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Old April 3 2013, 01:55 PM   #241
Trek Survivor
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

teegirl wrote: View Post
It was in the episode Neutral Zone that Crusher (iirc) said something to the effect of "people in the 20th century feared death."

She said it in a way as to suggest that people in the 24th century naturally didn't.
And just a few episodes before, hadn't Crusher admitted she was afraid of death to Armus the skin of evil when he was toying with the away team? (haven't seen the episode in a good few years, so can't give exact quote).
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Old April 3 2013, 06:34 PM   #242
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
I'd say Picard's FIRST CONTACT line about "the economics of the 24th century" was the writer handing us a simplistic fairy tale of future socialist utopia.
That a good way of looking at it.

Another way would be this, in a early TNG episode, Riker says "WE" no longer enslave animals for food, suggesting that incredible progressive and enlightened people in the Federation are all veggies. But later we learn that more than a few people in the future do in fact eat the flesh of the beast. Even Riker himself is seen to eat a mouth full of scrabbled eggs (although some people don't consider eggs to be "meat").

So when Riker said "WE" he didn't mean everyone in the Federation, or even all of Humanity, but (possibly) instead the "WE" mean myself and a selections of others within my society who believe as I do.

And this could be the case with Picard and his no money quote. There could be a select few within Humanity/The Federation who have renounced money and the pursuit of material possessions. Obviously from many examples, the majority of the people featured on the show do not share this philosophical believe system. But some do.

Picard makes as little use of the pay he receives from Starfleet as he possibly can, it mostly just sits in his account. And Picard has very few personal belongings. Not to say he has none, just few.

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Old April 9 2013, 11:24 PM   #243
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Then Kirk offered to pay for Uhura's drink in Star Trek (2009), re-un-retconning it. Sort-of.
Except:

"Credit systems, tabs, even expense accounts, all existed long before cash. These things are as old as civilization itself." David Graeber - Debt: The First 5,000 Years. page 18.

Doesn't necessarily mean Kirk was going to use money to cover for Uhura's drink.

"Non-excludability and non-rivalry." Young Spock (Star Trek 2009), Anyone else catch that line?
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Old April 9 2013, 11:58 PM   #244
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Well then you must also include warp drive, transporters, phasers, and photon torpedoes as well, as they are only explainable in a fanboy's wet dreams, but no...we like our toys...but alas, this concept of the future being a semi utopic, generally moneyless system is part of the equation as well. Star Trek is not a universe where the future is our current capitalism, which is a hopeful thing. It's inderstandable that a lot of people don't like that, but it is part of the essential brilliance of Star Trek.
Without Star Trek's humanitarian edge, what have you got? Star Wars with awkward ships and no Jedi?
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Old April 10 2013, 12:53 AM   #245
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

TheGoodNews wrote: View Post
Then Kirk offered to pay for Uhura's drink in Star Trek (2009)
"Credit systems, tabs, even expense accounts, all existed long before cash."

Doesn't necessarily mean Kirk was going to use money to cover for Uhura's drink.
Yes, it does mean he was going to use money. But no, didn't mean he was going to use cash. Money can be in the form of a record, and not just a object. Kirk informed the bartender that he would provide value, in exchange for two shot of Jack Daniels without water.

McCoy (Star Trek Eleven): "The ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All I've got left is my bones."

The inference is that the people in the future personally possess items of value, property and money. Which can be removed from them through a legal proceeding, or a pre-existing binding agreement.

Come on TheGoodNews, twist it, twist it hard.

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Old April 10 2013, 02:16 AM   #246
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Money, a medium of exchange as opposed to mediums of distribution; ie vouchers, tickets, coupons, ration cards, tokens, or even tabs. Not to mention gift economies and honor systems. There's a decided historic difference between the underlying ways mediums of exchange work vis-a-vis mediums of distribution.

McCoy was just griping after getting his butt whupped in court. You don't think he really owned a whole planet? And even if he did, then he should be quite self-sufficient from any external economy, though maybe not from a local legal system in his sector. Oh, and you can still have material possessions in a moneyless society as I've already indicated.

"...and that despite endless economic textbooks to the contrary, there has never been an economy based on barter: that actually-existing societies which do not employ money have instead been gift economies in which the distinctions we now make between interest and altruism, person and property, freedom and obligation, simply did not exist." David Graeber - Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (.17).

Kirk was just making a generous gesture to Uhura.
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Old April 10 2013, 10:30 AM   #247
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

TheGoodNews wrote: View Post
Kirk was just making a generous gesture to Uhura.
Not that generous, while Kirk did offer to buy two drinks, he failed to offer to pay for Uhura's entire drink order. Obviously Uhura was ordering drinks for her entire table of friends. If Kirk had offer to pay for the entire order, he might have been invite back to Uhura's table and had a better chance of seducing her over the course of the evening.

A bit cliche, but you have a better chance with women being fast with the cash, verses being a cheap stiff.


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Old April 10 2013, 10:19 PM   #248
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

There are plenty of contradictions in Star Trek. Sometimes it's a matter of writing error that slips past editing and manages to get approved... and even the actors don't stop to consider it. Take the whole thing with Quark and gold. At one point he says it's worthless, and at another point he says otherwise.

"No money in the 24th century" is just a joke, IMHO. Now, it could be extended a bit... "We don't have money--we have a closed credit system." But how VALUABLE are credits anyway? To me, it looks like when you play within the confines of the Federation, you don't really need much. It's a socialist society. Healthcare is free. Food is essentially free. Replicator "rations" or credits may be dependent upon the quantity or complexity of what you're requesting to have produced, but we're not shown how many credits are needed for whatever thresholds that might be crossed. There's probably a huge apartment system managed by the government that enables basic lodging for free.

But how do you obtain exclusive property? There's always something exclusive or of limited availability in society. Are you bequeathed that by your station or by making some special achievement? How much does the government really own and/or control? If replicators can produce precious metals, then the whole monetary system can't work. People would just replicate platinum and then sell it.

Anyway, this is all within the confines of the Federation. Externally, it's clear that most species have some kind of monetary system and so in order to trade you MUST have some kind of exchange vehicle. Can you trade your Federation credits for something you want to buy from a Ferengi? Maybe you have to get your credits exchanged to latinum first.


Bottom line... Star Trek did a poor job of really explaining how the Federation credit system is supposed to work and how it would interface with extraterrestrial cultures. We've heard inferences about crew members having salary here and there, but we've no idea how much and how it positions them economically. While I know it could've been a powder keg trying to define a monetary system in more detail, I think it would've been possible to do something a little more detailed than what we got.
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Old April 11 2013, 03:13 AM   #249
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Gary7 wrote: View Post
Healthcare is free.
Starfleet certainly doesn't seem to charge for emergency services. But as a general societal policy, I was wondering if you pulled this from a particular episode?

Bottom line... Star Trek did a poor job of really explaining how the Federation credit system is supposed to work and how it would interface with extraterrestrial cultures.
We're given a window into why the Vulcans adopted their emotion control, they were destroying themselves as a group.

Warp drive, transporter, and other devices receive at least a passing explanation. Sometimes composed of technobabble. In FC we saw the first (Human) warp flight. In Enterprise there was a episode about the first (Human) transporter use.

The show is completely lacking in explanation on the 22nd century's "the new economy," or what is meant by "the economy is different."

In the multiple series we get mentions of pay, accounts, bank, credits, buying, selling, etc. It sounds given the vocabulary used that their financial structure is a analogy of our own. If Picard's one time statement is the true picture of the future, what were all of those other Humans (and non-Humans) talking about?


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Old April 11 2013, 07:24 AM   #250
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Gary7 wrote: View Post
There's probably a huge apartment system managed by the government that enables basic lodging for free.
Yeah, but you'd be taking your life in your hands to live there. Free housing is the costliest kind. And smell that urine in the stairwells.
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Old April 11 2013, 03:33 PM   #251
Jeyl
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

To name a few,

Season Two's final episode, "Assignment: Earth". Imagine if the series didn't get renewed for a season three and Assignment: Earth ended up as the original series' last episode. Quite an insult when you consider that it wasn't meant to be a Star Trek episode at all, since Gene made it as an attempt to get a new series started by using Star Trek to make this backdoor pilot.

The Star Trek theme. Gene, as long as your lyrics don't appear in the theme, I will never, EVER credit you for creating the theme. You did not do this to make the theme better, you did just to rip off Alexander Courage. Practice what you preach.

Treatment of women. Sorry, but I don't like a sexist Starfleet, or your idea that a woman who isn't pretty can't have a future. Plus writing that one line "They're like animals" to describe a green skinned woman dancing to music is just bad.

Wesley Crusher. If I was a child actor and I learned years later just how much Gene Roddeberry was attached to Wesley as a character, I would feel almost violated. Think about it. The whole point of Wesley's character was to fulfill some old guy's self-important ego. Ick!

Canon. Oh, for god's sake Gene. It's a story written by a writer endorsed by the studio with your name on it. Just because it's not on film doesn't mean it's not a story worthy to be acknowledged.

Killing Tasha Yar. This could have been handled a whole let better Gene. A LOT BETTER.
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Old April 11 2013, 07:39 PM   #252
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Ok, here is my point condensed.

We can't *really* explain warp drive, transporters, replicators, or their effect on economy and use/non-use of money. All of this stuff is bullshit.

But if we take something now impossible, and pretend it is true in fiction, we create a kind of equation which is played out in the show itself. Remove the lofty aim, and you lose the spirit of things. Star Trek is supposed to be inspiring, and a future of abundance is part of that.
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Old April 12 2013, 12:50 AM   #253
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Treatment of women. Sorry, but I don't like a sexist Starfleet, or your idea that a woman who isn't pretty can't have a future. Plus writing that one line "They're like animals" to describe a green skinned woman dancing to music is just bad.
You're looking at a story written in 1964 through the prism of 21st-century sensibilities. To audiences of the time, and I daresay even to many people today, it's quite understandable that Vina, with her crippled and deformed body, would prefer to stay on Talos IV where she could have the illusion of youth and beauty.

As for the Orion dance scene, IIRC, a line was cut before the pilot was shown to NBC -- something like "every now and then a man comes along who can tame one of them." So it could have been worse!
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Old April 12 2013, 01:06 AM   #254
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

And they never explained why the Talosians couldn't simply read Vina's mind (they were extremely powerful telepaths, after all. And Vina was unconscious, not dead! So she still had a mind to read) to find out what a human being looked like. OR, for that matter, they could have just scanned the Columbia's computer banks!
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Old April 12 2013, 02:00 AM   #255
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Gary7 wrote: View Post
There's probably a huge apartment system managed by the government that enables basic lodging for free.
Yeah, but you'd be taking your life in your hands to live there. Free housing is the costliest kind. And smell that urine in the stairwells.
Everything is sanitized in the utopia.
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