Wil Wheaton, writing for TVSquad in 2006 (later to be reprinted in Memories of the Future), made this comment about “The Last Outpost”:
Data says Ferengi are like traders, and explains this with the most obvious contemporary reference: Yankee traders from 18th century America. This indicates that, in the 24th century, the traditional practice of using 400 year-old comparisons is still in vogue, like when you’re stuck in traffic on the freeway, and you say, “Man, this is just like Vasco de Gama trying to go around the Cape of Good Hope!”
Because of the changing nature of pop culture and fashion, it’s very difficult to include contemporary references in fiction. Some people do it very well — Seth McFarlane, the writers of Psych and Warehouse 13, Joss Whedon — and some don’t. Others just avoid it altogether — for example, Laurell K. Hamilton is very cagey about exactly what type of phone Anita Blake uses. There are positives and negatives to both; catching an old rerun of Family Guy will remind you just what didn’t hold up a mere ten years ago.