Replicator Economics

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by JirinPanthosa, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Lighthammer

    Lighthammer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 4, 2002
    Bah, I feel like everyone is missing a huge, huge point here.

    One thing you have to keep in mind about the Federation is its generally an idyllic socialist like society. All that is made possible by technologies similar to replicators.

    That being said, replicators don't just "beam" things out of thing air. Starships have a very complex system by which matter is recycled. Replicators resequence inert recycled matter from one substance into another. It's quite literally a form of what some might call alchemy.

    The problem is there is a limit as to how far one form of matter can be resequenced from one form of matter into another form. I've always understood there is a physical tolerance point of how far something can be transformed.

    That being said, I'd also suggest that may items that are replicated likely do not have the same quality of things that are hand made from the original products. A possible example that springs to mind might be something like clothing. Clothing that is replicated may literally start to fall apart after a week or a month making a genuine article more desirable. This would explain why many products for engineering can't be replicated --- their probably not able to replicate something with enough tolerance to withstand industrial wear and tear.
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Or then replicators make such superior products (why wouldn't they?) that they are forbidden to do so in most applications, because that would leave 100% of the UFP population out of work, rather than just the 98% they have when they pretend they can't replicate everything.

    Timo Saloniemi
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    Except on Earth, where a handful of cadets were able to black out the planet from a single location in Lisbon. While I could easily see someone like Robert Picard having his own fusion generator, most people on Earth apparently don't.

    The entire Federation? Not from anything we heard on the show.

    Earth has been described as a paradise, however it's social and political structure is unclear. It's impossible to label it as "socialist."

    If you wanted to make Osmium (a very dense material) out of liquid water, you would have to change it's atomic weight from 18 to 190. If you started with iron however, you'd "only" have to change from 56 to 190.

    Now if you needed a metric tonne of Osmium, and you were using the bussard collector to collect interstellar gas to use as your base material ...

    Admittedly the subject didn't always come up, but the only time we directly heard of someone being "out of work" was Picard's not son. Every other time when employment was mentioned, the person was.

  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    I'd see that as a global software attack rather than proof of any sort of a centralized power system. No doubt networking in the future is extensive enough that with suitable commands (especially ones coming from systems designed to prevent such commands from ever being issued), one could shut down everything from continental ZPE reactors to pocket replicators, wrist communicators and UT implants.

    Which I'd in turn see more as a case of work being highly unusual, hence being out of work despite not wanting to be being even more rare and exotic. :devil: An unemployment rate of 98% would be the desired state of affairs, save for the boredom angle which people would fight with hobbies such as terraforming.

    Timo Saloniemi