That Star Trek is dead came to me as a sad realization while attending the Teragrid 2011 conference. On Wednesday we made an excursion to the planetarium. There were two shows. The first was titled something like “This Violent Universe” and Patrick Stewart was the narrator. The second show was titled “Black Holes.” As I listened, I knew the voice sounded familiar–and it turned out to be John de Lancie! I thought, How cool. The shows have a Star Trek theme.
When the show was over I went out to talk to my students and commented on how cool it was. One said, “Who’s John de Lancie?”
I replied, “Why, he played Q on Star Trek.”
My mind reeled. “Do you know who Patrick Stewart is?”
Student 1: “No”
Student 2: “He’s the guy that does the narration for the Discovery Channel.”
Student 3: “He played Captain Kirk on Star Trek.”
What is the world coming to when students of Computer Science give these kinds of answers? One can only conclude that Star Trek is dead, forgotten, and that its gravestone has cracked and molded over with age.