next generation

“He learned to play it safe. And he never, ever got noticed by anyone.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Q

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Star Trek: The Next Generation. A worthy successor to the franchise, The Next Generation introduced a new cast of characters taking control of a new USS Enterprise as they boldly go where no man has gone before.

This week’s quote comes from the 6th season episode, Tapestry. In the episode, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) is shot in his artificial heart. Ironically, if he has his normal heart, he wouldn’t be dying. The god-like being Q (played by John de Lancie) gives him an opportunity to return to that bar fight that made him lose his original heart in the first place. Picard does so but, when he is returned to his original time, he is no longer the Captain of the USS Enterprise, but a simple junior officer. He confronts Q about his current situation and Q explains that, because he never had that brush with death in the bar, Picard never took the risks that made him a daring captain in the first place.

Geek wisdom:  It seems easy to take no chances. While you may leave a comfortable life by doing this, the only way to really get ahead is to seize opportunities when you can and take risks. It may seem difficult but the most successful people in life have taken the more perilous route to get where they are. The gamble may be risky but the payout is high.

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“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Captain Jean-Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: There are already several quotes from the old Star Trek cast. Now, it’s time to give a little respect to The Next Generation, the successor to the franchise. Star Trek: The Next Generation successfully introduced new fans to the sci-fi world where humans explored the final frontier. The series also gave us many memorable characters and, thankfully, lots of great quotes.

This week’s quote comes from The Next Generation Episode entitled Peak Performance, wherein Picard and Riker (played by Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes, respectively), take part of a series of war games to test their mettle as part of their training. During the episode, Lt. Commander Data (played by Brent Spiner) plays a competitive game against the the war games observer in a strategic game aptly named Strategema. To his surprise, Data, who just so happened to be an android, loses. This makes Data start to lose faith in himself as a strategist as there was supposedly no way he should have lost.

The quote happens during the second act. Picard asks Data to come to the bridge but the android has second thoughts. This is when Picard, after ordering him on to the bridge, gives the quote.

Geek wisdom:  Life isn’t fair all the time. Sometimes you will given lucky breaks and sometimes unlucky ones. There are also going to be times when, even if you think you’ve thought of every possible bad thing that could happen and prepare contingencies for them, things may still not swing your way. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try things anymore. The important thing is that you try.

“To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Television, Movies

Who said it?: James T. Kirk, Jean Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: This quote is probably something everyone is familiar with. It comes from the opening narration of Star Trek. But first, let’s talk about Star Trek.

The basic premise of all Star Trek iterations is that a huge spaceship, the USS Enterprise, goes around the universe attempting to make brand new discoveries and encounter new alien races to communicate with. One of the things that made each version of Star Trek memorable was the diverse cast and the attitudes of the crew of the Enterprise. The original 1966 series had James T. Kirk, the captain of the ship, who was usually led by following his instincts. However, his First Office, a Vulcan named Spock, who only works with pure logic.

The second series, called Star Trek: The Next Generation, added more diversity. The crew of the new Enterprise now had a Klingon (a race of aliens that were actually the main antagonists of the original series) named Worf and a full-fledged android named Data joining an entirely new cast.

Anyway, every series would always have the same intro, with a narrator stating the full mission of the USS Enterprise.

Here’s the original version from the first series…

Now, here’s the introduction from Star Trek: The Next Generation…

Geek wisdom: We all want to play it safe and stay in our comfort zone and, honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s when we don’t explore and do new things once in a while is when we stagnate. We all have to eventually try new things and go to new places. In fact, this is the best way for us to keep learning new things.