Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Possibly continuing to use slightly-modified-to-avoid-paying-royalties versions of Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual designs after the two had fallen out in the late 70's. Particularly the flag of the Federation. Now I know the story, every time I see it I think "rip off!"
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  2. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Yep, if the usage of the transporter is rationed for Starfleet cadets it is also rationed for citizens (respectively they have to pay for it yet it is strongly implied that there is no money). Which is of course problematic, standard economics tells us that there are benefits from trading and it is reasonable to assume that the demand for beaming widely varies. Picard's brother or Bones probably wouldn't touch the thing on Earth whereas somebody who travels a lot has more need for it so rationing is inefficient.

    The only way you can rationalize the economic world of Trek is via saturation. People are happy with what they have and do not get pissed off if a luxury good like transporter usage is rationed. If the world is full of Harry Mudds who want more just for the sake of itself (real world equivalents would be e.g. rich people who have several houses or cars which they cannot really use) this doesn't work or to be more precise, only as long as there are few Harry Mudds this world can be stable.
    In every society there are social norms and if the dominant norms condemn greed you can keep the numbers low.

    Let's also not forget that in the real world the hyperrich do not care about wealth / high income as a means for consumption but as a means for respect / power. This channel is absent in the world of Trek.
     
  3. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Also in Lower Decks Lavelle pointed out that one of the perks of him getting the promotion that was up for grabs would be getting his own room.
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why not? Didn't Roddenberry do the exact same thing by writing lyrics to the 60's Star Trek theme? To avoid paying royalties to the composer.

    Always ironic... preaching hope and a better future without the evils of money and capitalism... all while ruthlessly squeezing every penny out of the system in the present.
     
  5. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    I think you have to differentiate between personal behaviour and systemic problems. The CEO of BP isn't evil, he just followed the rules of the game. Roddenberry might have been a greedy bastard but he also imagined a world in which this behaviour was basically inexistant ... perhaps precisely because he was aware of his flaws?

    I don't give a shit about people which is precisely why I want stuff like hunger and so on to be solved systemically. The opposite of this is a conservative pro-charity attitude, don't solve anything systemically, let the goodwill of people save the poor. Oscar Wilde pointed out why this cannot work:

    They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.
    But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim.


    http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/wilde-oscar/soul-man/
     
  6. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :techman:

    "charity is a cold, gray loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help a poor man, he ought to pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money on a whim."

    -Clement Attlee


    isn't it ironic that "conservatives," with their supposed cynical view of Human nature, believe that people, acting out of the goodness of their hearts, will solve poverty through giving money voluntarily out of their pockets and volunteering at soup kitchens?:lol:


    if consistent, they should view Trek's utopian society as realistic, since their solution to poverty is equally utopian.
     
  7. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Political conservatives believe that poverty is a just reward. Systemic action to alleviate poverty is intrinsically unjust, an immoral attempt to undo the verdicts of the market/God (no functional difference here.) Worse, taxes or any other perceived burden are aggravated injustice, punishing the virtuous in this vain attempt. And any attempt to systemically abolish poverty is a hubristic attempt to create utopia. Wealth and poverty are the only just and moral compulsions to labor. Everything else is by definition evil, like liberalism, socialism, communism, etc.

    In practice, most philanthropy focuses intensely on moral reformation of its clients even to the point where it causes negative consquences. For instance, poorhouses were deliberately designed to be oppressive. The refusal to grant aid to households with unemployed husbands allegedly played a role in breaking up families in the Sixties, though I don't know how significant it was. Private philanthropists very commonly exercise prejudices in the choice of their objects of charity, then demand subservience as the unacknowledged price. Dickens was pretty accurate about philanthrophists.
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This one does not.

    I had the same reaction awhile ago when I noticed that a large group of Occupy protestors had gathered inside my store (not to protest, just sort of chilling)...and they all had Starbucks cups in their hands. :lol:
     
  9. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    You just prove our point. Conservatives merely care about personal acts, not about systemic matters. So a guy who buys Starbuck coffee yet joins a leftist protest has to be hypocritical just like somebody who is personally rich (a poor guy is of course envious) yet advocates redistribution is hypocritical. "You could just give it all to charity you hypocrite!"

    I'll take this stuff seriously once charity pays the medical bills. At the moment it is just an act of narcissism. You feel so good about yourself when you give twenty bucks to a charity organization that helps this poor African kid. If you took the glasses from "They Live" and took a look at a random charity ad with a little African kid that has some injured lip it would say "spent the money such that you can forget about thinking about why the kid is so poor in the first place".

    Don't get my wrong, kindness is a virtue and helping your friends, your family and this poor African kid is better than being a selfish asshole. But it is does not substitute political aka collective acts.
     
  10. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Another bad idea of Roddenberry's was the no pockets in the future idea.

    I mean where exactlyare they supposed to put stuff?
     
  11. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    This is why I liked the uniforms from ENT. The show was in general trying to be the most realistic one which is IMO not per se an asset in fiction. Perhaps a slight lack of realism like in TOS and TNG is actually useful to make a Trek show good?
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I like the idea one of the board members here came up with a few years back, that their pants were "smart pants." If you needed a pocked, the pants would manifest however many you needed and in any size and location. like when Geordi LaForge need a small pocket to conceal a small phaser (to assassinate a Klingon), his clothes made a pocket, after he pulled out the phaser the pocket would in time disappeared.

    Personally, I find the FJ symbol more aesthetically pleasing, showing the locations of the Federation Membership, like the field of stars in the American flag I would imagine that it would change with each new member. The later "official" flag/seal is (as I understand it) simply a random spread of stars that represents nothing in particular. While the two Humanoid profiles looking outward might upset some of the Federations species, the two olive branches would do the same, being so Human-centric a symbol.

    I would say, look at the number of occurrences.

    Consider the letter R.

    Somewhat like Picard's single overt statement that money doesn't exist in the twenty-fourth century, during TOS there is a single overt reference to James Kirk's middle name beginning with the letter R. This comes to us via the tomb stone created by Gary Mitchell.

    That's the only time we see the middle initiial R. Kirk himself never refers to his middle initial being anything other than a T, his official records consistently use a T, and when Kirk is referred to in other series, his middle initial is a T. Eventual we are provided with the middle name Tiberius.

    In-universe, it unclear why Mitchell would use an R.
    .
    So, is this an example of a self-contradiction? No, it's one character making a single overt reference that doesn't fit with a large number of other references. And it's the same with the money references, while we do get money; don't use, don't need, don't carry - only once is there a overt statement that "money doesn't exist in the twenty-fourth century."

    Is Picard's statement a self-contradiction? No.

    If the yes and no money references were basically a balanced mixed, then that would be a self-contradiction, one line of dialog isn't.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I'm sticking with my theory that Picard was deliberately fudging the truth/being a jackass/acting high-and-mighty when he told Lily Sloane (in ST:FC) and those 20th-century people ("The Neutral Zone") that there was no money.

    Believing himself to be from a more enlightened future society, Picard would naturally tend to talk down to what he might consider 'stupid' primitives from earlier eras. Especially when talking to, say, Ralph Offenhouse, Picard probably thought he deserved to be taken down a peg.
     
  14. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Picard acts in the very opposite way. In "Who Watches the Watchers?" he encounters a civilization which is not even industrial and yet he is quite humble.
    This is not about Picard, it is about politics. Left-winger embrace the economic vision of Trek while right-wingers detest it.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, then let me rephrase: from earlier human eras.

    As for that episode, though, Picard was definitely not "humble" regarding the Mintakans' religious beliefs...
     
  16. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    All he did was undo their false, meaning that it wasn't natural but caused by the Feds, belief in him being a god. Of course the underlying idea was that the Mintakans would regress if the incident sparkles a rebirth of a dying religious belief.
    This is hardly anti-religious though as our own religious history implies a progress from paganism to monotheism to atheism. Take Christianity (which is basically the step from monotheism to atheism, God dies in the Jesus story) and the partial re-paganization of it once it came under Roman influence. I am not anti-religious when I call this a regression.
     
  17. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not really inclined to repeat myself, but 'one line of dialogue' is objectively false.
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But the opposite would be true too, one side would support the observed economic system that obviously employs a form of money, while the other side would "detest" (or something milder) the very idea that centuries from now a financial system that is similar to our current one is still in existence.

    And it isn't simply about politics, it's also about sociology. The structure of the future. The economic system that our see heroes live in, is the one that we want to see them living in. Many Star Trek fans project themselves to a degree into the Trek universe, we envision (fantasize) ourselves in that universe. So in discussions when we advocate a economic system, or a type of interstellar culture, or a Federation legal structure, or tremendous diversity, or high degree of uniformity, it's because that's basically either what we personally would like to live in, or at least what we would like to see our heroes live in.


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  19. robau

    robau Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    People don't constantly carry junk around in the utopia. The obsession with constant communication had passed. No money means no wallets. ID by biometrics. Keys by voice.

    Frankly I wish I could get by without a cell phone again.
     
  20. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Yes... but how do you adjust your other junk without pockets?
     

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