• A Bunch of Prominent, 25-Year-Old Male Political Bloggers Have Really Well-Thought-Out Public Policy Prescriptions for the Roslin-Adama Government in Battlestar Galactica

    **MINOR SPOILER ALERT** – Do not read further if you do not want to learn information about Battlestar Galactica akin to knowing that **CON AIR SPOILER ALERT** Dave Chappelle gets caught in the landing gear of the plane about 2/3 of the way through Con Air.

    The lowest blow delivered in the 2008 campaign as far as I'm concerned was when Sarah Palin dismissed bloggers as dorks who write in their pajamas from their parents basements. I mean, what do you call a guy who spent last Friday night watching Battlestar Galactica and last Saturday in his parents' basement writing up a public policy brief regarding the legitimacy of the Gaeta-Zarek coup? I mean, you'd probably call him a hero. A real, sex-getting hero.

    **MAJOR SPOILER ALERT** – Do not read further if you do not want to learn information about Battlestar Galactica akin to knowing that **MAJOR CON AIR SPOILER ALERT** – Nick Cage saves the day at the end of Con Air.

    Boomer shoots Adama, Cain is a major dildo, the Cylons invade New Caprica, Lee kamikazes the Pegasus, Starbuck isn't really dead, Tigh, Tyrol, Anders and Tory are cylons, the humans ally themselves with the sixes, Leobens and Sharons and find Earth together, Earth was nuked 2000 years ago, Gaeta is gay with Hoshi, Dee commits suicide, Ellen Tigh is the final cylon and Gaeta and Zarek are executed after trying to seize Galactica.

    That's right, notorious haters of old person airlock frenching Tom Zarek and Felix Gaeta staged an anti-cylon coup on Galactica, and Robert Farley of Lawyers, Guns and Money thinks they were right to do it, despite the massive red shirt carnage they wrought.

    Thus far, the Cylon have changed policy towards the Colonial government five times. The Cylon began the war by initiating a campaign of genocide against the colonials. They continued to pursue this campaign until, quite suddenly, the Cylon shifted to a policy of disengagement. This policy continued for about a year, until the Cylon undertook a policy which could be best described as benevolent despotism. Shortly after the failure of the despotism option, the Cylons resumed pursuit of genocide. After once again failing to accomplish genocide, the Cylon split between pro- and anti- genocide factions. More recently, the anti-genocide faction began throwing humans out the airlock of the base star, and training its weapons on the fleet.

    What this demonstrates is that Cylon attitudes and goals are fickle; it is difficult to predict what the Cylon will pursue next. This is hardly unsurprising, given that the Cylon have an alien psychology and decision making process. It does, however, suggest that belief that we can "trust" the Cylon is the purest folly; the Cylon cannot even trust themselves. At some unforeseen future point, the Cylon we accept into our fleet may well decide to resume the process of genocide, or once again decide to pursue benevolent despotism. This represents an unacceptable risk, given the perilous situation of humanity.

    I might be inclined to agree with that if it weren't so stupid, for obvious reasons. Spencer Ackerman agrees.

    Farley's rational-choice concerns a number of relevant and insightful questions about how to trust the rebel Cylons — entirely akin to the good questions about trusting the Anbar Awakening or Sons of Iraq to integrate with a distrustful and, to great degree, distrustworthy Shiite-dominated Iraqi government over the long term. But the rebel Cylons have gone much further than the Awakening/SOI ever have in demonstrating their good faith. From the perspective of the rebel Cylon, the destruction of the Resurrection Hub might rank as the greatest act of unilateral disarmament in the history of the galaxy. The rebel-Cylon models — all of them — have a distinctive feature that separates them from the hostiles: they want, in a recognizable sense, to be human, or at least human-like in significant ways. (Tigh is not going to suddenly shoot Adama.)

    Personally, I think all this rational-choice hemming and hawing will be rendered moot when we find out, in the very last episode, that all of the humans and cylons are characters in his whippet-addled nightmare.


    Tags: Battlestar Galactica

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