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Old October 17 2012, 09:52 PM   #7
Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

If it was easily reproduced, it wouldn't make a viable currency to say the least.
Yet mere electrons do, even though they are trivially reproduced. It's all in the content rather than in the medium!

We know that some things are more difficult to replicate than others, and that sometimes people don't go to the effort of creating perfect replicas even when such things would matter (say, Romulans creating fake gore in "Data's Day") - but OTOH we never hear that something would be completely impossible to replicate. It just isn't worth the effort, apparently, if something can also be obtained by mining or other "conventional" processing and this is cheaper or quicker than replication from thin air.

If replication difficulty indeed comes in degrees, then it doesn't matter that latinum can be replicated - it suffices that it's suitably difficult to replicate, and any effort at producing it out of cheaper materials or pure energy or whatever will end up costing more than the end product is worth.

Food and drink are not expensive in the Trekiverse, but things like computer chips and devices are implicitly so
On the other hand, people will apparently readily pay for food (or, rather, the experience of having food), but expect their computer chips to come for free...

And our Starfleet heroes at least consider all technology to be throwaway, up to and including entire starships!

Probably we're seeing "subsidies" in action: things considered necessary for good life or national security are replicated free of price even if their replication is of the costlier sort, and the price tag comes from the labor involved in the later stages of assembly or serving.

Timo Saloniemi
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