Starfleet Guidelines for Exploring Space
1. Never use an old solution for a new problem. Always do things the hard way. ("The Enemy Within," "Who Watches the Watchers," any Borg episode, etc.).
2. No matter how tired and ill-prepared you are, and no matter what condition the ship is in, feel free to get as close as possible to dangerous areas of space, unknown phenomena and other threatening situations with absolutely no preparation or backups. ("Immunity Syndrome," "Swarm," etc.) When encountering unfamiliar aliens, the presence of an empath on the bridge is strictly optional. ("Samaritan Snare").
3. If you're showing any unusual symptoms, don't bother mentioning them until it's too late. ("Naked Time," "Naked Now," "Identity Crisis," "Realm of Fear," etc.).
4. Humans in the 23rd century have souls; ("Turnabout Intruder," "What are Little Girls Made Of?", etc.); and that's a good thing because they haven't lost their humanity. Humans in the 24th century don't have souls; ("Power Play,") etc. and there's nothing wrong with that because they can depend on technology to get them out of any situation. Sometimes they might need the help of a Q and that's fine because it encourages humility; ("Q-Who?"). Or if they don't need the help of Q, that's fine because it encourages self-reliance. ("All good things"). Aliens have always had souls; (Star Trek II, III, "Power Play"). There's no difference between a disembodied soul and an energy being, but that isn't worth mentioning.
5. Every problem takes 48 minutes to solve, or a multiple of 48. Any episode.
6. No sequels. If the ship goes back to a planet, ignore the implications of the previous adventure. Any episode.
7. Society and technology are never affected by new discoveries or innovations. Ignore the implications of previous adventures. Any episode.
8. Don't keep records, don't share your data, and make sure only isolated scientists working alone are able to come up with anything really new. "(Datalore," "I, Mudd," "What are Little Girls Made Of," "Requiem for Methuselah," "The Schizoid Man," etc.).
9. When reporting strange incidents and phenomena to Starfleet, don't expect Starfleet to show any interest in your report for several years at least. ("What Are Little Girls Made Of", "I, Mudd", "Silicon Avatar", "Datalore," "The Battle," "Babel", etc.).
10. Don't bother retrieving lost data or equipment for several years, if ever. ("Brothers", "Datalore", "Arsenal of Freedom", "I, Mudd", "What are Little Girls Made Of", "Requiem for Methuselah", "The Battle", "The Schizoid Man", "Suspicions", etc.).
11. Dangerous aliens who cast powerful illusions must be quarantined; ("The Menagerie"); unless they're strategically located; ("Spectre of the Gun"). If humans get superpowers, that's bad; ("Charlie X"); but if aliens get superpowers that's good; ("Transfigurations").
12. The Prime Directive sounds like a nice idea but it's really a load of hooey. ("Errand of Mercy", "Friday's Child", "A Private Little War", "Justice", "Pen Pals", etc.)
13. The holodeck always malfunctions. It doesn't even need a reason. ("The Big Good-bye", etc.)
14. It's always possible to tell whether an entire planet's civilization is stagnant by visiting one location for five minutes. ("Return of the Archons", etc.)
15. Most planets have one, or at most two, cultures, and they are always right next door to each other ("A Private Little War," "The Bonding," etc.).
16. If anybody hints that there's another society somewhere, it's not worth visiting. ("Return of the Archons").
17. Laws must apply to everyone or they mean nothing ("Omega Glory").
18. Laws must always have exceptions or there can be no justice ("Justice").
19. Always tell the truth, even to the bad guys. If you have to lie, do it in a way that lets the bad guys know you're lying. ("Bread and Circuses," "The Enterprise Incident," "The Perfect Mate," "Time and Again," etc.)
20. Violence is bad ("A Taste of Armageddon"); unless the good guys use it, then that's good ("Savage Curtain). Computers are bad ("That which Survives"); unless it's a Starfleet computer, then that's good ("Ultimate Computer"); unless it becomes independent, then that's bad ("Ultimate Computer,"); unless it becomes sentient, then that's good ("Measure of a Man"); unless it violates Starfleet guidelines, then that's bad (Elementary, Dear Data). A peaceful society is good ("Errand of Mercy"), unless a computer runs it, then that's bad ("The Apple"). When people are violent on their own that's good (the ending of "Return of the Archons"); but when a computer induces violence that's bad (the beginning of "Return of the Archons"). When the good guys give people guns that's good ("A Private Little War); when the bad guys give people guns that's bad ("A Private Little War). If people develop the same weapons on their own that's good ("A Private Little War"); unless they televise their violence, then that's bad ("Bread and Circuses"); unless it's Star Trek, then that's good.