posted on May, 30 2013 @ 02:53 PM
Star Trek TNG Season 7, Episode 10 "Inheritance"
In this episode, Data meets his mother Juliana. We later find out that Juliana is an android like Data, except she believes she is human. She was
created by Data's father after the real Juliana died. All of Juliana's memories were uploaded into the android Juliana's positronic matrix and she
was made to believe that she was human. Once Data learns all this he must decide whether or not to tell her that she is an android. In the end Data
decides Juliana is better off not knowing the truth and would be happier if she continued to believe she is human.
This episode really made me think about how we really know who or what we are, and how fragile that "truth" may be. Assuming that we are who
we think we are, a human being for example, and then being told that you are actually something completely different, an android for example, might
shatter the illusion of yourself.
Simply planting the seed of doubt, like Descartes did when he cogito ergo sum'd can, I now believe, really change who you are. After I watched
this episode I just sat and thought about what I would do if my wife or dad or best friend told me, in all seriousness, that I was actually a machine,
and nothing I thought I knew about myself was true (anyone else remembering The Matrix right now?) I arrived at a feeling of helplessness and, I'm
not sure if fear is exactly the right word, but something like fear. The fear you felt as a kid when you realized you'd wandered off from your
parents and they were nowhere in sight.
That was a few months ago and I still feel like I'm lost and I haven't found my parents yet, as it were. I just can't shake the anxiety that what
if I'm an android, or maybe the Hindus have it right and I'm dreaming the whole universe, or my brain is in a vat, receiving input from a clever
I mean, how can we really know who or what we are?