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Old June 23 2013, 03:49 PM   #511
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

I always assumed there was no currency within Starfleet, not within Federation as a whole. Or if there isn't then UFP is a communist organization. After all Leningrad is still called like that.
My own problem with the "no money" pronouncement was that as grandiose as is sounds, it really doesn't carry a lot of specific meaning. Although we could talk about the existence of media of exchanges since the use of shells by hunter-gatherers to get goods from early towns and cities, the nature of money is far from consistent. It has a history that shows money, both as a measure and as a commodity in and of itself, changes over time. No banks, no currency speculation, no investments, no payments between governments: these things developed only recently. Indeed, a fundamental problem for much of human history was the insufficient supply of coinage for anything but the largest transactions. That's why Roman coins would still be in circulations as late as the 19th century. I would find it difficult to expect that money would play the same role today that it will in the future, and I certainly would not want to return to the financial world my father grew up in.

If there is any sense to be made of "no money," it has to come from Picard's takedown of Ralph Offenhouse, when Offenhouse expected that his wealth (if it still existed) would have empowered him above Picard. I don't remember that Picard says there is no money, but instead, he suggests that money doesn't carry the import it once had. I think he says that there is no need to accumulate things. That is removed from having or wanting things in particular, and Picard doesn't deny their existence. And although he doesn't say it, Picard suggests that he is more powerful because of his position, and money wouldn't change that.
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Old June 23 2013, 09:32 PM   #512
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Actually, Picard also mentions that they have no use of money to Lily in First Contact, when she asks how much the ship cost. The look on Lily's face is priceless...
"You don't get paid?"
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Old June 23 2013, 10:50 PM   #513
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Picard's answer to that question highlights the naivetÚ of the "no money" principle in Trek.
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Old June 24 2013, 12:18 AM   #514
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Actually, Picard also mentions that they have no use of money to Lily in First Contact, when she asks how much the ship cost. The look on Lily's face is priceless...
"You don't get paid?"
Picard's answer to that question highlights the naivetÚ of the "no money" principle in Trek.
Except Picard never really answers the question if he gets paid in any form. His next sentence is an explanation that wealth is not in and of itself a human goal. It is not an explanation of how his labors and contributions are rewarded and whether he is able to purchase things at will or if it is limited by the aforementioned contributions.
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Old June 24 2013, 12:42 AM   #515
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

The answer is silly. Humans work for the betterment of themselves and humankind ? Who's insane idea was that ?

Sounds more like an ideology or sales pitch than what really goes on in the Trek universe.
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Old June 24 2013, 12:46 AM   #516
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Belz... wrote: View Post
Sounds more like an ideology or sales pitch than what really goes on in the Trek universe.
Isn't that what Picard was trying to do, to sell Lilly on his not being her enemy? What he said may seem contrived and artificial, but he didn't have time to go into detail about how much humanity had changed between Lilly's time and his.

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Old June 24 2013, 12:55 AM   #517
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Isn't that what Picard was trying to do, to sell Lilly on his not being her enemy? What he said may seem contrived and artificial, but he didn't have time to go into detail about how much humanity had changed between Lilly's time and his.
It's probably no more contrived than the reasons elementary school kids learn for the Revolutionary War.
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Old June 24 2013, 01:04 AM   #518
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
It's probably no more contrived than the reasons elementary school kids learn for the Revolutionary War.
Probably not, but I don't have much confidence in most educational systems these days.

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Old June 24 2013, 07:35 AM   #519
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Belz... wrote: View Post
Humans work for the betterment of themselves and humankind?
How does that response anwser Lily's fairly direct inquiry of does Picard get paid?

And separately, what about the majority of the Federation that isn't "the rest of Humanity?" What do they have going on?

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
It's probably no more contrived than the reasons elementary school kids learn for the Revolutionary War.
Ummm ... a disagreement over the way in which Great Britain treated the colonies versus the way the colonies felt they should be treated.

The physical distance of the colonies from the British Parliment created a disconnect, the growth of a separate American culture over time, , the existence of legislatures in the individual colonies that largely took care of most governmental needs, growing interest in the intellectual concepts of "the enlightenment" as it pertain to governing.

That's what I remember getting in early primary school. Basic and a bit fundamental, but contrived?

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Old June 24 2013, 01:30 PM   #520
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

That's what I remember getting in early primary school. Basic and a bit fundamental, but contrived?
Contrived is not the right word. Canned is better. And in spite of some detail and nuance being taught, most children come out of elementary school seeing the war being fought for "liberty," even though "sovereignty," after "autonomy," is far more precise. That is the sort of historical knowledge that most students leave school with, where complex processes are reduced to simple explanations that hold at least some truth. Within the context of the Star Trek universe, "no money" would be such a reduction, where there is never any real explanation given to how economics works, only that things are different. Moreover, it's so vague that many different ideas can be read into the meaning of "no money." Ultimately, it was a stupid idea because it had no explanation behind it.
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Old June 25 2013, 01:31 AM   #521
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
Ultimately, it was a stupid idea because it had no explanation behind it.
OR it was a good idea. It doesn't handcuff future writers and it invites fan speculation, which keeps fans interested.
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Old June 26 2013, 04:18 AM   #522
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Bad thoughts wrote: View Post
That's what I remember getting in early primary school. Basic and a bit fundamental, but contrived?
Contrived is not the right word. Canned is better. And in spite of some detail and nuance being taught, most children come out of elementary school seeing the war being fought for "liberty," even though "sovereignty," after "autonomy," is far more precise. That is the sort of historical knowledge that most students leave school with, where complex processes are reduced to simple explanations that hold at least some truth. Within the context of the Star Trek universe, "no money" would be such a reduction, where there is never any real explanation given to how economics works, only that things are different. Moreover, it's so vague that many different ideas can be read into the meaning of "no money." Ultimately, it was a stupid idea because it had no explanation behind it.

this isn't because of propaganda or a failure of the education system, it's because no one gives complex, nuanced explanations of historical events to elementary school students.
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Old June 26 2013, 07:06 AM   #523
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

DS9: In the Cards wrote:
JAKE: Come on, Nog.
NOG: No.
JAKE: Why not?
NOG: It's my money, Jake. If you want to bid at the auction, use your own money.
JAKE: I'm human, I don't have any money.
NOG: It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favour of some philosophy of self-enhancement.
JAKE: Hey, watch it. There's nothing wrong with our philosophy. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.
NOG: What does that mean exactly?
JAKE: It means. It means we don't need money.
NOG: Well if you don't need money, then you certainly don't need mine.
JAKE: How much latinum do you have? How much?
NOG: Five bars.
JAKE: Five bars!
NOG: Look, it's taken me a lifetime to save up that much money, and I'm not going to just throw it away for some baseball card.
JAKE: Not even for my father, the man who made it possible for you to enter Starfleet Academy.
NOG: Oh no, that's not fair.
JAKE: The man who believed in you when no one else would.
NOG: Oh, this is so low.
JAKE: I can't believe you would rather keep your filthy money locked away in a box under a bed than use it to give him endless moments of happiness.
NOG: Argh! All right, all right. I'll do it.
JAKE: That's very generous, Nog. I'm proud of you. Now let's get that money.
NOG: Humans.

Holy Crap! Nog was winning that argument completely and utterly: if you don't need money, then you don't need mine. End of story. And I would add, if your father is only out to better himself, to gain nothing but self-improvement, then he doesn't need a baseball card.

But the writers set aside all credibility and had Nog surrender his life savings to a manipulative parasite. Nog should never have revealed how much money he has to that pathetic mooch, to say nothing of handing it over.
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Old June 26 2013, 10:56 AM   #524
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Holy Crap! Nog was winning that argument completely and utterly
You'll notice Ferengi tend to do that throughout DS9.
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Old June 26 2013, 12:41 PM   #525
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Re: Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Belz... wrote: View Post
The answer is silly. Humans work for the betterment of themselves and humankind ? Who's insane idea was that ?
Jesus.
But since Picard is an atheist, then the other way around is probably the right answer. He's a communist.

Maybe we'll have book that describes this attempt as a great experiment during the 24th century abandoned due to the need to actually trade with other empires like Ferengi.

Or maybe, humans simply do not use currency with one another. You can get a beer (ok, earth ale) free, but the replicator stinks or you can get an imported andorian ale, but you need to pay for it. The betterment of themselves stops at the first bar that serves non-human drinks.
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