@Deks :Honestly, I like your post. It explain anything. And you're right, that diligent and laziness behavior are depend on the society. But look at this, there is no perfect society in this world, even the suppose to be "Idealistic" UFP, and Terra society. Technology give our society many advantage, but they also give use some negative side effect.
The only reason we have 'negative side-effects' from use of technology is because of the way it is currently (mis)used.
We DON'T use it for betterment of everyone or to rid ourselves of most problems, even though we had the ability to do so over 100 years ago.
Technology alone means nothing if social awareness is not in line with latest scientific knowledge (which in our world has never been the case).
Those who advocate things are 'impossible', do so mostly because they were not exposed to information that could open their minds to such possibilities in the first place (hence why people kept saying 'we will never break the sound barrier', or 'we won't get to the moon in a million years' - all of which was done within or less than a decade the statements were uttered).
Couple that with the mentality the present socio-economic system creates (greed, competition, selfishness, acquiring 'status' through accumulation of material goods or how much 'money' you make - to name a few) and you have a recipe for disaster
Also... there is no such a thing as 'perfect society'.
The notion indicates a utopia... which implies stagnation and lack of change.
The underlying premise is flawed seeing how life changes all the time.
We simply have to work with nature (not against it) and create a society that EMBRACES change, expects it even.
For example, the computer game and internet cause some people to withdraw from the society. They avoid other people and isolated themselves in their room. The internet also give us porn. Making some people to extensively masturbate and psychologically effected by it. The porn is also put our children in danger of watching it without our knowledge. Long to short, even with the advanced technology and idealistic society, there should be negative side effect in it. And well, lazy people are lazy. There is no perfect human society, unless human is no longer human.
I already addressed the notion of 'perfect human society' above and why the premise holds no merit (in reality or Trek).
Ask yourself, what prompts people to escape the real world and immerse themselves in the world of their making.
Why are they doing it?
Have you looked at the kind of world we live in?
We 'have' to work if we are expected to survive (let alone do anything else).
We also often have to work on jobs which we don't like.
The world allows rampant resource consumption and infinite growth on a finite planet (which is fundamentally demented).
The world allows over 1 billion people to starve of which 15 million children to die of hunger on an annual basis even though we have enough food to feed 10 billion every year.
We have homeless people roaming the cities - even though there's ample supply of quality housing for everyone.
People are forced to live in destitute because they have no money or options that allow them to do anything else (such options are limited to but a few people when it comes to access because of lack of information, or limited options from the socio-economic [monetary] system that was never designed or could for that matter support the population we have - hence it REQUIRES for people to be out of work and suffering - and in numerous cases, its profitable).
When you look at the amount of suffering in the world... and majority of people without the ability to truly be free, go wherever they want to without restrictions, to travel, learn, etc... they revert to things that ARE accessible to them, such as escaping into the worlds of their own making via imagination, computers, games etc.
There's nothing inherently wrong in playing games.
Actually, Humans could easily learn new things at an accelerated rate through a method called 'gamification of life'. A methodology that is reflected in 'Khan Academy' website - and barely starting to be implemented in 'some' schools.
But well, Trek is a fiction after all, so they have privilege to become too idealistic in what they are doing (after all writers are idealist). Although, well... I think it is too naive to be considered possible and workable.
I've heard people and society at large berating many people by calling their ideas 'idealistic' and the people themselves as 'naive'.
Its easy to engage in criticism and actively dismissing ideas without actually thinking about them in a critical capacity or asking something like:
'How would it work... and what would it take to make it work?'.
'Human nature' is quite often used as an excuse to justify ignorance. Even Arthur C. Clarke said something along those lines.
Margaret Mead was the one who said and I quote:
'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has..'
In other words - if you allow notions such as 'naive' and 'idealistic' to be shaped into something that is 'bad', then you will likely reflect such a perception yourself and give up.
Yes, I understand about that. A world where humans are FREE to work if they CHOOSE to. Unfortunately, IF they CHOOSE to work, then they have no obligation for it. Because what? They choose to work, not because they obligated to work. I know about this because I involve in a social organization in my town. I understand the environment of working without being paid. Yes, they work like what you said. We work because we choose to. But we don't have any obligation to do it.
The example of "Choosing to work without obligation environment" :
Picard : Mr. Crusher, bring us to the nebula!
Crusher (has a choice to accept it or not, but he has no obligation to accept Picard's order) : No sir, I choose to not accept your order. Because I don't have any obligation to accept your order! I want to go to the holodeck, and play my favorite holo novel there.
Picard : Ok then, you can go. I will let the automaton doing the work
First off... just because there is no obligation for Humans to work, doesn't mean they won't work at all.
You are still thinking that Humans require reward or monetary incentive to work - this is a false premise that stems from the present socio-economic system.
The monetary system does a superb job of turning people into mindless drones (no insult intended) because they are never exposed to relevant general education, encouraged to become problem solvers or to think critically.
Why would Wesley go to a Holodeck and play a Holonovel when he actively expressed a desire to be and work on the bridge?
He was a Trek example of a child growing up in a setting that exposed him to relevant general education and sparked active interest in science, technology, ship operations, etc. without him needing reward of any kind to do any of it. He was extremely happy when Picard allowed him to sit on the bridge and actually work at the controls.
We don't really live in a society that actively does that - if anything we live in a society that LIMITS exposure to information/experiences in case of children because its deemed that they are 'too young to learn' - which again, holds little to no merit because children are just like adults - and in order to learn/understand something, they need to be taught, exposed to a variety of information and some experiences - otherwise, you end up with children that even don't know many things or get to learn some of them late in life of their own accord.
Btw, about they choose to work in 24th century, if it work like that, why there are still court martial and brig? Why Starfleet uses rank system like captain, lieutenant, etc? Rank system is only work in a society with obligation. And obligation is doing some work not because they choose to, but because they obligated to.
You have to understand that while Trek may have drawn from Resource Based Economy idea, the writers of the series wanted to have the show seem 'relate-able' to the USA viewers.
That's why they still have judges, prisons, a chain of command, etc.
These are ALL things that stem from past and current ideas that exist only because of the socio-economic system we live in (because it creates an environment that prompts a need for such things in the first place).
And since these notions are what currently exists in reality (and, DON'T work as intended), they were applied to Star Trek and gave the viewers something they could 'relate' to.
Other than that... such notions/jobs would probably be completely phased out in a world where money doesn't exist.
Even today, its only a matter of time before we phase it out and decision making is delegated to machines (which is happening at an increasing level).
And why they obligated to something? Because of a hobby? So Jeanluc Picard become a captain just because his hobby is exploring the stars. But as long as I know, there is no hobby that make him an admiral and you are his subordinate. No people want to become other's subordinate without any reward in it. You can't order people around just because both of you have the same hobby. But, an Admiral can order his captains around because of their job. A job with obligation, responsibility. And a job has a reward system. So what is your reward to doing a good job? Watching a nebula? fighting a klingon? or get promoted? Let say you accept every order just because you want to become an Admiral. But what happen after that? Ah yes, as Admiral, you have satisfaction, POWER. And what after you have the power?
As I explained above, Star Trek was a TV show created for the USA market.
Even if Roddenberry wanted to, he COULDN'T have portrayed it EXACTLY the way he wanted because the network wouldn't allow it.
But... to try and explain it within the confines of the Trek system would probably be like something along the lines of this:
Picard himself stated to one of the Humans in 'the Neutral zone' episode that the kind of 'power' people in positions of power had in the past and today (to control ones life) is nothing more than an illusion.
So you see, there is NO pursuit of power within StarFleet (or at least there shouldn't be) because it would be pointless.
Humanity is implied to have moved on from such notions that any attempt at 'seizing power' wouldn't even get a chance to get started because... what would be the point?
And if there was, the only reason it was portrayed was because of the 'drama' factor - nothing else.
This 'drama factor' was invoked on many occasions in Trek (and other scifi shows) to completely shoot down the credibility of science, technology and problem solving just so a specific plot would play out (otherwise, it wouldn't even be given credence to arise in such a setting - and indeed so, when Trek fans began examining the issue up-close, they realized that the writers 'conveniently forget' about many things just so a specific plot device would work because... they couldn't push themselves properly to imagine how life would work - therefore, they mostly super-imposed present day situations onto a society that was supposed to have 'moved on').
If you still insist of looking at a job as a reward system... the closest thing you 'might' say is that the 'reward' is the realization that you helped someone else with the knowledge you had.
Ask yourself... why do many children engage in activities that prompt them to learn new things... explore, etc... all without a reward system of any kind?
Its because they express an interest in it.
Perhaps it would help if you don't look at it as a 'job'.
When you don't see something as 'work' but still engage in it with even higher level of interest than someone who would see it as 'work'... you manage to achieve very high results.
So, in Trek... what you see as 'work' and 'jobs' - Humans in Trek (and many in real-life) would probably see as fun 99% of time.
Since there is no intricate need for Humans in Trek to actually work... they engage in various 'jobs' to stay mentally and physically active because they realized a LONG time ago that they would be incredibly bored of just sitting on their rear ends doing nothing.
Most people in real-life cannot bear to sit around the house doing nothing - so they try to find things to occupy their time... engaging in all sorts of activities and hobbies (some that could easily be seen as 'difficult' and 'complex' by many).
Now imagine what would happen when you eliminate money as a requirement to access things and EVERYTHING is accessible.
You could go wherever you want... be wherever you want, explore, learn... engage in things that interest you, participate and contribute to other people's lives.
There would quite literally be very few if any limits to what you could do.
Today, you are limited in what you can do by the purchasing power at your disposal.