Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

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

  1. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    exactly-when you come right down to it, money is simply a means to get something else. It's no more "wrong" or comparable to things like slavery than trying to earn a promotion in Starfleet would be.

    Imagine if Lily had mocked Picard in FC with "ah, so no money, but I see you still have hierarchy and rank. Why not just work to better yourself and serve the greater good, and not worry about whether you're the captain or an ensign?"
     
  2. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    What does stability have to do with it? There are many reasons why a society might move to a money-based economy, not the least of which are the possibility of long-term investment and taxation. For thousands of years in ancient Egypt, transactions were conducted in terms of grain, a commodity that had an intrinsic value. And for most of the history of European and the Mediterranean, up until 1500, most transactions were conducted without money. States did not mint coins in sufficient number and in sufficiently small denominations to make it otherwise. Certainly, it's difficult in the modern world to move away from money as a basis of transactions: such efforts tend to be experimental and short-lived.

    What use for money would a charity have in a money-less society? Why does moneyless equate with charity? Again, look at the long history of humanity: Many wealthy societies survived without it.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you're avocating being moneyless, as a alternative to our existing finacial system, then whether this new system was - is - would be stable is an important consideration.

    That not completely true, there was a combination of barter, and the use of cowry shells and precious/base metal coins. Charlemagne in the eighth century standardize coinage in a large section of Europe (also weights and measures used in barter). Some transactions were conducted without money

    As imperfect as some may find money to be, it has the attribute that it does work.

    It doesn't automatically, however a poster here was giving examples of supposed moneyless societies that were in actuality charities.

    But as you yourself noted, those societies did have some form of formalize units of exchange. A predetermined measure of grain/oats with a recognized value within the society, is a unit of exchange. Not exactly a gold coin, but yes a form of money.

    :)
     
  4. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    No, I am not.

    My point was not that moneyless societies continued to exist, but that most transactions were still conducted without money. They supply of money was not sufficient to make that otherwise. The fact that many states introduced currency systems does not change that fact. 1500 (or rather the 16th century) is a watershed in this respect because the extraction of precious metals from the New World allowed European power to mint higher quantities of coin (eventually representing symbolically in paper) that would allow for greater economic flexibility. Even so, there are many reports, well into the 19th century, the peasants throughout Europe bartered, paid in kind with labor, or used dated coins, some as old as the Roman Empire, to conduct their business.


    If the standards are being made in terms of something that has a direct value, then it is not money. It might suggest money at some point, some means of innovating transactions, but it is still based on something that has an value of its own. Saying otherwise is putting the cart before the horse, historically speaking..
     
  5. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    The most obvious is "being functional."
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My intent was to employ a hypothedical "you" (you're) in the third person, and not a direct referrence to you personally Bad thoughts., I apologize for using the pronoun incorrectly.

    I should have used "someone."

    (If someone were avocating being moneyless ...) or possible (If a moneyless system was being avocated ...)

    :)
     
  7. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    You also said "if". Seemed quite clear to me.
     
  8. JJohnson

    JJohnson Captain Captain

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    The no money part - if there's no money, there's no economy and no trade. You need an accepted medium of exchange or else you have to have a barter system.

    TNG's crew had no real interpersonal conflict unless an outsider came in (Shelby) who was treated relatively poorly by the crew (Riker), who should've been professional enough to understand that she's there for a reason and to do a job.

    Lack of visible enlisted crew with actual rank pips/stripes. Not everyone's an officer. Why spend 4 years at the academy to be a yeoman in TNG's timeframe? Someone has to fill clerical duties for the admirals at Starbases, and an ensign sure wouldn't do it.

    Jumpsuits. Those never looked comfortable nor like uniforms, unlike the Wrath of Khan uniforms.

    Wrath of Khan uniform derivatives - the crewneck and no-shirt variants. Better to use transitional uniforms, like Excelsior and Ambassador were transitional ships to the Enterprise D. I've seen a few here and at the Uniform site.

    Dress uniforms - they were actual dresses. Later uniforms with just gold piping were better, but I'm sure there's a happy medium to be had.

    Admiral uniforms - they changed every time an admiral appeared with no explanation.

    DS9/VOY jumpsuits - why?

    No political exploration - just for an episode or a scene, discuss the political structure of the Federation. At best, it's a republic, with elected representatives sent to a Federation Council of some sort, leaving the individual planets to manage their own internal affairs without interference from other species. What's the President's term, and how is he elected/selected? Is it Federation-wide, or is he elected from the Federation Council, similar to how a Prime Minister works in some governments?

    No advancement - I get it with contracts and all, but why would Riker stall his career for over 12 years to stay on the Enterprise, when he could've been an admiral by then? Similarly Picard, Crusher, La Forge, etc. The original crew had rank advancement much more quickly than the TNG crew.

    Carpet/Upholstery civilian garb - I've seriously seen some of those civilian outfits on couches in the late 80s/early 90s.

    Overuse of Miranda/Excelsior/Oberth ships - are there not any other classes of vessel in Starfleet? We should've seen New Orleans, Centaur, Constitution, et al, all over the place. A perfect opportunity for TNG-R to spruce things up, which they likely won't take.

    No exploration of Pike or April's time on the Enterprise - aside from the Cage/Menagerie, and the animated episode with April, we don't hear anything about Captain Robert April's time on the Enterprise, and he remains really nothing more than conjecture.

    No exploration of 1701B or 1701C - Perhaps after Generations or even during, we could get at least some notice that Harriman either retired or transferred, and what happened to Demora Sulu, at least in passing. And when did 1701-C launch? Little things yes, but they make a difference.

    Archons in Enterprise - It would've been nice to see a real live Daedalus class vessel, perhaps even mention the USS Archon getting lost, or one of the other Daedalus class getting lost somewhere.

    Orions in Next Generation, DS9, Voyager - nowhere to be found. All we saw was Rachel Nichols in ST09 as an example of a 'normal' Orion in Starfleet.

    There's more if I could think of it, but that should do for now.
     
  9. JJohnson

    JJohnson Captain Captain

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    I wonder what would've happened if they stayed with "Leslie" Crusher.
     
  10. Ghel

    Ghel Commander Red Shirt

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    No interpersonal conflicts--I call shenanigans! As long as people live together, they will have interpersonal conflicts simply by virtue of their proximity to one another. Some people will have differing ideas regarding how to solve a problem, some people will come into a conflict over a "scarce" commodity (we both want the promotion, but only one of us can have it), and some people will just have personality conflicts.

    No Religion--no matter whether you are religious or not, it's hard to imagine that religious beliefs that have existed since humanity began (whether monotheistic, polytheistic, or other) that somehow, humanity will shed all religious belief in the next 200 - 300 years merely because we advance technologically. (This really only applies to TOS and TNG where religious people were relegated to "primitive" cultures)
     
  11. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    I don't have a problem with no religion, but not that soon. Plus, superstition will stay for quite a bit longer.
     
  12. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You do realise that almost all of these had nothing to do with Roddenberry (his 'worst ideas' are the topic of the thread)...
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, many of the issues brought up during the course of this tread can't be directly linked to Roddenberry, but rather to the group known as TPTB, Star Trek as a concept, and to the "expanded universe" that has been created by the fan base over time.

    :)
     
  14. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think that both will be here to stay for a long while. Belief is often remarkably impervious to logic and evidence, and "religion" or especially "spirituality" can be so broad and malleable that they can adapt themselves to whatever scientific discoveries or cultural changes will come.
     
  15. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

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    I have no problem with superstitions and individual spiritual experiences (even belief in a supernatural being) will survive for as long as humanity survives. However, I do hope that Roddenberry's vision of no organized religion, with religious figures in positions of authority and religious principles as foundations for secular laws (except in cases where such principles transcend individual religions, as in "You shall not commit murder") will come to pass. In fact, such developments have been underway in the West (at least outside the US) since the mid-20th century if not earlier.
     
  16. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    organized religion at its simplest is just groups of like-minded people with similar beliefs coming together. I don't see how it disappears completely without the kind of oppression that wouldn't fit an optimistic future.


    But yes, organized religion stripped of its previous power and influence does seem like a reasonable extrapolation, since as you mentioned, that trend's already underway in a lot of places.
     
  17. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    No just factual.
     
  18. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Rodenberry's Trek basically says that humanity solved their major problems without religion whatsoever. It was all done by scientific discovery and hard work.

    Thanks to technology, there is no hunger, need or want, so people now work to better themselves and the rest of humanity... you have to admit, this plan does sound pretty practical for an advanced society.

    If anything, many episodes say that religion is the cause of the problems that humans tried so hard to get out of.

    But the downside to this, is that the materialism seems to leave (at least humans) empty. Notice how various spirituality and religious themes keep popping up.

    Whenever Picard, Sisko or other human characters are asked about what they believed in, they always gave a vague, awkward answer.

    They needed something to believe in.
     
  19. Lt. Cheka Wey

    Lt. Cheka Wey Commander

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    The Federation was neat enough for that purpose.
     
  20. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    up until Chakotay on Voyager, it seemed that while spirituality/faith was fine for non-Human characters(Worf, Kira, etc.) that Humans were generally without it, which is silly.