NSA Chief Built the Star Trek: TNG Enterprise Bridge

NSA Chief Built the Star Trek: TNG Enterprise Bridge

Everyone wanted to sit in the chair and pretend to be Picard. As you do.

Lt. General Keith Alexander, the gent in charge of the US National Security Agency and, arguably, the world's most famous spy right about now, built his Information Dominance Center - that's base of operations to the likes of you and me - in homage to the bridge of Next Generation's Enterprise-D. Perhaps he hoped to boldly go where no intelligence gatherer had gone before, but lawmakers loved the idea. When invited to Alexander's sanctum, they took turns sitting in the captain's chair, pretending to be Jean-Luc Picard. Don't go thinking this was some knock-off, as Alexander takes his sci fi seriously; he brought in a Hollywood set designer to help him achieve that authentic look, complete with doors that made a 'whoosh' sound when they slid open and closed.

It was all part of the show, from a man who could "charm the paint off a wall," according to a former administration official. He had his massive screen set up so the 'captain' could get a good view, at which point he'd demonstrate his impressive data collection efforts with all manner of graphs and footage. Razzle-dazzle wins hearts and minds, and those who paid Alexander a visit often walked out from a Big Board demonstration as his Washington ally. It's a hell of a boost to play Picard, even for a moment, and then to be told, by the man who ought to know, what's really going on in the world; you'd have to be made of stone not to listen.

But then Alexander's also the man his immediate predecessor described as a "cowboy," according to Forbes; the man who didn't quite commit insubordination, but came as close as possible to it. "Alexander's strategy is the same as Google's: I need to get all of the data," claims a former administration official. "If he becomes the repository for all that data, he thinks the resources and authorities will follow." He and his scientific advisor James Heath have spent their careers - and an eye-watering amount of cash - building towards this moment, when their shiny new Dominance Center convinces Washingtonians a new era in intelligence gathering is dawning.

"There's two ways of looking at these guys," a retired military officer claims. "Two visionaries who took risks and pushed the intelligence community forward. Or as two guys who blew a monumental amount of money."

Source: Stuff.co.nz Technology Blog

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Finally, the nsa does something right.

Karloff:
"There's two ways of looking at these guys," a retired military officer claims. "Two visionaries who took risks and pushed the intelligence community forward. Or as two guys who blew a monumental amount of money."

Por que no los dos?

Actually, in all seriousness...this does seem like a good idea from a organization standpoint. The Enterprise-D bridge does have a nice design so that anyone using it for the work they do can do so in relative comfort and can utilize the various monitors for multitasking.

So when are they going to start on the Death Star then?

This feels rather inappropriate; I am pretty sure the characters who worked on that bridge would be disgusted with some of the things the NSA has been doing lately, and what the replica bridge is being used for. This guy is in serious need of a Picard lecture.

How much did this cost us?

I am quite furious that my tax-dollars paid for this ... (quietly jealous and shamed)

I'm guessing this is part of the appeasement process to make NSA look good in the public again... I don't think this one will do the trick as you are playing with other peoples money.

Karloff:

Source: Stuff.co.nz Technology Blog

Wait, you picked that article up from from Stuff?

I really should start using that site again.

Ladies and gentlemen of the US, our tax dollars at work fulfilling the dream of a nerd with far, far too much power.

KeyMaster45:
Ladies and gentlemen of the US, our tax dollars at work fulfilling the dream of a nerd with far, far too much power.

and even more ammounts of crazy:

However, sometimes Alexander's approach can be very misleading. For example:

"He had all these diagrams showing how this guy was connected to that guy and to that guy," said a former NSA official who heard Alexander give briefings on the floor of the Information Dominance Center.

"Some of my colleagues and I were sceptical. Later, we had a chance to review the information. It turns out that all [that] those guys were connected to were pizza shops."

Another official remembered a chart that Alexander had drawn up to identify all of the terrorists in Afghanistan. When they checked the research, they found no evidence of terrorist activity and discovered that a quarter of the targets on Alexander's list were already dead.

Well hey, even powerful people make mistakes. Surely, Alexander surrounded himself with level-headed folks who can give him a good gut check every now and then. You'd think that his most trusted lieutenant, James Heath, would be the one. But no. Heath is kind of crazy:

"Several former intelligence officials who worked with Heath described him as Alexander's 'mad scientist.' Another called him the NSA director's 'evil genius'," a former intelligence official said.

It's not a bad design for a command centre to be fair. Still, Dafuq 'murica, you got so much money you have to spend it or the bank burns it or something?

I hope they used my tax money to build this because that is awesome.

If you don't like the idea then let me ask you.. If you were there, would you sit in the chair? And would you probably say "Make it so!"? Yes? I thought so.

And if I were that scientist dude, as soon as no one else was around I'd totally start doing a Dr. Evil laugh while sitting in the chair and then rub my hands together deviously.

Is it seriously called an "Information Dominance Center"? I can't be the only one getting slightly creepy super-villain vibes from this whole thing.

rhizhim:

"Several former intelligence officials who worked with Heath described him as Alexander's 'mad scientist.' Another called him the NSA director's 'evil genius'," a former intelligence official said.

Oh, shit. Now I'm actually concerned. Hopefully they'll go for world domination rather than destruction.

Karloff:
"There's two ways of looking at these guys," a retired military officer claims. "Two visionaries who took risks and pushed the intelligence community forward. Or as two guys who blew a monumental amount of money."

Retired veterans are interesting to listen to because while there is still that loyalty thing they finally feel free to speak their minds. This guy is 'playing it straight' but I'm pretty sure I picked up on which side he chose.

So he completely missed the point of the show. He should strive to always be a better man than he was. But he's just an asshole who turned out to be an even bigger asshole.

Gromril:
It's not a bad design for a command centre to be fair. Still, Dafuq 'murica, you got so much money you have to spend it or the bank burns it or something?

We don't have it, the corporate masters in control of everything have it.

Oh good, I'm so glad this happened. I was getting bored without being disappointed in humanity on a daily basis...

Adam Jensen:
So he completely missed the point of the show. He should strive to always be a better man than he was. But he's just an asshole who turned out to be an even bigger asshole.

No, he'd make a pretty decent USS Voyager captain in my opinion. He just needs to refuse to save some Afghan children from a volcano in the name of the prime directive, possibly make the coffee machine power supply incompatible with the rest of the building, and I'll be totally in favor of allowing the NSA to don Starfleet uniforms.

image

Gromril:
It's not a bad design for a command centre to be fair. Still, Dafuq 'murica, you got so much money you have to spend it or the bank burns it or something?

We don't actually have that much money, we just owe that much.

Intelligence... the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the US NSA.
It's continuing mission, to monitor life and civilizations.
To boldly snoop where no one has snooped before..

You know Putin looks like a stereotypical supervillian, but this has to be his complementary mad genius. This is so mad and so ingeniuos at the same time you cant ignre it.

Funny but not as wasteful as it sounds, bear in mind they would have to decorate the place anyway. Unlike the imagery we see in popular media intelligence centers are not concrete basements with no decoration, they are fairly plush offices very similar to something you would see where the higher executives are. The cost of decorating that way was probably no more than setting it up any other way.

The Enterprise bridge was designed to be business like and comfortable (the whole ship was) and interior designers helped come up with its decoration. The big comfy chairs, central position to watch briefings and presentations on a large screen and large amount of personal screens for productivity lend itself well to something like this.

So while still being eccentric its not flat out crazy or wasteful.

Well, atleast it is better than some of the shit the UK spends their money on, like tons of security cameras...

I approve of the bridge!

And holy fuck:

So the director of the NSA is a trekkie?

And his right hand man is an 'evil genius'?

And that replica of the Enterprise bridge was built with taxpayer dollars? OK then.

I cant stop laughing!

And you Americans wonder why the rest of the world hasn't been able to take you seriously this past decade.

image

That's cool and all, but I shudder to think of what it's being used for.

My first thought was "how cool" but then I thought about what the characters who populated that bridge might think of what the NSA is doing, especially the man who sat in that captain's chair, and it made me angry. They are appropriating the imagery but subverting the ideals of that show for their own political gain.

....

So, the head of the NSA is insane. That's... a bit alarming.

I was hoping someone was going to post an update that this was a joke or something.

Is there really no oversight on this? I mean, it's cool and all, but... really?

Psychobabble:
And you Americans wonder why the rest of the world hasn't been able to take you seriously this past decade.

image

Honestly, I do not wonder about that at all. I know why, unfortunately.

Still, I do wonder how Gene Roddenberry would feel about this. He saw the future as bright and fill of possibilities, as opposed to a place where the government spied on people endlessly.

This is simply nuts. I cannot believe that there is so little oversight that we could allow this waste.

...in any other case I would be outraged that they spent tax money on this, but for the NSA I'm glad it was spent on something stupid and harmless instead of another spy satellite or something.

Bara_no_Hime:
....

So, the head of the NSA is insane. That's... a bit alarming.

I was hoping someone was going to post an update that this was a joke or something.

Is there really no oversight on this? I mean, it's cool and all, but... really?

Hey, as long as our tax dollars aren't going to welfare programs right? I mean, how DARE those people be poor?

So does this mean that Putin runs Russia from a replica of a Klingon ships bridge?

 

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