NSA Chief’s “Information Dominance Center” Designed To Look Like Star Trek

ifWe are officially living in someone else’s fantasy. The Verge writes:

Foreign Policy describes NSA head Keith Alexander’s data-processing “Information Dominance Center” in Virginia as a high-tech homage to Star Trek.

Alexander reportedly had his operations center redesigned to mimic the Enterprise bridge, “complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed.”

“The Center’s primary function is to enable 24-hour worldwide visualization, planning, and execution of coordinated information operations for the US Army and other federal agencies,” says a paper by designers DBI Architects. “The futuristic Commander’s console gives the illusion that one has boarded a star ship.”

The officials and lawmakers who were apparently treated to presentations at the center, however, seemed duly impressed. “Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,” says an officer who helped coordinate the visits.

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  • BuzzCoastin

    Keith Alexander is one creepy looking dude
    I’m wiling to be he was bullied & tormented as at school
    and an outsider most of his life
    so it’s not at all surprising that he’s turned into a Trekky
    but why be a Klingon?

  • echar

    Don’t make it so.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      Disengage!

      • Calypso_1

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        • The Well Dressed Man

          Earl Grey NOT!

  • Jin The Ninja

    it’s interesting because it was obvious that the setting of the original series (and next gen) was a sort of “scientific” (read military) ‘fabian socialism:’ post capitalism, post property, post consumer, resource-based economy. i am not surprised military types like it (or identify with it), but i am surprised they ignore (or co opt) such a large portion of the narrative.

    • Haystack

      Star Trek was supposedly set in a post-scarcity universe, but the writers never seemed to do more than pay lip service to the idea. The characters and settings always seemed much, much closer to present social arrangements–no doubt because they needed to write conventional, TV plot-lines for the show, and not go off into bizarro world by fully exploring the implications of a post-scarcity society.

      Star Trek is all about American imperialistic ideals. It’s a show where the captain of powerful warship visits alien worlds, and “corrects” whatever is wrong with their society. This is particularly true in the original series, where practically every episode ended in Kirk lecturing the aliens about how screwed up they were, and why they needed to be more like humans.

      Contrast Star Trek with its British counterpart, Dr. Who. The central character was conceived as a gentleman scientist, in the tradition of H.G. Wells, who solves problems with his intellect rather than by force.

      • Jin The Ninja

        i completely agree. the military/imperial aspect was extremely problematic for me. i am not a huge fan of any of the series, i’ve only completed the original in entirety. but in the context of the era, in the context of fabian socialist ‘post-scarcity’ via american commercial television, american writers, and american history generally, i understood it.

        and yes, dr. who is a superior series/character, with the heart of an anarchist much like HG wells.

      • BrianApocalypse

        I think the imperialistic element is far more prevalent in the
        original series than Next Generation. Earth society of Next Genration seems like a post-scarcity, uber-liberal anarchist utopia, and their respect for self-determination and freedom goes so far that they’ll even uphold the rights of artificial entities (whose only claim to sentience is a philosophical argument) over the rights of flesh-and-blood beings.

        Their non-interference philosophy is so strong that in one episode they let an entire planet be destroyed rather than violate the Prime Directive and intervene.

        There is of course a militaristic/authoritarian element, but that also get some criticism in the show, and it always seemed to me that that element of human society was entirely optional.

        • Haystack

          I agree with you–the Next Gen characters definitely have more enlightened attitudes. At the same time, one can argue that since every Star Trek series so far has been set on the bridge of an armed vessel with a hierarchical command structure, militarism and authoritarianism are inherent to the franchise.

  • Juan

    Fuck, talk about revenge of the nerds

  • Haystack

    You can be just like Jean-Luc Picard, in that episode where he spent the entire hour tossing off to his ex-girlfriend’s e-mail.

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