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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. Froborr
    October 12, 2014 @ 11:55 pm

    looks at title of article

    converts binary to ASCII

    feeds resulting hiragana into Google Translate


    No, but seriously, a good piece. The Bynars are one of my strongest memories of Season 1; I'm surprised you didn't make more of their obvious visual similarity to the Talosians. To me they've always seemed to be implying that the technofetishistic singularity ("The Rapture for Nerds") has more in common with that particular portrayal of the dead-end future than said nerds like to think about.

    I'm curious as to where you're going to go with the Borg. I've always seen them as a dark mirror of the Federation, imperialist, conformist technophiles who consume other cultures to add to their own in a relentless quest for smug perfection.


  2. Dustin
    October 13, 2014 @ 2:20 am

    Sorry, but you're going to have to explain the title to this dummy.


  3. Froborr
    October 13, 2014 @ 4:43 am

    It's binary code, which if converted to ASCII (the default international method for encoding text) turns out to be two pairs of Japanese characters separated by a space. Transliterating those, they turn out to be "Kei Yuri."


  4. Josh Marsfelder
    October 13, 2014 @ 8:11 am

    Way to give it away 😛

    Well, I'm happy someone took it upon themselves to translate all that out at any rate 🙂


  5. Daru
    November 19, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

    I would have had absolutely no idea what the code meant! Interesting that this episode was meant to be before The Big Goodbye, as the Holodeck for me is one the powerful transformative tools in the show, and the Bynars were such beautiful characters. Lovely essay.


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