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Old July 16 2013, 06:18 PM   #16
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

Everything has some value, even to Quark. Air has value to Quark. Just because gold is not the most precious material in the 24th century, doesn't mean that it is worthless - it's just worth less.

Hell, aluminum used to be more expensive than gold; the Washington Monument has an aluminum capstone because that was a precious metal at the time, which just shows you how things can change.
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Old July 16 2013, 06:40 PM   #17
JirinPanthosa
Rear Admiral
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

Quark sees the value of gold as being in trading with more primitive cultures, as stated in Who Mourns For Morn.

It doesn't make sense for latinum to be valuable if it can be replicated. Or else, "Computer, 5000 bricks latinum" oh now I'm rich. Who Mourns For Morn also refutes the 'Latinum bars are imprinted with serial information' theory as Morn was able to store it in his stomach in liquid form.
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Old July 16 2013, 06:52 PM   #18
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

Latinum has value because everyone agrees to pretend it has value. It's the same idea behind modern currency. Do you think the pieces of paper with numbers printed on them that we use as currency are inherently valuable? No - it's just a representation of one way to track value. The currency in your pocket doesn't even represent the sum total of all "money" in circulation. Most money exists only as data in computers. And every kind of currency can be counterfeited or hacked. The fact that it can be counterfeited doesn't mean it loses value, it just means it's important to make doing so illegal and/or incredibly difficult. Latinum can be replicated, but doing it may be illegal (and send a red flag to the authorities) or so incredibly difficult to do that it's not worth the effort (except for a few smart, ambitious or stubborn individuals).

Latinum probably functions the exact same way, and perhaps in a more complex way, too. This is the currency of an interstellar society with access to technologies we lack. The value of latinum may be present as "molecular serial numbers", or something. I don't know. BUT, I do know that assuming a culture as complex as the Ferengi, specialized in financial and business systems, shouldn't be thought of as engaging in mere barter with pieces of ore. On the other hand, they may prefer to be thought of as simplistic barbarians using baubles as currency, to make their opponents (both military and business) underestimate them - and allow them to gain the upper hand!
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Old July 16 2013, 08:21 PM   #19
Lt. Cheka Wey
Commander
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

. BUT, I do know that assuming a culture as complex as the Ferengi,
They are walking stereotypes also nobody could getrich in Ferenginar if we think about it. Big companies thrive an corporate culture and loyalty. Frengi have none of that, they are just to stabby.
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Old July 16 2013, 08:29 PM   #20
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

What? No one is a "walking stereotype", except people who want to be such things. And clearly Ferengi do get rich, so it is obviously possible to climb the socioeconomic ladder in Ferengi society. Aside from their dismissal of their own females, apparently anyone can go from rags to riches on Ferenginar - they seem very egalitarian. They don't seem to worry about who is socially acceptable, or discriminate against people in anyway beyond whether they're rich or poor. They even have rules about "sucking up to the boss", probably to promote loyalty in a culture that would otherwise degrade it. So I don't think you have raised any good points.
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Old July 17 2013, 02:35 PM   #21
JirinPanthosa
Rear Admiral
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

How do you put serial numbers on a liquid that is clearly divisible down to the molecular level? Are you suggesting every individual molecule gets tagged? And do you really think Ferenginar has a mint somewhere where they control the money supply? And how could you possibly catch somebody who replicated latinum?

Unless the writers created latinum as some sort of modern variant of currency so Ferengi acquisitiveness could be physically represented without thinking about realistic rules of supply and demand within the established rules of their universe *glares at camera*, it makes no sense that latinum can be replicated. Dilithium can't be replicated either.
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Old July 17 2013, 02:52 PM   #22
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

Why shouldn't individual molecules of latinum be tagged? Star Trek has all sorts of technologies to tag items at the submolecular and subatomic levels. Why should that be difficult? And why wouldn't the Ferengi have a mint? Gold-pressed latinum is their currency.

But hey, if you want to believe that things like latinum and dilithium can't be replicated, feel free to cite dialogue that demonstrates the fact.
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Old July 17 2013, 06:30 PM   #23
Merry Christmas
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Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

Pavonis wrote: View Post
But hey, if you want to believe that things like latinum and dilithium can't be replicated, feel free to cite dialogue that demonstrates the fact.
There is dialog that states that certain substances can not be replicated at all, and other substances require unusual amounts of power to produce.

If latinum is a living organism (an old thought of mine) that would be another possible reason a replicator couldn't construct it.

Pavonis, you challanged others to produce dialog evidense that latinum and dilithium can't be replicated, can you provide anything from the show indicating that either of those CAN be replicated?

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Old July 17 2013, 06:55 PM   #24
Star Wolf
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Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

TheRoyalFamily wrote: View Post

Of course, I seriously doubt replicators can just create gold/latinum/whatever out of thin air/pure energy, so that point is moot.
I thought that is exactly what replicators did. It is part of the no need for money prejudice of the Federation expressed in the TNG era. For dramatic reason things like dilithium crystals and later latinum had to be replication resistant waiting for a genius Scotty, or more likely a Rom considering the motivation to break the code

I agree with The Wormhole latinum is better then gold because it was used as a dramatic and comedic twist for a human audience after a few episodes of gold pressed latinum being introduced as a currency of sorts we are presented with the latinum as actually being the valuable component.
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Old July 17 2013, 07:06 PM   #25
Bad Thoughts
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Location: Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

There is dialog that states that certain substances can not be replicated at all, and other substances require unusual amounts of power to produce.
Isn't there also dialogue which says that replicated materials don't always reach high performance and quality standards?

ETA: in Mind's Eye, it was strongly suggested that a Federation rifle could not be wholly replicated (subsequently, the Romulan copy was detected on analysis.)

Last edited by Bad Thoughts; July 17 2013 at 07:18 PM.
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Old July 17 2013, 09:32 PM   #26
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

T'Girl wrote: View Post
There is dialog that states that certain substances can not be replicated at all, and other substances require unusual amounts of power to produce.
OK, but which episodes? Which series? I'm completely open to the idea, but I'm not going to sit down and watch hundreds of hours of Trek again just to isolate one snippet of dialogue. If you know something, do share. On the other hand, are you sure you're not mis-remembering some details of some episode?

If latinum is a living organism (an old thought of mine) that would be another possible reason a replicator couldn't construct it.
Same question - when was it established the replicators couldn't handle "living tissue"? The genetronic replicator used to replace Worf's spinal cord in "Ethics" was perfectly capable of replicating living tissue? Are you thinking that replicators aren't normally capable of replicating living things, but can do so with refinements or upgrades, or just more power?

Pavonis, you challanged others to produce dialog evidense that latinum and dilithium can't be replicated, can you provide anything from the show indicating that either of those CAN be replicated?

VOY, "Latent Image"

JANEWAY: ... A replicator operates through a series of electronic pathways that allow it to receive instructions and take appropriate action, and there you go. A cup of coffee, A bowl of soup, a plasma conduit, whatever we tell it to do.
"Whatever we tell it to do" - that's what a replicator is capable of producing, according to Janeway. If she tells it to replicate a crystal of dilithium, what's the problem? Why wouldn't it be able to do so? It might be limited to the size of the slot it would materialize in, but that's not a big deal. There are open-sided replicators, seen in the Enterprise-D replication center in "Data's Day", for items too bulky to come out of a food-sized slot.

If dilithium and latinum were "unreplicatable", then there are a lot of questions about what a replicator can do, why it can work on some things but not others, and why these restrictions weren't plot points in some episodes. In "Night Terrors", the replicators were power-limited, but no one said it couldn't produce anything in particular if enough power were available. Of course, the crew was searching for explosives to extricate themselves from a rift, but we learned that replicators were power-limited, but not necessarily limited in what they could produce when enough power is available.

The urgent need for dilithium was a plot point in some TOS episodes, but I believe that during the development of TNG the plot device was considered played out, so it was decided that dilithium would never be in short supply on the new Enterprise. We know that dilithium is still mined, but it is also "recomposited" in the warp core while it is still being used. So apparently starships are more dilithium-efficient in the 24th century. Whether they can or can't replicate dilithium isn't addressed - but why shouldn't it be replicated? What's special about dilithium that would make it impossible to assemble atoms into the correct crystal structure to produce it? Maybe it's more power intensive than mining it, but that's not the same as "impossible to replicate". It makes it foolish to do it, not impossible.

There are lots of valuable items on a starship - deuterium fuel, antimatter reactant, dilithium crystals, but also air and water. Without any one of them the whole system is a giant waste of resources. Would you argue that air and water can't be replicated either, just because a starship needs them as much as it needs dilithium and antimatter?

As for dilithium, so too for latinum - why is it impossible to replicate it? If it isn't produced in a replicator, where does it come from? Is it mined? Is it manufactured? If it's manufactured, what's so special about the manufacture of it that it can't be done with a replicator? If it is mined, then Ferengi latinum miners are the master of the Ferengi (and therefore galactic) economy. Grand Nagus Zek would have only as much power as the latinum miners would allow him, because they would be the true power in the Ferengi Alliance - they would control the value of GPL by controlling the supply, and they would decide who gets rich and who doesn't. Yet I see no evidence in the show that Ferengi latinum miners are a powerful faction, nor any mention of latinum mining specifically. So what is it? Where does this latinum stuff come from?

The only reason people think latinum can't be replicated is because they think rare things are the basis for economic utility as currency. But our modern currency is a fiat one. We don't trade baubles of ore as money, or even use such to back up our currency. It's all based on faith. So why would we expect the Ferengi, who are supposed to be masters of the financial, to do something so crude as use mined baubles as currency? Why can't they use latinum as a fiat currency that is actually valueless, but useful as a system for tracking value?
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Old July 17 2013, 09:36 PM   #27
Bad Thoughts
Fleet Captain
 
Location: Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

OK, but which episodes? Which series?
The Most Toys: Crushers says Tricyanate is too difficult to replicate to make it worthwhile.
Empok Nor: O'Brien can't replicate a Cardassian manifold because of the nature of the technology.
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Old July 17 2013, 09:44 PM   #28
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

Crusher says "With tricyanate? That's hard to believe. It's slow to assimilate, difficult to replicate, and hard to transport. There are a lot easier ways to poison a water supply. More effective ways too." So it's difficult, but not impossible, and probably exactly what Fajo did to poison the water supply on on Beta Agni II, since it was all a lure to capture Data.

So now the only question is why Cardassian manifolds use beta-matrix compositors, and why they are "unreplicable". "Beta-matrix compositors" are a piece of technology, not an element or compound. I wonder why O'Brien didn't just replicate the materials and build a new beta-matrix compositor.
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Old July 17 2013, 09:54 PM   #29
Bad Thoughts
Fleet Captain
 
Location: Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

Crusher says "With tricyanate? That's hard to believe. It's slow to assimilate, difficult to replicate, and hard to transport.
T'Girl mention some things were difficult to replicate, you asked for a reference, and I answered tricyanate. ETA: it leads to the possibility that other substances are not worth replicating.
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Old July 17 2013, 10:00 PM   #30
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Latinum is better tha gold because...

Which is fine - I'm not saying some things aren't difficult to replicate. I just reject the notion that some things are impossible to replicate, as there's no basis for it except fanon.
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