Mostly human

When analysing why I favour certain fictional characters over others I have come to realise an important factor is their struggle with what in a sciencefictional framework could be dubbed species identity.

It didn’t take me long to realise, some fifteen plus years ago, that it was the driving factor behind my liking of the Data character, on Star Trek TNG. Granted, he is not human at all, technically speaking, but it wasn’t hard to identify with his ongoing struggle to understand what is human – growing up, being grown up, even, is an ongoing battle against the oddness of the self as related to the rest of the society in which it exists and we are endlessly defining an redefining our selves against the cultural context that surrounds us.

Ultimately Data can’t win his battle, because so can’t we. The only reasonable way is to surrender, to embrace that which makes the self different, to use that difference as a strength. Because if we don’t we become identical and as diversity is part of what drives evolution and development the lack of diversity would also be the end of humanity as we know it.

To be mostly human is the most human trait of all.


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