Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by The Overlord, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek did have pirates by name. Through TAS's The Pirate of Orion, which Roddenberry himself called one of their better first-draft scripts.

    The TNG crew did "fight' between themselves. In the episode The Child, Worf position that pregnant Deanna should be taken to sickbay and have her son aborted wasn't popular. And the command crew had a spirited discussion about the prime directive in the episode where Data contact a child on a "primative" planet in Penpals. Doctor Pulaski didn't exactly get along with Picard.


    While she was polite to him, it's pretty obvious that Janeway had no particular use for Chakotay.

    In terms of soap opera, there were elements of such in the show, from time to time. LaForge's love life would be one example.

    .
     
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Replicators can create anything except a living creature.

    The Federation has virtually unlimited energy resources, courtesy of matter/antimatter annihilation.

    So, tell me - what standard of value would the economy be based upon? Other than some kind of fascistic rationing of energy or restriction of access to replicators, what prevents anyone from having anything at any time?

    It's funny that after five or six years of just dodging the question the writers had to invent latinum and claim that it wouldn't replicate for some technobabbble reason. :lol:
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, and the stores nearby sell me almost anything, including living creatures. Plus there is the internet. Still need money.

    Seventy-five percent of my electrical power comes from free rain-fall and free melting snow.
    Still need money.

    Intelligence, creativity, effort. People who work with their minds, would still make more money than people who work with their backs. People with personal talents and drive would make more money than those who lack such.

    Operating cost of the replicator itself.

    I've considered that latinum might be chemically homogeneous, which means that it would be completely untraceable. Something the Ferengi and others might find appealing.

    The writers invented latinum, and the Bolian bank, and Crusher's account, because Roddenberry's philosophy doesn't make sense. They create technobabbble explanations for the warp drive and transporter and other things, but they never did with the no money philosophy, because it doesn't make sense.

    :)
     
  4. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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    It could make sense but they didn't think too much about it when they wrote those throwaway lines. And then they invented latinum as a simple explanation because I doubt many viewers would have been interested in lengthy explanations how the Federation's economy works. It's similar to all the other inconsistencies in the Trekverse. :shrug:
     
  5. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Nope. You only need money because the availability of those goods is limited. Replicators fix that.

    Nope. However you get your energy, you're not an island. You have to pay for things because you're part of an economy based on scarcity.

    No one's going to need money at all, and an artist can produce the most beautiful and one of a kind piece of work in the Universe...and who's going to pay for it, with what, when I can make all the gold/diamonds/whathaveyou that I want in an instant.

    Oddly enough, the only exchangle that you'll be able to have is a kind of barter - I'll trade you my Picasso for your Rembrandt.

    Psst - free energy. Operating costs = zero.

    Nope. They created it because the logic of Roddenberry's idea about the Federation made the existence of the Ferengi meaningless as a means of creating conflict - as writers pointed out to GR back in the beginnings of TNG.

    You're 0 for 5 there. Try again.
     
  6. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then how do you explain being able to replicate gold, diamonds and money... to pay for the energy you claim is needed for said replicator?

    See the problem there?

    There's no money because there's no need. You're hungry, you replicate your food, don't pay for it. Need a new sweater, replicate it, you don't need to pay for it. And since you have antimatter generators and the like, it's not like you need to pay for that, either.

    The economy of earth's future in Star Trek probably can't even be fully imagined by us today.
     
  7. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    That's great! :lol:
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My point was, just because something is simply available, doesn't automatically equate to it being free. Just as I would pay for the gold I purchase from a store, you would pay for your replicator to produce gold, you purchase what makes the replicator "go."

    When I use my oven, it cost me money, I have to put things into it, operating power, the raw materials, that results in what I remove from it.

    It's clearly established on the various series that the replicator consume considerable power.

    Not at all, but keep trying please.

    Then who does? The State? Your community? Magic?

    How do you get from "they have generators" over to "power is free?" Then where do you think these generators came from in the first place? They were build, fueled and are maintained.

    It not that difficult really, in addition to the small number of no money verbal references, there are dozens of example of normal commerce going on in the 23rd and 24th centuries (no, not just the Ferengi), money, pay, credits, buying, owning, selling, payments, accounts. many of these things are happening right on Earth itself. M'rk, son of Mogh, what so difficult about fully imagining this?

    And yet Beverly is still buy fabric in a market, and charging it to her account.

    I'm sorry, are you under the impression that water is scarce in Washington State? What cost the money for my power is that it (mostly) comes from enormous hydro-electric dams. Just like whatever source of power you stipulate generates power in the future, my dams were constructed, and are maintained (otherwise they would fall down in time), train professionals operate them. Your power sources didn't just appear. there's an infrastructure involved.

    But your replicator can not create value in a bank account, Harry Mudd was once convicted of using counterfeit money, so that crime still exists. Gold no longer has value? Neither do Confederate War Bonds, so what, blue bead no longer hold much in the way of value either, there still money.

    And why, if gold has no value, does Lwaxana Troi wear so many gold rings?

    Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust sold last year for $106.5 million at Christie.

    Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Man, Half-Length, With His Arms Akimbo sold the year before for $33.2 million.

    But you were saying?

    Psst - the replicator aboard the Enterprise once took so much power the ship could not move, how many people on a planet?

    That simply makes no sense, the Ferengi were originally created as armed adversaries, a attempt to replace the Klingons and Romulans in that role. The existence or non-existence of latinum had nothing to do with that.

    The point of conflict had nothing to do with economics, unless it was that the Federation and the Ferengi were competing in trade. Hey, I kind of like that.

    :)
     
  9. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    And they can't replicate the dilithium... That's why they got to mine them.
     
  10. brian577

    brian577 Captain Captain

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    Good point, if replicators can make anything then why throughout the TNG era do we see mining operations and mineral surveys. There are obviously things that just can't be replicated or it's more cost/time effective to mine for it. Furthermore people are probably still willing to pay for handcrafted items in the 24th century. Hell, there might even be some kind of patent system for replicator patterns to ensure some things maintain their intrinsic value.
     
  11. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I think I mess up, there. My bad! The dilithium is the energy source of which everything is created. So they stilll have to get an energy source from somewhere because you can't create matters out of thin air.

    Anyway, it's far more complex to create matter than to make a phaser. Otherwise, they could just replicate a phaser, couldn't they?
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There are a lot of references to mining in Star Trek), the starships are constructed of metallic alloys by canon, one of the first things the Federation did in the gamma quadrant was it went looking for a planet to mine.

    So apparently metal that is extracted from a actual mine has some form a preferable quality to metal that is "extracted" from a replicator. Perhaps simply because it's just cheaper to obtain that way? The replicator could produce a metal spoon easily enough, but not millions upon millions of tonnes of refined metal ... not economically.

    Remember, replicators consume a lot of power. If you're constructing a fleet of starship, each with a near megatonne of metals, what would that take? Remember that big spacestation we see in Earth orbit, the "mushroom," replicating that much material might be beyond the total energy output of Earth, basically you couldn't afford it.

    The alternative would be to mine the materials out of a asteroid or a distant world transport the ore to a production facility and manufacture your starships this way. It would make more economic sense. That's assuming of course you have to consider money and economics.

    :)
     
  13. USS Renegade

    USS Renegade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Okay, I'm jumping in.

    The primary basic assumption of 24th century Earth economics is that all basic needs for the population are taken care of.

    Yes, T'Girl, there is a cost for this, and the cost for this is energy. Replicators can create food, they can create clothing, tools, and medicines. It is not unrealistic to think that these energy costs are taken care of by the United Earth Government. All they need to provide is the energy, and they have the ships and the personnel to do it, so they is no reason to think every individual has to chip in on the global energy cost.

    This way, if you want to be an artist, be an artist. You have a roof over your head, food and beverages, clothing, paints, brushes, canvases, everything you need to be an artist. You don't have to sell a single painting to maintain a safe and comfortable lifestyle.

    In this society though, it is actually the arts and more manual pursuits that would get you more opportunity for making money, in whatever for that money took, than the more technical science, engineering, medical, or educational professions.

    You can replicate a plate of Red Beans and Rice, but you still have the option of going to Sisko's in New Orleans for a home cooked plate of Red Beans and Rice. This, I would assume, would not be a free service, and would use a non-sanctioned Federation wide currency.

    There would be no need for a sanctioned currency, because all the basic needs are already met, so the Federation leaves it to the individual citizens to obtain the "extras".

    For most, though, a higher education is probably a standard. Though I don't remember the episode name, I do remember an early TNG episode where several children from the Enterprise are kidnapped, and one of them who couldn't have been more than 10 was complaining about having to study calculus. So going into science, medical, or teaching fields is more about bettering yourself and giving back to the community that supports you and your opportunity for growth. Therefore it would be logical that a waiter at Sisko's has more in the way of unique material possessions than a teacher at Starfleet Academy.

    Science, medicine, engineering, education, and related fields would end up being more like public service professions. In today's world, if an engineer comes up with a new design for a combustion engine that would increase fuel efficiency by 500%, chances are he would be paid millions by the oil companies for the patent, and they would then bury it to keep their profits high. In the Star Trek universe all scientific discovery (With the exception of high end tech with military applications) is shared among Federation member planets.

    Designs for an improved medical tricorder or warp field theories or medicines, etc, are shared with the community as opposed to being used for individual profit. Naturally, there is still the opportunity for scientists to work outside the bounds of the shared academic community, and therefore profit from it if so desired. For example, Dr. Nunian Soong did not share his design research in positronics with the academic community, and even though he did not go out of his way to profit from his work, he could have owned his own moon by selling a few Datas to the Ferengi.

    Supporting this is the fact that there are very few terrans with huge amounts of "luxury" possessions. For example, their own ship. We have seen very few space vessels that were privately owned by humans. Off the top of my head, I can only think of Vash and Cassidy Yates, and both of them operated for profit, and worked well away from earth space. Perhaps the Hansens count as well, but considering their research on the Borg their ship could have been funded by a scientific institute.

    So it is really completely plausible that Earth has no economic system that all residents of the planet must adhere to, but that there is still an economic system in place on Earth and throughout the Federation that is, for lack of a better term, just optional.
     
  14. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    This is like you meeting someone from the ancient times and them asking how can you afford to buy that car? You must be the richest, most powerful person on the planet to be able to afford such an advanced machine! Of course, you can afford it because of the way the society functions and because it's dirt cheap compared to its complexity.

    I have no problem in believing in moneyless economy as we know it.
     
  15. The Dominion

    The Dominion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd imagine what economy that exist works on a "true value" system, where everything is valued by its practical use alone. That would make sense for trading with other races that probably have completely different values of things.

    The Exception would be races like the Ferengi though, who prefer to use a more "superficial" economic system, because that's how they function, and what they value.

    I can imagine that there's also less intertrade within civilizations, as there is between them. Because like the Feds in particular, they tend to cover their own needs in their own systems, and have to concentrate their trade with other civilizations more importantly. The trade within the Federation is done on a distributive socialization method, supplying the most essential things where they are needed to keep everything running, and letting the replicators do the rest.

    Therefor I don't think that there is much of an "internal economy" in the Federation, the "real" economy is the intergalactic one, and that one probably has little set value due to diversity.
     
  16. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's "clearly" not.
    TNG's "The Survivors".
    Picard beams down with a replicator for the Uxbridges. So they can have (for free!) food, water and clothing. And wherever he thought they got their power from seemed sufficient to power the replicator. Despite there being only one house and one lot on the whole planet.

    So if power is free, food is free, clothing is free, water is free (replicator is probably free, just use another replicator to replicate the parts you need!), and people don't really care to aquire things that show off their status, then the economy really has to be a lot different. And money is obviously not a part of that, from everything the characters have always said.

    Which episode? I'd like to think I remember most episodes pretty well, but I don't remember one that using a replicator kept the Enterprise stationary.
     
  17. Lieut. Arex

    Lieut. Arex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Desalle mentions credits in "Catspaw" in reference to the forcefield:
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I believe you meant interstellar, not intergalactic.

    In the episode Ménage à Troi, we see a Trade Agreements Conference that included Humans, Bolians, Vulcans and Betazoids which are federation members. Also Klingons, Mizarians, Selay, Zakdorn, and Ferengi were present.

    We also hear in the series of a fair number of freighters, cargo ships, cargo drones, fuel carriers, trading vessels. The federation apparently has a civilian Merchant Marines and a Merchant Service. From dialog, some of this traffic is internal to the Federation.

    The Uxbridge home possessed a fusion reactor.

    What the Uxbridge received was an act of charity, if someone buys a can of soup and hands it to you, the can still wasn't free to the person who gave you the hand out. The Uxbridges received a hand out.

    PICARD: "It's a matter replicator. It has limited capabilities ..."

    First the Uxbriges power wasn't gift from Picard, they had already acquire the reactor (as in purchased). The replicator (the limited replicator) was a gift, when someone buys you a gift, the gift was in fact bought.

    You mean the two characters who said that? From everything the total number of characters always said and did, money is part of "that."

    TNG, The Child. Allow me to clarify, the ship couldn't use it's faster than light warp drive to move between star systems owing to the power demands of the replicator.

    :)
     
  19. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    ^Is that the episode where Geordie has to construct those rubicks cubes in oder to contain something they're transporting? That's a bit different than replicating bread.
    There have to be different power requirement for different things.
     
  20. The Dominion

    The Dominion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was thinking that all other alien worlds might be part of the external interstellar economy in relation to Earth. Each world, like Earth, probably doesn't worry much about buying and selling within the world (unless it has to do with property, or technology usage. In which case they probably do use some form of credits) because the government handles the major resources, and the minor needs have been stabilized through technology.

    Internal Federation worlds probably have a special trade agreement among them, and presumably they don't use money so it could be a broader trade distribution deal, since they all help each other. But those finer details are the ones that are too technical to be explained.

    Everything else outside the Federation though, is up to negotiations and diplomacy. Probably the most interesting aspect being how worlds adapt their economies to fit in with the Federation.