Star Trek – The Original Social Influencers


I was talking about the “Star Trek” TV show yesterday and its effect on society. In the futuristic world of Trek, diversity was a way of life, not a news headline. And the series and its actors have influenced people since it aired in 1966.

William Shatner reached space on board the New Shepard rocket on Thursday, like his television counterpart, Captain James Kirk.

George Takei, who played coxswain Hikaru Sulu in the program, was born to Japanese-American immigrants, with whom he lived in internment camps run by the United States during World War II. Since becoming gay in 2005, Takei has been a tireless advocate for LGBT rights. He has won numerous awards for his work on human rights and Japan-US relations.

And then there’s Nichelle Nichols, who played Communications Officer Uhura in the original series. After the show’s first season, she decided to quit television to perform on Broadway. Until someone changes their mind.

Nichols was attending a formal dinner when told that there was someone who would like to meet her. In his words, “I turned around, and about 10 or 12 feet away from me was Dr. Martin Luther King, and my mouth fell out.”

During her conversation with Dr. King, she said that while she would miss “Star Trek”, she looked forward to opportunities on the New York scene. It was then that King said she couldn’t leave. Dr. King told him that “Star Trek” was the only show he would let his kids watch. Then, according to Nichols, King “told me not only that I shouldn’t but that I couldn’t leave.”

The reason? In her autobiography, Nichols said he (King) told her she couldn’t leave because she was a role model for millions of young girls and women – the only African American on TV in a role. worthy of being played.

Then there is the technology. The “Star Trek” franchise was a predictor of the tools and technology that humanity would benefit from in the future. Examples include touchscreen monitors, made popular in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Think about it when using your computer or tablet.

The next time you call Alexa or Siri for help, think about the computers that provided verbal help in the world of Star Trek. From data recovery to self-destruct footage, Federation computers were ready and able to help.

the crews of the spaceships cross the universe.

If you prefer your world to be virtual, thank the Next Generation for inspiring the next generation. Virtual reality was a solid technology on the USS Enterprise, while it still takes small steps in the real world.

The entertainment industry has made strides in VR, with Michael Jackson and Tupac revitalizing their careers long after their physical demise. With the Oculus gaming system, you can be right in the middle of the action.

Other examples include the 3-D printer, a current version of the Star Trek replicator. The Universal Translator can be found on most smart phones. In fact, the smart phone combines many luxuries of the United Federation of

Planets. Along with translation capabilities, video chats and wireless audio (headphones) are some of the compact data centers that we value (and often take for granted).

This shows that the only limits of humanity are in the spirit. And as I struggle for a deep sentence to close today’s session, I will leave that feeling to William Shatner who, at the end of his space journey, has just cried at the enormity of human possibilities. .

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