Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why Does the NSA Control Center Look Like the Bridge From Star Trek?

Growing up, I fell in love with Science Fiction watching reruns of Star Trek, the version now known to fans as “The Original Series.” The storylines and (then state of the art) special effects hooked me early on, but it was the interplay between William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy's Spock, and DeForest Kelley's Doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy that kept me watching decades later. So many movies and so many spin-off series later, Gene Roddenberry’s brainchild continues to meld with the minds of those who watched it as youngsters. I thought of all that when I read journalist Glenn Greenwald (he of the Edward Snowden NSA revelations) reveal that National Security Agency chief General Keith B. Alexander hired a Hollywood set designer to make his NSA command center, dubbed the “Information Dominance Center,” look like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, complete with oversized view screen, computer stations, captain’s chair, and sliding doors with the signature Star Trek “whoosh” sound. Aside from the impracticality of the idea (and potential tax dollars wasted), what does it mean that the NSA control center looks like Jean-Luc Picard’s workplace (shown above)? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Why Does the NSA Control Center Look Like the Bridge From Star Trek?"

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