Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles,
tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they
don’t really understand. Endlessly frustrating if you have to fight
them, because they can pull an effectively unlimited number of bullshit
space-magic countermeasures out of their arses – but they’re as likely
as not to give themselves a lethal five-dimensional wedgie in the
process. All those rampant holograms and warp core malfunctions and
accidentally-traveling-back-in-time incidents? That doesn’t actually
happen to anyone else; it’s literally just Federation vessels that go off the rails like that. And they do so on a fairly regular basis.
So to everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown.
Aliens who have seen the Back to the Future movies literally don’t realise that Doc Brown is meant to be funny. They’re just like “yes, that is exactly what all human scientists are like in my experience”.
THE ONLY REASON SCOTTY IS CHIEF ENGINEER INSTEAD OF SOMEONE FROM A SPECIES WITH A HIGHER TECHNOLOGICAL APTITUDE IS BECAUSE EVERYONE FROM THOSE SPECIES TOOK ONE LOOK AT THE ENTERPRISE’S ENGINE ROOM AND RAN AWAY SCREAMING
vulcan science academy: why do you need another warp core
humans: we’re going to plug two of them together and see if we go twice as fast
vsa: last time we gave you a warp core you threw it into a sun to see if the sun would go twice as fast
humans: hahaha yeah
humans: it did tho
vsa: IT EXPLODED
humans: it exploded twice as fast
I love this. Especially because of how well it plays with my headcanon that the Federation does so much better against the Borg than anyone else because beating the Borg with military tactics is nigh-impossible, but beating them with wacky superscience shenanigans works as long as they’re unique wacky superscience shenanigans.