would be -300%).
In the same way people also mistake “three times more” for “three times as much”. (Three times more is four times as much, since the “more” describes an increase by units of the base amount. Otherwise “one time more” would be the same as the base amount you’re referring to.)
Cynically speaking, is it any surprise in such a situation that people even manage to confuse “war” and “peace”? (Also: War on/of Terror, anyone?)
Don’t get me started on the thing with medicine “for” an illness instead of “against”. Explains the drug pushers’ symptom treatment focus. And this kind of language (= thinking) spawns all kinds of less common and even more puzzling cases.
So, newsflash: We don’t need a prescription for war, but for peace or against war.

The Orville and Star Trek Discovery – Comparative review / meta commentary

I will give a virtually no-spoiler review of each one and then a comparative conclusion, based on my current view and understanding and in contemporary context of the shows emerging; what role they play, what influence they might have. So it’s highly colored by sociology; very meta, if you want to use that term. I will also look at The Orville in light of the obvious Trek knockoff it tries to be. The reviews might jump around key points a bit since I wrote these from plenty of notes I took during my watching of four episodes of The Orville first and then three episodes of Star Trek Discovery.

The Orville

The overall story writing is OK and relatively enjoyable. That’s like a crucial basis that one needs to get right or everything else suffers from it. The problem is, it suffers a lot from the details as well as its agenda. This show knows exactly what it’s doing and it is showing.

The humor is relatively natural and doesn’t go too much into tryhard territory, although it can be borderline at times. It’s just the characters being their slightly quirky way, although the show tries a dissonant mix of wanting to be serious and believable but then throwing that out the window. Characters are basically not at all different from people of our time. This can be seen as a strength but also as a weakness, because it means that the sci-fi setting is nothing but window dressing. This could work just as well in any other setting. There is no inspirational factor that has something to do with the future, and some references (usually attempted humorous) to our times in fact test the suspension of disbelief of the show happening any time in the future, and that’s not the only factor in that. Sometimes the show pretends that there is a professional qualification to serving on board a starship and that it is still embedded in a military context, but then again all too often the Orville seems more like a privateer ship with a family sitcom going.

One detail that I had to facepalm about – one of those things – was when a fly-by of the Orville featured dirt specks on the screen, as if it was being filmed by a camera. This stuff bothers me all the time.

There is a lot of standard-recipe at work. It’s a show like many others. If The Orville wasn’t sci-fi, it would need more quality to make up for that space-filler. Watching it feels like someone thought: “Hey, let’s make a show that looks like Trek, but with low-brow humor and hitting home our progressive message in a way that everybody gets what we’re trying to tell them, but while at the same time making it not too obvious; throw some seeming self-reflective tendencies in there for intellectual self-congratulation, but make sure the outcome is right.”
A show absolutely emerged from our times.

In detail the show’s entertainment value suffers a little to a lot from not well thought-through events (gross logical flaws, seeming continuity errors, just not explaining HOW some outlandish things are supposed to work or why people do the weird things they do, generally dissing the actually potentially intelligent part) and bad action scene choreography and such. Too often I find myself thinking that something really doesn’t make sense, regardless of the sci-fi setting, but that I am witnessing lazy writing. This is like what Star Trek TOS would sometimes have, too, but in Orville it doesn’t quite work as an homage thing. TOS was a bit cheesy, another age of sci-fi TV, and had some really good things going for it to compensate, while The Orville features an abundance of such writing while at the same time trying to give it a STTNG paint job.
Why make a sci-fi show when it’s not backed by interest in actually exploring science? The script just says something magically works and that’s it? Makes me assume the writers would even have difficulty explaining the stuff we can do today. It’s not entirely comparable to Abrams Trek (because the storytelling is not ridiculous), but they do pull some Red Matter maneuvers in The Orville.

The show features old themes with a new paint. Some people might claim this show is exactly what the world needs, but I would posit that its thinly veiled proselytizing is exactly not what the world needs, is not making any difference, because it is a mere reflection of the two-sides-of-the-same-coin issue that has gained traction over the years. This show provides zero enlightenment over what we had decades past. It is unimaginative in that there is no interest conveyed in envisioning anything new. It is purely designed for social commentary, with the most basic construct created to deliver a narrative, no love for making it work for an intelligent audience, and mixed with light comedic entertainment. It’s like someone didn’t quite understand the franchise they’re trying to so closely base the show on, or didn’t care to.
If you just keep doing the same formula for every new generation, at best you’re standing still, but more likely it’s like that saying: If you’re not making progress, you’re going backwards.

The Orville thinks it’s progressive, but it’s just totally trendfollowing the road to hell.

Trek was thought-provoking. In The Orville someone has already done the thinking for you and is now portraying the results.

Again, there is certainly some overlap with TOS if you consider that one in the context of its time, but then you also have to realize not just the similarities but also the difference of that time to now. In TOS and Trek in general the spirit behind it seemed a bit different, more tied into the idea of a naturally more advanced future society, more of the positivity that is lacking in The Orville. TOS dealt with the same kind of themes as The Orville, so I am quite sure I am not just imagining the crucial difference.
The Orville is pretty much a product emerging from our increasingly disturbed and polarized times, i.e. making it potentially less of an inspiration than TOS.
The thing I am sensing is that the show is reflecting the elaborate mind’s idea of heart, the best a mind can do in terms of an imitation, without actually containing its energy. And there is the great social divide. If you need an example of what I’m talking about: Firefly got what The Orville hasn’t. Hell, even My Little Pony with its relatively simplistic writing, plenty of plot holes and strong messaging that it shares with The Orville has it.
You just gotta consider that Joss Whedon is a feminist and then realize how that totally didn’t bother us in Firefly. And there you have that elusive but crucial difference I am pointing at. That which cannot be imitated, cannot be faked. You either got it or you don’t.

To use the show’s language and add my spin, The Orville is a self-content artificial ego system.

Star Trek Discovery

Discovery throws some nostalgia references, some fit better than others, so it’s a mix. TOS bridge sounds effects fit surprisingly naturally into the new setting. They’re kinda timeless I guess, but also this show is situated in the early time of Starfleet. Bridge consoles explode with more energy than ever before. *sigh*

Otherwise the visual and sound effects remind me way too much of Abrams Trek. STD does the camera dirt thing, too, and disappointingly they almost dropped the phaser thing altogether, while hand guns look exactly like phasers. Action is shaky, noise, flickery, the lens flare crap is back, and because of said phaser issue everything is *bwip-bwip* now, including warp travel. This kind of design reminds me way too much of the crappiest of sci-fi.
In odd contrast to that, just like with the hand gun design, ship design is done well in terms of fitting into the timeline.

Some logical flaws in this show’s writing, too, but very few and not a big issue. Merely cosmetic, if you will, although there’s a hint of clumsy attempted nostalgia reference. It’s just all not in-your-face. Just your usual lazy writing here and there to push events in a certain way that is more the norm than the exception.

Putting the focus of the show on one character is a somewhat new approach, and it’s done moderately enough to not break with Trek style. It’s an interesting direction to explore, although this of course comes with some risks. The main character being female with a male name could be an agenda-driven thing at its core idea, but don’t get yourself trolled. I was just wondering that this wasn’t explained right-away considering the show’s otherwise eager exposition, but I guess at some point we will learn about the story behind that and it might not at all be what you expect.

I just settled for accepting you can’t expect too much continuity in the show. It seems they got an android on board.

As for the klingons and their design, well, at this point I look at the show more like a spin-off, and the execution of the storytelling is done well enough that I can live with it. Their portrayal is maybe a bit inconsistent in detail to make them a clichée, but it’s hard for me to have any strong view on these things.

Some segments of the show are a bit doo dark for my taste and there’s some disaster porn, too. To me some scenes seem too artifically set up for drama and don’t quite work. There’s no buildup to a climax. You are served whatever course you are supposed to swallow.

In both shows the first episode was relatively pleasant to watch, probably since it’s new and I had to process all that first. But it soon became clear to me that if there is too much deliberation and agenda in a show’s design, it is pretty much an invitation for nitpicking, since there’s no heart to compensate for it, that could diminish the sterility a bit. And to me that is worse in Orville.

Trek or not, I can accept Discovery as an interesting and thought-provoking series. Orville I cannot quite enjoy because it is a mess of thrown together concepts and ideas of things instead of those things themselves. Doesn’t take itself fully serious but wants to be taken serious. Tries to look like an homage, but pays homage to the wrong things and merely tries to imitate others. I tried taking it for what it is without seeing any Trek in it but that didn’t make it any more entertaining.

I will have to see how the shows evolve further, but, in peculiar contrast to so many voices, I definitely see more of the core spirit of Trek in Discovery than in Orville. Discovery might have less of its familiar form, but more of its core, and Orville is the opposite, and that’s how its humor can even work in that frame; It cannot do any damage. Orville is a clumsy hybrid of comedy skit and fanfic. For different reasons neither show fills me with particular optimism. Orville doesn’t because it’s exactly a reflection of the mindset of our times and Discovery because it’s dark and full of war.

Maybe all this explains why I also like Rogue One better than The Force Awakens. Or maybe that totally confuses you now, haha.

UPDATE: More commentary and discussion on some further episodes of the shows here: