Here’s to IDIC: Remembering Mr. Spock

“Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.”

Is there any better way of summing up what most people want to see society and the world adopt as a common goal? Think about it. Taking – or better, borrowing – something that’s worked well for someone else and adding it to another something that’s had the same effect elsewhere.

I can’t think of anything else that sums up as well what people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted to see happen in this country and on earth. And aside from those who align with terrorists, hate groups and the like, that would include nearly all of this world’s 7 billion people, I’d venture.

And where did the IDIC saying originate? If you’re a Star Trek fan, you know the answer. I grew up watching the original Star Trek series, especially after it went into syndication in the 1970s. This will date me, but every day in college, I and my fellow Trekkers in the dorm would gather at 4 p.m. in the lobby and watch the show before we went to dinner in the dining hall. No matter how many times we’d seen it, we were always there.

Spock IDIC
Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock on Star Trek, wearing an IDIC medallion and showing the “live long and prosper” Vulcan salutation.

And the character I most admired – as well as the alien species he represented and the IDIC philosophy of life – was Mr. Spock. Leonard Nimoy created someone always driven by logic, but also by compassion from his half-human, half-Vulcan origins. I always thought Nimoy did a wonderful job portraying those two often-conflicting emotions (not sure logic is an emotion, but I guess it can trigger emotions.)

IDIC
IDIC medallion from Star Trek

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry originated the IDIC philosophy as a Vulcan belief that “beauty, growth, progress — all result from the union of the unlike.” The circle and triangle combine to produce the gemstone in the center as the union of words and music creates song, or the union of marriage creates children.

PBS noted that Nimoy won three Emmys for his work on Star Trek and established Spock as a science fiction icon.

The show valued education, it valued teamwork, and it valued loyalty,” Nimoy told PBS’ “Pioneers of Television” in 2010. [“Star Trek”] was forward-looking, always, just by its very nature. And I think those things appealed.

StarTrek.com pointed out that Nimoy was more than the Spock character.

… — an actor, writer, producer, director, poet, host, voice-over artist, photographer, husband, father and grandfather, as well as Star Trek‘s beloved Spock — …

As chronicled by many over the years, Nimoy at times waged an internal battle over Spock. His first autobiography was titled I Am Not Spock. Twenty years later, he wrote I Am Spock. He turned down the proposed Star Trek: Phase II series, but returned for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Spock died in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, only to be resurrected for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, which Nimoy directed. If only the Genesis planet were real…

He also directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, produced and developed the story for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and, as a tie-in, he guest starred as Ambassador Spock on two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And in 2009, after 18 years, Nimoy helped J.J. Abrams reboot the Star Trek franchise by playing Spock Prime in Star Trek (2009), passing the torch for Spock to Zachary Quinto, who became a close friend. He also voiced Spock for Star Trek Online, made a cameo in Star Trek Into Darkness and was reportedly in talks to appear in the next Star Trek film at the time of his death.

Thankfully, Nimoy’s legacy will live forever as Spock, continuing to inspire many. I don’t think anyone could ask for a more worthy life. As noted online by several others, I’m reminded of the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. At Spock’s funeral, an emotional Captain Kirk remembers his first officer and close friend:

Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most…human.

And Nimoy seemed to sum up his contribution to society as Spock with his final tweet on Twitter:

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.

LLAP is an abbreviation for the Vulcan salutation “live long and prosper,” which Nimoy seems to have followed in his personal and professional life. I am saddened at his passing, but have fond memories and appreciation for what he brought to us, his fans and admirers.

For me, though, IDIC, “infinite diversity in infinite combinations,” is what I will always remember and admire about Star Trek, Spock and Leonard Nimoy.

 (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Leonard Nimoy died Feb. 27, 2015, at the age of 83 at his home in Los Angeles. Nimoy succumbed to the end stages of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), an illness that resulted from his years of smoking and afflicted him despite Nimoy having quit smoking three decades ago.

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2 thoughts on “Here’s to IDIC: Remembering Mr. Spock

  1. It takes a big man to so unselfishly pass the torch (i.e. the character he played for so many years) to a younger actor. He knew future generations would want more Spock and gave Quinto his blessing. Great man. Great representative of all nerd kind. He will be missed.

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