A look at the Information Dominance Center, a replica ST:TNG Enterprise bridge used to sell surveillance to Congress




Now they can be in Kontrol.


That doesn’t look much like the bridge of the Enterprise. The captain’s chair looks like they took a regular office chair and stuck it in a different frame. The ceiling (where I assume the projector for the 22 foot wide screen is) does have a vague resemblance to the TNG bridge ceiling, but there’s way too much sheet metal and not enough plastic.


It’s unlikely that a single projector is driving a display that large. It’s common in these types of setups for multiple projectors to be used in unison, with software stitching between them so they make up one large canvas.


Gen. Alexander is hardly the first to do this. Some years ago, I visited a subsidiary of Symantec in Alexadria, VA, that did real-time network monitoring. They had the same sort of Trekkie setup. I asked the CEO what the point was, since the real work was being done by people with ordinary PCs in cubicles. The answer: “It impresses the customers.”


I’m no intelligence professional, but it seems that the warship-like organizational model wouldn’t properly apply to intelligence gathering activities. On the Enterprise, the captain is central because his seat is where the buck stops; the lives of the crew are ultimately in his hands, and his is the final decision. Unless things are even dumber than I thought, it’s not like everything the “crew” does here gets funneled through the CO who is the only point of contact with higher-ups. He’s not making life-or-death decisions. The preadolescent power fantasy on display here might be cute if only this guy weren’t in charge of grown-up stuff.

Hell, even on a real warship, the captain doesn’t have a special central big comfy chair from which to order everyone around. Everybody knows he’s in charge, he doesn’t need set dressing to make himself feel important.


Completion, 1999.
Well money was blowing all around, tech crash haven’t happened yet during that era. But I guess nobody remembered Cybersyn in the 70s to think this is another waste of money project or poor design concept.


I wonder if there’s anyone who still believes that the NSA and various cohorts ever intended to honor any limits to their data and surveillance accumulation.

At least they had a sense of humor about their intentions. Or did they just know that they would be able to act with total impunity no matter what the public ever found out?


Another fine example of the taxpayers’ dollars being put to use to fulfill a bureaucrat’s grandiose wish fulfillment.


Sure the SS had Leni Riefenstahl, but this is still pretty awesome.


It wasn’t all that good of a design there either. Every time a bad guy beamed onto the bridge, Worf had to get his ass down to the lower part of the bridge to protect the captain (though that usually meant getting thrown like a ragdoll to show how much of a badass the bad guy was). Sometimes that meant Riker had to take the beating instead.

The Enterprise wasn’t really a warship though. It was supposed to be mainly for exploration, but could be used for defense as well. The only Federation ship shown that was designed solely for fighting was the Defiant. That had a much better bridge layout with everyone arranged in a semi-circle with the captain at the centre.


There are millions of kids in this country who go hungry every day, never mind going without health insurance, and these idiots flush billions of dollars down the drain.

Keith Alexander, you’re an idiot. (And to the NSA “analyst” reading this: you’re no better than the Stasi and SS who were just following orders.)


The basic chair-in-the-center format makes sense for a control room setting—but that’s not really what this is, is it?

Here’s the real, not-for-show thing, the Fermilab main control room, a place that always did remind me of the the Enterprise’s bridge, but on a real-life budget.


One thing you can always count of government types for: a complete lack of any sense of aesthetics. This is an interior design horror, an ugly mishmash of cheap office furniture melded with airline counter aluminum, all awkward angles and headache inducing reflective surfaces. The idea that he would compare it to the bridge of the enterprise is laughable, correct only insofar as there is a chair in the middle. A chair that looks like it was stolen out of an 87 dodge caravan…


No, they’re not idiots. They’re evil. They have unchecked egos. They’re delusional.

Dear NSA fuckheads, Terrorist, jihad, anthrax, sarin, semtex, tnt. Come and get me, bitches, you know where to find me.


Not all government types. I work for the government (and I loath every second of it, hoping to get out soon), and I’ve got a pretty decent design aesthetic.


Items of note: Gumball machines. Custom-routed wooden calculator bases. “Captain” brings his own lunch to work. Recycling for paper and aluminum/glass/plastic is separated. I would bet none of those things are to be found on the NSA “bridge.”

P.S. People are not crushing their lunch containers before putting them in the garbage. That’s billed by volume, so please compact things before tossing them.


Solution: show that starving kids are a security threat due to being easily swayed to possible communist-insurgent propaganda.

[Unless they decide it’d just be easier to kill the kids. Oops]


What disgusts me, even more than this dickwad’s insane megalomaniacal delusional compulsion to “collect it all” and sell it with this ridiculous taxpayer funded ugliness, is that it actually works. I mean, we didn’t elect this guy but we did elect the douchebags that clearly get impressed by stupidity like this. Truly a culture in decline… I give it 10 years at the outside before it all comes crashing down around us.

I was watching this old CIA spook, Ray McGovern, and Chalmers Johnson (of “Blowback” fame), today on netflix and they were both discussing the breakdown that is ongoing in our society. McGovern traced it to Reagan – this was when the CIA became utterly political in nature and no longer “told it like it is”. As we know the CIA was a disaster since it inception given that only 5 years into its existence it took town the elected president of Iran who made the foolhardy attempt to claim that Iran owns the oil in its fields. Look how well that worked out.

Chalmers Johnson makes the very valid point that our democracy is over and there is really no way to get it back. This NSA insanity we’ve been learning about over the past several months is all the proof we need: the picture is of an out of control spying apparatus that is utterly careless of the constitution. And yet nothing is changing. Sure a bill might be passed that supposedly limits their power but do any of us actually believe it will stop any of this insanity? This nation is running on fumes, its just a matter of timing as to when it all collapses.


It looks like a public restroom. Too much wavy metal.