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Old April 28 2013, 10:22 PM   #331
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

This is why I liked the uniforms from ENT. The show was in general trying to be the most realistic one which is IMO not per se an asset in fiction. Perhaps a slight lack of realism like in TOS and TNG is actually useful to make a Trek show good?
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Old April 29 2013, 01:55 AM   #332
T'Girl
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Another bad idea of Roddenberry's was the no pockets in the future idea.
I like the idea one of the board members here came up with a few years back, that their pants were "smart pants." If you needed a pocked, the pants would manifest however many you needed and in any size and location. like when Geordi LaForge need a small pocket to conceal a small phaser (to assassinate a Klingon), his clothes made a pocket, after he pulled out the phaser the pocket would in time disappeared.

King Daniel wrote: View Post
Personally, I find the FJ symbol more aesthetically pleasing, showing the locations of the Federation Membership, like the field of stars in the American flag I would imagine that it would change with each new member. The later "official" flag/seal is (as I understand it) simply a random spread of stars that represents nothing in particular. While the two Humanoid profiles looking outward might upset some of the Federations species, the two olive branches would do the same, being so Human-centric a symbol.

yousirname wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
But there are numerous examples of money's existence too. So what do you do?
Accept that canon is self-contradictory and move on?
I would say, look at the number of occurrences.

Consider the letter R.

Somewhat like Picard's single overt statement that money doesn't exist in the twenty-fourth century, during TOS there is a single overt reference to James Kirk's middle name beginning with the letter R. This comes to us via the tomb stone created by Gary Mitchell.

That's the only time we see the middle initiial R. Kirk himself never refers to his middle initial being anything other than a T, his official records consistently use a T, and when Kirk is referred to in other series, his middle initial is a T. Eventual we are provided with the middle name Tiberius.

In-universe, it unclear why Mitchell would use an R.
.
So, is this an example of a self-contradiction? No, it's one character making a single overt reference that doesn't fit with a large number of other references. And it's the same with the money references, while we do get money; don't use, don't need, don't carry - only once is there a overt statement that "money doesn't exist in the twenty-fourth century."

Is Picard's statement a self-contradiction? No.

If the yes and no money references were basically a balanced mixed, then that would be a self-contradiction, one line of dialog isn't.
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Old April 29 2013, 03:38 PM   #333
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

^ I'm sticking with my theory that Picard was deliberately fudging the truth/being a jackass/acting high-and-mighty when he told Lily Sloane (in ST:FC) and those 20th-century people ("The Neutral Zone") that there was no money.

Believing himself to be from a more enlightened future society, Picard would naturally tend to talk down to what he might consider 'stupid' primitives from earlier eras. Especially when talking to, say, Ralph Offenhouse, Picard probably thought he deserved to be taken down a peg.
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Old April 29 2013, 03:51 PM   #334
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Picard acts in the very opposite way. In "Who Watches the Watchers?" he encounters a civilization which is not even industrial and yet he is quite humble.
This is not about Picard, it is about politics. Left-winger embrace the economic vision of Trek while right-wingers detest it.
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Old April 29 2013, 03:57 PM   #335
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Picard acts in the very opposite way. In "Who Watches the Watchers?" he encounters a civilization which is not even industrial and yet he is quite humble.
Okay, then let me rephrase: from earlier human eras.

As for that episode, though, Picard was definitely not "humble" regarding the Mintakans' religious beliefs...
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Old April 29 2013, 04:06 PM   #336
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

All he did was undo their false, meaning that it wasn't natural but caused by the Feds, belief in him being a god. Of course the underlying idea was that the Mintakans would regress if the incident sparkles a rebirth of a dying religious belief.
This is hardly anti-religious though as our own religious history implies a progress from paganism to monotheism to atheism. Take Christianity (which is basically the step from monotheism to atheism, God dies in the Jesus story) and the partial re-paganization of it once it came under Roman influence. I am not anti-religious when I call this a regression.
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Old April 29 2013, 04:12 PM   #337
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

T'Girl wrote: View Post
If the yes and no money references were basically a balanced mixed, then that would be a self-contradiction, one line of dialog isn't.
I'm not really inclined to repeat myself, but 'one line of dialogue' is objectively false.
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Old April 30 2013, 06:53 AM   #338
T'Girl
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

horatio83 wrote: View Post
This is not about Picard, it is about politics. Left-winger embrace the economic vision of Trek while right-wingers detest it.
But the opposite would be true too, one side would support the observed economic system that obviously employs a form of money, while the other side would "detest" (or something milder) the very idea that centuries from now a financial system that is similar to our current one is still in existence.

And it isn't simply about politics, it's also about sociology. The structure of the future. The economic system that our see heroes live in, is the one that we want to see them living in. Many Star Trek fans project themselves to a degree into the Trek universe, we envision (fantasize) ourselves in that universe. So in discussions when we advocate a economic system, or a type of interstellar culture, or a Federation legal structure, or tremendous diversity, or high degree of uniformity, it's because that's basically either what we personally would like to live in, or at least what we would like to see our heroes live in.







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Old April 30 2013, 07:13 AM   #339
robau
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Another bad idea of Roddenberry's was the no pockets in the future idea.

I mean where exactlyare they supposed to put stuff?
People don't constantly carry junk around in the utopia. The obsession with constant communication had passed. No money means no wallets. ID by biometrics. Keys by voice.

Frankly I wish I could get by without a cell phone again.
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Old April 30 2013, 07:52 AM   #340
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Yes... but how do you adjust your other junk without pockets?
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Old April 30 2013, 12:50 PM   #341
I am not Spock
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

teacake wrote: View Post
What I want to see is people who just sit on their ass on the beach their whole life, replicating their needs. Where are these people? Because I'd sure as hell be one of them in this glorious future.
Exactly. In a future where crime, poverty, hunger, etc is apparently eliminated, and people can basically pursue whatever career they want to, without financial reward, you'd expect there to be some people who want to do...nothing much at all. Just sit around and enjoy life. I'm sure Joe Blow who works as a filing administration clerk on Starbase 49 doesn't love his job. The no money thing is a pretty stupid idea.
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Old April 30 2013, 01:00 PM   #342
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Fling administration clerk sounds like somebody you let a computer do and a society can work despite of some people who do not work. Capitalism has functioned for two centuries and if you take a look at long run employment stats full employment has been the exception (during the social democratic era). All the people we see in Trek work because they love their jobs. Some of them like the chief engineers even regularly work over hours. And there is nothing glamorous about fixing a broken piece of machinery or crawling through some Jeffries tubes, it is hard work.
Happiness studies have suggested that being unemployed causes more loss of well-being to people than the mere loss of income could explain so we have firm empirical evidence which suggests that the economic ideas of Trek are not at all unrealistic.
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Old April 30 2013, 01:12 PM   #343
yousirname
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

I am not Spock wrote: View Post
Exactly. In a future where crime, poverty, hunger, etc is apparently eliminated, and people can basically pursue whatever career they want to, without financial reward, you'd expect there to be some people who want to do...nothing much at all. Just sit around and enjoy life. I'm sure Joe Blow who works as a filing administration clerk on Starbase 49 doesn't love his job. The no money thing is a pretty stupid idea.
It's not at all implausible, sure. But why would you expect to see those people on the show?

It wouldn't exactly make for compelling drama, would it?

Although now that I think about it, I don't think Trek's ever tackled the stoner comedy subgenre...
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Old April 30 2013, 03:41 PM   #344
sonak
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

I am not Spock wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
What I want to see is people who just sit on their ass on the beach their whole life, replicating their needs. Where are these people? Because I'd sure as hell be one of them in this glorious future.
Exactly. In a future where crime, poverty, hunger, etc is apparently eliminated, and people can basically pursue whatever career they want to, without financial reward, you'd expect there to be some people who want to do...nothing much at all. Just sit around and enjoy life. I'm sure Joe Blow who works as a filing administration clerk on Starbase 49 doesn't love his job. The no money thing is a pretty stupid idea.

Horatio83's response to this was already pretty good, but yeah, I'll just echo it. There are a lot of people NOW who have dropped out of the workforce for difficulty finding a job, or just lack of appropriate skills. Somehow, the economies where this happens haven't collapsed. As technology and production have gotten more efficient, there should be MORE people who can "opt out of work," not less. The only reason that we're not working less is because the richest segments of society are gobbling up more and more of the increased gains in efficiency and production, and well, just the overall wealth.

I don't think Star Trek's economics, given the post-scarcity assumption, and the important but frequently overlooked assumption of people being raised in an environment where "contribution to society" is valued, is all that unrealistic.


After all, our economic system NOW is pretty absurd, with teachers who work 70 hour weeks, making 1/100th of a pro athlete who contributes far lass to society. But you don't question those assumptions, because you were raised in a certain way with the values of your society instilled in you.

Star Trek is no different. The characters grew up in a post-scarcity environment where one didn't have to work to get the basic necessities, but where "bettering yourself" was the primary goal.
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Old April 30 2013, 04:32 PM   #345
horatio83
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Indeed, it is strange that nobody questions why work hours have been reduced to 40 hours and below, a fairly natural trend in a society with real GDP per capita growth rates of around 2%, but then started to rise again. It is perceives as totally natural while it actually isn't. Capital is happy about it in the immediate economic sense (labour's share of income decreases) and in the indirect political sense: overworked citizens have no time or energy to do political work.

Keynes, a guy who made money on the stock market and wrote that Marx misread Ricardo, i.e. not a crazy leftist prophet but a centrist liberal, wrote about the future reduction of workhours (this is a good modern follow-up). The economic world of Trek, not working at all anymore out of necessity, the step from work as a means for consumption to a means for social contribution / self-fulfillment, is just the next step. And unlike working like crazy and then being too exhausted to do anything but passively consume and perhaps enjoy one hobby it sounds like a better life.

About work incentives, they are overrated. Socialism didn't fail because of work incentive issues (they existed but were of minor relevance and compensated for by Western inefficiencies like lack of competition on output markets) but because of the absence of a capital market: companies couldn't fail. Interestingly the problems we face today also have more to do with a badly functioning capital market than with lazy, shirking workers.
So yeah, I have no idea where these obsessions with work incentivzes come from. Somehow people are masochistic, they prefer a world without democracy in the worldplace and the constant fear of job loss to either a full employment world where they could actually tell their boss to fuck himself and easily change the job or a post-scarcity world in which they could merge work and hobby.
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Last edited by horatio83; April 30 2013 at 04:46 PM.
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