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Old April 26 2013, 03:01 PM   #301
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

It is very obvious that replicator usage is either free or rationed (Sisko talks about having used up all of his transporter credits to beam home every evening as a cadet). Given that there does not seem to be any obesity the latter is probably not necessary.
While Kirk does have an appartment with a beautiful view in TWOK the captain quarters in all series are as large as those of ordinary crewmembers.

In the fictionl future of Trek people do their jobs because they love them, not because they have to work to pay the rent and the bills. All tedious work is done by machines and the few civilians we have seen, Picard's brother and Sisko's father, do very obviously love their work. And this shouldn't surprise us, when you are relatively well-off you don't choose the best-paying but the most interesting job. And you don't lay around on the sofa all day because you wanna feel useful.
We are not purely hedonistic creatures and again the example from Trek is Picard's brother. He could have a far easier time if he used the replicator but he prefers real wine and real cooking.
Same with the people on the frontier. They could enjoy the easy life in the core of the Federation but they seemingly want some excitement and some challenges in their life so they choose the harder life on a colony.

The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion, and does not consist in amusement. - Aristotle
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Old April 26 2013, 03:26 PM   #302
Ho Ho Homeier
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

horatio83 wrote: View Post
In the fictionl future of Trek people do their jobs because they love them, not because they have to work to pay the rent and the bills.
Federation Job Placement Officer: "All right, all you guys who want to be sewer divers, raise your hands."
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Old April 26 2013, 03:55 PM   #303
sonak
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Melakon wrote: View Post
horatio83 wrote: View Post
In the fictionl future of Trek people do their jobs because they love them, not because they have to work to pay the rent and the bills.
Federation Job Placement Officer: "All right, all you guys who want to be sewer divers, raise your hands."

1. technological advances would probably make most of the more menial and unpleasant work unnecessary.

2. even if they don't love the job itself, they might be motivated by doing their civic duty or something-again, you're talking about being raised in a utopian society that values the "common good," maybe they WOULD be enthusiastic about sewer diving if they thought they were contributing something important.
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Old April 26 2013, 04:03 PM   #304
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Or maybe those are the kinds of assignments inmates (like Thomas Eugene Paris) at Federation Penal Settlements are given.
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Old April 26 2013, 06:14 PM   #305
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Horatio83 saideth: ''It is very obvious that replicator usage is either free or rationed (Sisko talks about having used up all of his transporter credits to beam home every evening as a cadet). Given that there does not seem to be any obesity the latter is probably not necessary.''

Except in STAR TREK V. There were two distinct cases, even though I love both actors and I'm no Twiggy myself.
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Old April 26 2013, 06:30 PM   #306
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

"What with this Dabo girl lap dance fee from Quark's?"





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Old April 26 2013, 07:21 PM   #307
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

I just don't see any evidence of the supposed human isolation on earth. In Star Trek, humans are EVERYWHERE. We've even seen instances of a single human owning an entire planet. Humans never seem to have trouble booking a voyage on a civilian transport. Humans are seen at bars and restaurants outside of the Federation all the time. I don't know what a week on Risa costs, but plenty of humans seem able to afford it.

An offhand comment by Jake that he can't buy something because he's human just doesn't hold up to all the other evidence.
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Old April 27 2013, 03:07 AM   #308
sonak
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Melakon wrote: View Post
Or maybe those are the kinds of assignments inmates (like Thomas Eugene Paris) at Federation Penal Settlements are given.

forced labor from prisoners?


that doesn't sound very utopian.
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Old April 27 2013, 10:04 AM   #309
Merry Christmas
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

sonak wrote: View Post
forced labor from prisoners? that doesn't sound very utopian.
If you've ever read the novel Utopia by Sir Thomas More (1516), by the end of the novel you find out Utopia is really a very horrifying place.

Forced labor is only the beginning.

horatio83 wrote: View Post
the captain quarters in all series are as large as those of ordinary crewmembers.
In The Undiscovered Country (admittedly a movie not a series) the "crew" were shown to be sleeping in double tiered bunks.

And Data's and Worf's quarters were smaller than Picard's. I would imagine that junior officers/enlisted lacked windows in their personal quarters.

It is very obvious that replicator usage is either free or rationed ...
Not obvious at all. During TOS and whatever they had as a "pre-replicator," I see them (certainly the officers) paying for their meals out of their pay. Kirk mentioned pay. TOS was modeled on the US Navy, and in the US Military officers pay for their meals. Enlisted do eat for free.

All tedious work is done by machines and the few civilians we have seen ...
Might want to narrow that down to just "the few civilians we have seen," as seen in TNG/DS9/VOY robots are generally rare, to the point of being unusual. Money is a great incentive to perform crappy jobs, the guy vacuuming the floor at Starfleet Academy (TWOK) was unlikely to have been doing so out of the personal fulfillment he was receiving.

If I remember correctly T'Girl is a libertarian right-winger so she naturally only cares for her personal LGBT interests.
In the way pseudo-intellectuals use the term, no I am not "right wing."

Gays are not one trick ponies, To say that we are solely focused upon "gay issues" is wildly inaccurate. That said, a future where gays are not seen - heard - mentioned could not possibly be referred to as hopeful.

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
If that's the case, then the credits aren't used on earth--and humans on earth don't get paid in any currency.
Quark was able to sell his shuttle here to someone, and purchase passage from someone here back to DS9, If he could have simply travel for free, saving himself money in the process, he would have gladly done so.


Last edited by Merry Christmas; April 27 2013 at 10:17 AM.
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Old April 27 2013, 10:12 AM   #310
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

T'Girl wrote: View Post
In the way pseudo-intellectuals use the term, no I am not "right wing."
Libertarian right-wing = economically right-wing. Anti-intellectualism is by the way most frequently encountered on the right.

I think the crucial questions in this debate is whether there are undesirable jobs and whether people are motivated by non-pecuniary incentives. About the former, while I think that there are no crappy jobs like today it is obvious that being e.g. an ordinary mid-level engineer on a starship implies plenty of tedious work. About the latter, in The Drumhead Ensign Tarsis did not seem to be devastated because he cannot pay his bills anymore, he is devastated because his dream job in Starfleet is gone.

Contemporary jobs are often shitty, not at least because we have virtually no democracy in the workplace. Sure, Starfleet is a mixture between a scientific and a military institution with hierarchies and no formal democracy in this work. But as TNG often pointed out, it is not a boring "follow orders" environment. Picard makes the final decision but he uses the input of each of his senior officers and decision processes on lower levels probably work similarly. This makes a Starfleet job highly interesting, even if you are just an ensign or crewman.
And as Sonak pointed out, bourgeois ideology doesn't exist anymore in an affluent world so most people are citoyens, i.e. they don't care about material benefits but, to paraphrase Picard, improving themselves and all of humankind. I'd rather have such people conduct an exploratory and defensive agencies than a bunch of narrow-minded egocentrics who only do it because the pay is good.
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Last edited by horatio83; April 27 2013 at 10:25 AM.
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Old April 27 2013, 12:56 PM   #311
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Both contemporary life and history show conclusively that people neither pursue only pleasure nor calculate everything in economic terms. It is also a matter of fact that the ruling economic theory does not correctly describe reality. Indeed most of it does not even make an attempt. The primary contribution of academic economists is the repeated attempt to prevent/explain/explain away the business cycle. If you keep score as you go through life, you'll see how well they've been doing.

The insistence that the future will be like today, except more so, is the same of kind of ideological thinking, if you can dignify the process with that term. It is not Roddenberry's assumption that things will be different, blandly skipping ove the map to the future, that is the mistake. It is the recurrent tendencies of hack writers to confuse their gut with their brain that is the mistake. (Yes, by their own inadvertent admission DS9 is the worst offender in this respect. So be it.)
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Old April 27 2013, 01:36 PM   #312
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

stj wrote: View Post
It is also a matter of fact that the ruling economic theory does not correctly describe reality. Indeed most of it does not even make an attempt. The primary contribution of academic economists is the repeated attempt to prevent/explain/explain away the business cycle. If you keep score as you go through life, you'll see how well they've been doing.
No. Kalecki and Keynes basically founded macroeconomics in the thirties and while there has always been an ideological battle between Keynesian and classical economics the syntheses that resulted from the clash of these two schools are not at all denying the business cycle. This is contemporary macro and if you just read the abstract you will realize that it actually does deal with demand management problems. There is no business cycle denial as business cycle is the very research topic!

There is a difference between academic research and the popularization of it. When Bob Lucas or John Cochrane or some other right-wing asshole from around Chicago denies that one can do something about recessions it is propaganda and not academic research.
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Old April 27 2013, 02:44 PM   #313
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

I am not invested with the authority to deem that some academic economists are engaged in true research while other are merely propagandizing. Some academically trained economists, including the gentlemen you mention, do indeed explain away the business cycle. (As you point out, it is mostly by claiming it is inevitable but self-curing.)

Lord Keynes is all very well, but Friedrich Hayek is certainly highly esteemed. Order of the Companion of Honour, I think, plus a Nobel Laureate. His disciple, Margaret Thatcher, was just awrdeded a lavish state funeral for her success in championing his ideas. And there was nearly universal condemnation in official media of anyone so vile as to disapprobate her Hayekian triumphs. Government is the problem, and capitalism is the cure!

I can understand why you want to think of only what you can accept as honest attempts at science as constituting the profession of economics. But in the world as it is, isn't that really just wishful thinking?
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Old April 27 2013, 03:02 PM   #314
sonak
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

stj wrote: View Post
I am not invested with the authority to deem that some academic economists are engaged in true research while other are merely propagandizing. Some academically trained economists, including the gentlemen you mention, do indeed explain away the business cycle. (As you point out, it is mostly by claiming it is inevitable but self-curing.)

Lord Keynes is all very well, but Friedrich Hayek is certainly highly esteemed. Order of the Companion of Honour, I think, plus a Nobel Laureate. His disciple, Margaret Thatcher, was just awrdeded a lavish state funeral for her success in championing his ideas. And there was nearly universal condemnation in official media of anyone so vile as to disapprobate her Hayekian triumphs. Government is the problem, and capitalism is the cure!

I can understand why you want to think of only what you can accept as honest attempts at science as constituting the profession of economics. But in the world as it is, isn't that really just wishful thinking?

Just because there are two schools of thought on something doesn't mean both are equally valid, and one must adopt a "who are we to judge?" attitude. Intelligent design and evolution aren't two equally competing scientific explanations, nor are astrology and astronomy.


Hayek-Friedmanite "monetarist" economics is right-wing ideology masquerading as a school of thought. Compare the macroeconomic results of Keynesian policies to the former, and if you're a pragmatist or empiricist you'll see who's right.


um, as for how this relates to Star Trek, I wonder if they teach Keynes at Starfleet Academy...
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Old April 27 2013, 03:06 PM   #315
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

stj wrote: View Post
I am not invested with the authority to deem that some academic economists are engaged in true research while other are merely propagandizing. Some academically trained economists, including the gentlemen you mention, do indeed explain away the business cycle. (As you point out, it is mostly by claiming it is inevitable but self-curing.)

Lord Keynes is all very well, but Friedrich Hayek is certainly highly esteemed. Order of the Companion of Honour, I think, plus a Nobel Laureate. His disciple, Margaret Thatcher, was just awrdeded a lavish state funeral for her success in championing his ideas. And there was nearly universal condemnation in official media of anyone so vile as to disapprobate her Hayekian triumphs. Government is the problem, and capitalism is the cure!

I can understand why you want to think of only what you can accept as honest attempts at science as constituting the profession of economics. But in the world as it is, isn't that really just wishful thinking?
It is not some. I linked to a paper by Mike Woodford who is THE monetary economist and its underlying methodology is the basic methodology of mainstream macro research. No mainstream macroeconomist gives a shit about Hayek.

I am not a big fan of mainstream macro by the way as there are plenty of methodological problems. But the basic setup of these models does create underemployment equilibria (via price rigidities) and is not ideologically biased in any way. I don't wanna get more technical and as I said, I don't like the way in which the business cycle is modelled there. As Stiglitz said long ago, there is no financial sector in mainstream macro models so they naturally provide no insights for a financial crisis.

So yeah, I frankly admit that I am more into heterodox stuff but mainstream economics isn't per se leaning to the right. For every Hayek there is a Stiglitz. Paul Krugman and Richard Koo are the two guys who provide the best insights at the moment as they learned the lesson from Japan and both are classical economists. OK, admittedly Koo seems to be a bit Postkeynesian but you get my point, you can be a classical economist and still be progressive and care about the truth.
And while there is, as in all other sectors of life, too much corporate influence upon the dismal science and while theory is complicated empirics isn't. We just conducted a large experiment with nasty employment effects in the real world. Of course there are some corrupted assholes who deny the validation of Keynesian theory (or rather the the rough implications of ALL Keynesian schools of thought, Old Keynesian, Neokeynesian and Postkeynesian) but when there are liars we call them liars and don't give up on an entire social science.
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