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The Drumhead


June 1 2021

I review the Star Trek episode The Drumhead, and talk about why it’s important to watch here in 2021. Also, another MaraDNS release.

==Star Trek==

I was reading an article claiming that The Inner Light is the best Star Trek episode ever made. I disagree.

When my mother was still with us, one night we opened up Netflix and she asked me to choose some episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation to watch together. I chose three: Remember Me, The Inner Light, and The Drumhead.

Of the three episodes, the one which stood and which we both agreed was the best episode was The Drumhead.

In this day and age of runaway cancel culture, The Drumhead deserves to be looked at again.

==What’s wrong with “cancel culture”==

The problem with cancel culture is that there is no legal guard rails controlling the process. There is nothing stopping injustice from happening, and with little to no worker’s rights in the United States, there is little to no protection from people having their jobs lost when and if the “woke mob” comes after them.

Typical legal protections include:

  • Due process. We should make decisions of guilt based on hard facts, not wishy washy feelings.
  • Presumption of innocence. We should not decide someone is guilty of a crime without proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Statute of limitations. We should not drag people through the mud for things that happened years or decades ago.
  • No Ex Post Facto. In other words, we can not retroactively decide someone is guilty for doing something which was reasonable and acceptable at the time.
  • Adversarial system. Every story has two sides to it; we should hear both sides before rushing to judgment.

Cancel culture has none of these protections, yet its consequences are quite dire: Loss of job, loss of business, having a scarlet letter affecting one’s job search for years, to name just a few.

==The Drumhead==

This review is spoiler free

That in mind, this story, from over 30 years ago, did an amazing job of predicting today’s cancel culture. In the story, someone is falsely accused of a crime, and the forces of justice have to fight back against the cancel culture forces for fairness to prevail.

A number of typical cancel culture tropes come up in the story, notably “offense archeology”, where, after our hero is accused of a crime, Worf and his assistants look through their entire history, including finding out who their friends and family are, to find out what other misdeeds they can dig up, no matter how old or irrelevant they are.

As I have recently Tweeted, anyone who goes through someone’s posting history to find something then post it out of context to make someone look bad is someone who is not acting in good faith. Usually, the motive is to be a bully.

I feel very strongly in human rights and constitutional protections, and am disappointed that some proponents of today’s “cancel culture” often times do not honor these protections. As this classic Star Trek episode shows us, we need to be vigilant to make sure we remain a free society that respects human rights.

==MaraDNS 3.5.0020 released==

Sometimes, it is desirable to have MaraDNS control the source IP used when making upstream DNS queries. MaraDNS 3.5.0020 adds a new parameter, source_ip4, which implements this feature. Downloads are at the usual location.

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