Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

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

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But one is a transportation system, really just a form of propulsion. People in the 24th century might go their entire lives without ever setting foot on one.

    The other is a major factor in every person's life. More than a economic system, it's would be one of the corner stones in the society and of the multi-culture that makes up their civilization.

    Money and currency are not the same things, currency is money, but money isn't automatically currency.

    Today, a single troy ounce of gold dust will buy you 260 bushels of corn (about seven and a quarter tonnes). That gold dust is money, solely because people will accept it.

    Money is any object or record of accounting that is generally accepted as payment.

    5000 years ago, in the middle east, a shekel of grain was money, it was a standardize amount of a substance (an object) that was generally accepted as payment.

    There another (or more) piece to that, beyond having a culture where people basically work for free, you have to have a culture that never changes away from working for free, not in decades, not in centuries. A mono-culture of volunteerism.

    Which is almost an impossibility in a modern society for a protracted period of time. Humans will be in contact with hundreds of alien species, with many thousands of different cultures, lifestyles and ways of doing things.

    Once the culture that changed to volunteerism, later changes then to "something" else, the world wide society that depended on volunteerism to operate either collapses or it adapts.

    I'm going to stick around for a while.

    :)
     
  2. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Not of the slightest relevance. But if it helps, other things there've never been include energy-to-matter conversion devices which tailor food, clothing etc to spec, devices for teleporting humans thousands of miles in seconds, anti-gravity devices, artificial gravity devices, etc etc etc.

    I don't want to seem like I'm poisoning the well. But it's obvious that many of the people who are demanding to know 'how it could work' and wanting real-world examples of its having worked and so forth are doing so solely because the prospect contradicts their political sensibilities. Which just seems silly. It's only a TV show.

    I feel pretty strongly, for example, that FTL travel is literally impossible and will never be achieved. I won't be demanding that someone build or show me a working warp drive before I accept that it exists in the show. Just as nobody needs proof vampires exist to accept that Buffy slays them.
     
  3. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    No, that's still currency: wealth exchanged for something else.

    That's not what Trek is implying.

    Oh, I don't mind the idea in a sci-fi show. I'm just saying it would not work in real life simply because it would require a change in mankind's most basic psychological features.
     
  4. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    No, that's not currency at all. Exchanging one thing that has intrinsic value (be it grain or latinum) for another thing that has intrinsic value is bartering.

    Currency is assigning a set arbitrary value to something and using it for trade.
     
  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Bluntly, part of why I dislike this argument is that many times the individuals involved fall back on "The Couch Potato" argument which exists solely to serve his own needs and will exist as a drain on society unless motivated by fear of starvation.

    The problem is, we have plenty of examples this flat out is not true in RL from people who are rich yet continue to work and people who are taken care of by socialist governments yet continue to work.

    The thing is, many times arguers don't rebuttle these points, they flat out ignore them. This page is filled with mentions of these various RL incidents and the pro-money group's response is, "People won't work if they're not paid." It's like none of these things are even mentioned.

    I'm a proponent of capitalism in RL but even I think people are SLIGHTLY more complex than this.
     
  6. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    And you havent refuted my point.

    Yes people will work for fun if the jobs rewarding and intresting.


    But they wont work for free if they are paper clip pushers or doing a dirty smelly job or being a maid or butler for someone else. Especialy the last example who the hell is going to do a job or servitude for fun? :rolleyes:

    There has to be some incentive somewere.
     
  7. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    Social pressure, self-fulfillment, and/or opporunity for advancement. Also, I mentioned earlier that tough jobs might be easier with tech invented for them.
     
  8. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think you're wrong.

    In real life, there is no scenario I've ever seen where this works.

    If no one volunteers to do a particularly nasty but necessary job, who would assign someone to do it against his will?

    If a person gets lazy and decides he doesn't want to work, would society cut off his food? Evict him from his home? If he is not contributing, is his life worth supporting? Then what? Exterminate the non-contributors and the undesirables?

    Don't think it hasn't been proposed. George Bernard Shaw said, "Sir or madam, will you be kind enough to justify your existence?" Look into the early 20th century progressive movement, including eugenics. Yes, eugenics.

    It's crazy, but it's true. How many people right here on this forum would eventually agree with a proposal like that if it meant not having to deal with people who don't think the way they do? People like me?
     
  9. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    If latinum, and therefore gold, can't be considered a currency, and therefore money, I don't know what else we can talk about, here.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Work for free? Some might volunteer their efforts for a charity, but when they work, they're still being paid aren't they?

    Again, are these people you speak of working at employment with no compensation?

    Not hobbies, not volunteering, actual jobs.

    Okay, I just now responded. Your turn.

    If it was society that was providing his food in the first place, maybe they would be cut back to good basic (really basic) nutritious food and clean water only. If they wish more than that, they can obtain employment somewhere.

    If it's his house? Not simply for not working, although in time he might lose it, mortgage and taxes.

    On the other hand, if the house was being provided to him in exchange for the work he is now no longer performing, then a bed down at the local shelter can be allocated to him until he reacquires another job.

    A minimum social safety net is reasonable, but it should never be so comfortable that people would desire to remain on it.

    :)
     
  11. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    At a charity?

    No.

    Internships.
     
  12. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Just looking across this thread it's quite clear to me that a number of people would work for nothing, just to better themselves.

    It also seems a large number of people would not work at all without compensation, and while that would be a big problem here in 2013, with the level of automation the Federation seems to have in the 23rd/24th centuries, those people probably would not be needed to work in that era.

    So why is everyone so concerned with convincing these people to work?
     
  13. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You stopped before the last part, which is inevitable in a "progressive" society. It has been proposed before. It has been done before. It will be done again unless we are aware of it and prevent it. I see the attitude here in these fora, just in discussion about a freaking tv/movie franchise. Read what people post, and tell me it isn't so.

    Unpaid internships are volunteer work programs. People work for no pay in order to gain experience in their desired field so they may enter that field, for pay, with the gained experience.

    Recently there have been lawsuits filed by people who have gained experience through unpaid internships who now want to be compensated for that work.

    These people apparently place no value on the time spent learning how to work in their field. This will eventually kill the internship opportunities available, since companies won't want to be exposed to possible litigation.

    But back to the topic ...
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    So what would qualify as an unpaid job to you?

    And the aforementioned people who violate the contract don't invalidate it.
     
  15. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Just to say, many people who work for charities are paid for the work they do (I am, for example).
     
  16. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    er, you do realize that there are millions of people that don't work AT THIS VERY MOMENT who get support through welfare, right?

    So WHY, in a post-scarcity future, where there's LESS NEED for work, would there be pressure to "get rid of those not contributing?" That makes no sense. I suspect that those who voluntarily chose not to work would be greeted with shrugs, since everyone would have enough resources to go around.


    As to the "who does the crappy jobs?" argument, it's an easily taken care of one. Either technology would eliminate the need for those jobs, or they'd be rotated on a fair and democratic basis.
     
  17. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There would be a roster on the fridge.

    I'd just get me an EMH Mark 1 and make him do it.
     
  18. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You'd have to ask Mr. Shaw and his contemporaries. He asked, paraphrasing, "if your life is not contributing to society, what good is it to you?"

    Look it up. Progressivism isn't the cure-all it's touted to be.
     
  19. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    what do Shaw's beliefs have to do with this thread? Why would I bother trying to defend them?:confused:
     
  20. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    To offer a new subject: I dislike Roddenberry's feelings on religion disappearing in the future.

    I also felt his view point on humanity no longer grieving and being "so perfect they're not human" was ludicrous.