It's no secret that President Obama is a sci-fi fan. As a sort of nod to this he recently guest-edited a special Frontiers' issue of Wired magazine. In it he revealed his favorite sci-fi movies and he also discussed his admiration for Star Trek and what he believes is the true meaning behind the show.
Speaking in a video with Wired editor in chief Scott Dadich and MIT media lab director Joi Ito the POTUS discusses how he grew up with the show and likens the Enterprise and her crew to the USA—in that it's diverse, cooperative, and seeks new challenges.
He also talks about why he thinks it's so important saying, “It wasn’t actually about technology. It was about values and human relationships. Which is why it didn’t matter that the special effects were kind of cheesy and bad...it didn’t matter because it was really talking about a notion of a common humanity and a confidence in our ability to solve problems.”
Obama then goes on to say that he thought Ridley Scott's movie The Martian, based on the novel by Andy Weir, also captured a similar spirit.
Throughout he comes across like a true fan. You get the feeling he's not just saying this to get some geek cred. And his reasons for why the show was so special and has been so endearing are ones that everyone can get behind. He makes a good case.
“Star Trek, like any good story, says that we’re all complicated," Obama notes. "And we’ve all got a little bit of Spock and a little bit of Kirk and a little bit of Scotty, maybe some Klingon in us, right?” Sure thing.
If you want more discussions from Obama, Dadich, and Ito you can hear them talking about the future of artificial intelligence in the video below.