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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old November 7 2012, 05:47 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

We still have never heard of something being totally impossible to replicate, just impractical...

The very concept of "reusing an accident" flies in the face of reason. Accidents are accidental and for that reason already extremely difficult to reproduce. Could you really see Starfleet waiting for the perfect storm at Nervala IV and then start probing the atmosphere with twin transporter beams in the hope that the "phase differentials" will again be an exact match for one of them? They'd end up blowing up six transporter platforms for one poorly duplicated crate of dilithium - and they wouldn't get any better at it with time, as the circumstances would be constantly changing.

As for age reversal in "Unnatural Selection", it hardly amounted to that as such. It was reversal of a debilitating illness that had the same symptoms as advanced age. As a cure for arthritis, it seemed to work fine, but there's no indication it rejuvenated Pulaski's cells or anything like that - indeed, there's no indication that the illness aged the cells in the first place. It just gave Pulaski instant arthritis.

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Old November 8 2012, 03:47 AM   #32
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

They knew the mechanics that caused the phenomenon: transporting through a semi-transparent mirror.

It shouldn't take too long to recreate that situation and test all the variables.
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Old November 8 2012, 11:27 AM   #33
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

How to analyze and recreate the transparent mirror when it's a rare planetary-scale weather phenomenon? It sounds like a major research effort, to be followed by large scale construction of a still poorly understood system. I'd expect something like the reverse-engineering of Borg nanoprobes to yield industrial applications sooner.

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Old November 8 2012, 03:07 PM   #34
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
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Actually, nobody even went as far as saying "latinum can't be replicated".

For all we know, it can, just like hundred-dollar bills can be printed.
Latinum is not a currency, it's a rare material, like diamonds.

Diamonds are nothing more than pressurized carbon and are one of the most abundant materials in the universe (which includes our planet Earth).
Also... Humanity has been creating synthetic diamonds since the 1950's for industrial applications - while it wasn't until the early 1990-ies that we gained the viable ability to use them in electronics (and for other purposes) - which due to the monetary system we live in have YET to live up to that use because current industry still isn't done with milking money out of Silicon.

As for latinum being non-replicable... I don't think there was any mention of it being non-replicable.
Ferengi merely use it for currency, and those who want to do business with the Ferengi need to utilize gold-pressed Latinum.
Its possible that the Ferengi have officials who know replicators CAN create gold-pressed latinum, but it would be something kept hidden from their general public.

Also, 'Night of Terrors' essentially confirms that Federation replicators merely need energy (large portions of it) to synthesize matter (because they transform energy into matter as it was repeated several times) and do not require existing portions of matter (organic or otherwise) to create something.

The more complex a material or element is that you try to replicate, it requires that much more power - Enterprise had an issue with its power being depleted on a regular basis and replicators simply didn't have enough of it to synthesize the required elements.
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Old November 11 2012, 01:16 AM   #35
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

Perhaps ANY replicated material has a unique energy signature, sort of like a replication watermark.

Natural Latinum obviously wouldn't have this energy signature and be valid as authentic currency, whereas replicated Latinum could be easily recognised by this watermark signature and not have any real-world value whatsoever.

Perhaps that's what makes Latinum more valuable than, say, diamond, because the replicator watermark is so radically different from Latinum's natural energy signature, it's very very easy to detect whether Latinum is natural or replicated.
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Old November 11 2012, 01:41 PM   #36
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

I like how the explanations get more and more complicated just because you guys WANT to disagree with the Occam's Razor answer: it can't be replicated, which is why it has value in a world where nearly everything can be replicated by the transformation from energy into matter. The technobabble explanation as to why it can't be replicated is not even important at all.

It really is the most simple and logical reason.
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Old November 11 2012, 02:21 PM   #37
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I like how the explanations get more and more complicated just because you guys WANT to disagree with the Occam's Razor answer: it can't be replicated, which is why it has value in a world where nearly everything can be replicated by the transformation from energy into matter. The technobabble explanation as to why it can't be replicated is not even important at all.

It really is the most simple and logical reason.
Um... we know it can't be replicated.

The question is "WHY can't it be replicated", not "CAN it be replicated".

The question is just as important as anything else in the show.
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Old November 11 2012, 03:51 PM   #38
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

The Borg Queen wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I like how the explanations get more and more complicated just because you guys WANT to disagree with the Occam's Razor answer: it can't be replicated, which is why it has value in a world where nearly everything can be replicated by the transformation from energy into matter. The technobabble explanation as to why it can't be replicated is not even important at all.

It really is the most simple and logical reason.
Um... we know it can't be replicated.

The question is "WHY can't it be replicated", not "CAN it be replicated".

The question is just as important as anything else in the show.
Yet more than half of this thread is about the CAN, and not the WHY.
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Old November 12 2012, 12:02 AM   #39
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

It's fanon, admittedly based on behind-the-scences production intent, that latinum is not replicable. It was never established in the show that latinum was incapable of being replicated.

So why would we start spinning yarns about how replicators can't produce latinum, when there's no canonical evidence to support that idea? The idea that an interstellar civilization would base their economic system on the "worth" of some unreplicable materials is unimaginative. "Gold-pressed latinum" is used as a currency by the Ferengi Alliance, and that's all we know. The idea that it is worth using as a currency because it is unreplicable is similar to assuming that the US uses paper-and-ink currency because paper and ink are rare. Obviously neither paper nor ink are rare substances, nor are electrons, which are the real currency of our times. So why would latinum, or gold-pressed latinum, have to be rare and unreplicable to be used as currency?

Answer that question, and I'll assist in figuring out why latinum and GPL must unreplicable.
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Old November 12 2012, 10:53 AM   #40
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

A replicator would be the equivalent of a National Treasury-quality printing press, as opposed to your bog-standard colour printer.

It wouldn't be printing forged money, it'd be printing real money.
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Old November 12 2012, 11:26 AM   #41
Timo
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

But standards evolve or inflate. The "Treasury-quality printer" might well be struggling to make a copy that would pass a cursory examination by the crappiest commercially available thumbnail tricorder. And for truly "real" stuff, you'd need a replication system the size of a building, at which point it would be cheaper to buy a small starship and rob a bank with it.

After all, we do know that replicators seldom bother to make truly exact copies: our heroes always find reasons to complain about the quality of the food or are able to get forensic evidence of forgery etc.

The "GPL can't be replicated" idea is an inconsistent one when we see and hear that basically everything can be replicated. But we also see and hear that many things are not replicated despite this being perfectly possible, which is quite consistent with the existence of GPL-style currency.

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Old November 13 2012, 01:08 AM   #42
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

Food has complex organic molecules in different arrangements and different densities. Not just the physical material of the substances but the molecules that make flavour. Like the difference between today's artificial food flavourings and real fruit's flavour molecules.

I imagine it's hard to get the balance exactly right. Maybe chocolate mousse is a little too firm, or soup is a little too runny, who knows exactly what it is about the "taste" of replicated food that makes it different from traditionally prepared and cooked food.

With a substance that is most likely just a copy/paste/area-fill pattern it's probably a lot easier.
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Old November 13 2012, 06:09 AM   #43
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

It's possible the sameness, the complete reproducibility of replicated food is what's the "problem" for gourmands in the 24th century. The food from the replicator is always the same; every time you replicate chicken Parmesan, for instance, it's exactly the same as the last time you replicated it, because it's the same program. In contrast, food prepared by hand will vary every time. People who prefer "real" food prefer the variety, then.

As for GPL, the why can't the replicator be considered the ATM of the 24th century?
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Old November 14 2012, 11:57 AM   #44
Timo
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

It's possible the sameness, the complete reproducibility of replicated food is what's the "problem" for gourmands in the 24th century.
Or then they complain just for the sake of complaining - the "problem" for gourmands in any century!

With a substance that is most likely just a copy/paste/area-fill pattern it's probably a lot easier.
Why should GPL be less complex than food?

As for GPL, the why can't the replicator be considered the ATM of the 24th century?
Indeed. The temptation to use it for forgery is great, though: even if you aren't authorized to replicate a brick of GPL (that is, you don't have the Ferengi bank account to back it up), you will only get caught if the person you offer it to goes and checks all the hidden "serial numbers" in and on it. We know the slips can be checked by biting or by listening for the sound they make when bouncing, but we have never seen anybody check a brick.

Then again, we have never seen anybody actually receive a brick for payment, either. Quite possibly, one only accepts bricks when a suitable checking device is at hand. Or then trust is the word, as the person offering an un-backed brick is going to get caught eventually, and his crime is great enough to warrant a death squad sent after him.

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Old November 15 2012, 05:16 PM   #45
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Re: Why can't Latinum be replicated?

I'll have a shot.

In the TOS book "Prime Directive" it talks about Dilithium being something alongs the lines of a ""fourth dimension"" element. Hence why IT can't be replicated. I'd say Latinum is the same. Thats why its worth so much. There is only so much to go around.
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