Spoilers Star Trek: Short Treks 1x04 - "The Escape Artist"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Commander Richard, Jan 2, 2019.

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Rate the short…

  1. 10 - It provided me with the escape I needed.

    30.5%
  2. 9

    20.0%
  3. 8

    26.3%
  4. 7

    14.7%
  5. 6

    3.2%
  6. 5

    3.2%
  7. 4

    2.1%
  8. 3

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. 2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. 1 - Lock up the people who made this thing and throw away the key.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's what I always assumed as well. The Federation Credit is a real thing, it exists, we all know the UFP uses it, it can't be ignored. Whether it counts as money, as such, is a whole 'nother bag of snakes.

    Perhaps "I, Mudd" is where Harry learned how to build lifelike androids like the ones we saw here?
     
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  2. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They probably have an advanced form of Universal Welfare

    Everyone is given what they need to survive and have a good life.
     
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  3. XCV330

    XCV330 Commodore Commodore

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    I like the analogy of video game money.
    For money it's for things they would like but don't necessarily have to waste their lives trying to accrue vast sums of it.

    Then there are Eve Online players..
     
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  4. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    This is about what I take to be the case. Something akin to an economy clearly still exists, but instead of being something which is central to the lives of everyone, it's more relegated to the fringes of society - a strictly optional sort of thing. We see very, very little of this, however, because our primary POV is Starfleet, which appears to be a command economy from top to bottom (no subcontractors here, no sir!).
     
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  5. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Gene used nebulous words like "eliminate want and desire." But those two things are core to the human condition. It's okay to want things. Picard's books and flutes were not needs. And I'm sure if he ever came across a meticulously crafted reproduction of the First Folio, he would want to have it. And that's okay. But he should have to pay for it - at a value point worthy and respectful for the work, time, effort, and love the craftsperson put into creating it.

    The conceit should be: In the future, it's okay to want things. It's not okay to want all the things.

    Dudley is where we are. Harry is where we should be.
     
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  6. XCV330

    XCV330 Commodore Commodore

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  7. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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  8. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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  9. XCV330

    XCV330 Commodore Commodore

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    Except it shows up several times in series and predates the Federation, and even starfleet
     
  10. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was always surprised no writer ever slipped in a reference to "Planet Ten" in any Star Trek script over the 18 years of Berman era Trek. :shrug:
     
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  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just watched the ep. I liked it a lot, but one thing stands out:

    Given that the crew of the De Milo obviously know about the Mudd androids, since there are a lot of them in the cargo hold, why doesn't Starfleet put the word out? They must have figured out that the real Mudd is out there somewhere putting on this con. So why do they continue to let it happen? Can't they just broadcast a quadrant-wide alert or something?

    At the very least, since all of the bounty hunters keep coming back to the De Milo expecting their reward, you'd think that the crew would get tired of it and just warn the hunters away. So when the Tellarite approached, why didn't the crew just tell him to get lost? Obviously they're not going to pay him for an android...
     
  12. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Why? Star Fleet and the Federation have bigger/better things to concern themselves with.

    In the episode the Bounty Hunter even stated he did do an in depth scan, and he believes it IS the 'real Mudd'. Starfleet has a Bounty out on Mudd and that's it. Star Fleet doesn't care if some Bounty Hunters get 'swindled'; and if anything such an announcement might make some say "He's not worth it..."; or make Mudd go to ground further.

    It's no big deal to Star Fleet if they get a few androids dropped off here and there across the Galaxy; and who knows - they MIGHT get lucky if/when Mudd slips up. He's a galactic nuisance, not a huge menace.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Would have been nice if the final shot had Stella and her father appear on the bridge and reveal that the whole thing was their idea - so Harry could pay back the money he stole from Barron (Stella's dowry)...
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This "post-scarcity" thing seems to be held to a strangely rigorous standard. Economics of scarcity would involve such poverty that people can be blackmailed and bribed to do labor by regulating their pay. If poverty goes away, people no longer give a shit about pay and can't be blackmailed or bribed that way. Sure, you can bribe them with a planet if need be, but most will just tell you where to stuff that extra planet: it's not an effective means of blackmailing any longer when the lunches are free. Thus, the consumer part of the economics can go moneyless at leisure.

    Economies of post-poverty type can do perfectly well without consumers, though: those would only ever amount to peanuts anyway. A trillion people all spending can't match fifty Admirals deciding they need fifty starships among themselves, and getting a million people to work without pay to build those ships is trivial when you have the trillion to choose from; the money part goes elsewhere in that process.

    Remarkably, Federation credits never were good for buying or selling anything within the Federation. We might argue that buying and selling went out of fashion soon after TOS, then. But we'd be wrong: Janeway recounts a story of a Vulcan merchant upping the price of a knickknack when he learned he was selling to Starfleet. That's 24th century; that's within the UFP, from Fed to Fed; and that involves a price in a transaction over a consumer item. Only, it never mentions credits, FWIW...

    As for Mudd, is he poor? Hardly: he's swimming in resources of all sorts when he needs to be. Is he rich? Probably not: some of his troubles come explicitly from failing to pay the right people at the right time. But those crimes of his we witness tend to involve more than monetary gain: they are about control. Control of Mudd's own life in most cases, but indirect control over assorted victims or facilitators as well. Being a con man has to do with confidence, but it is ultimately always about control, too. And that may well be the one thing Mudd really is greedy about. Although money never hurt him, either (except it basically always did).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  15. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, even in a post-scarcity society, some things will forever be scarce - like an old painting, a house at a certain lake, or, hell, a signed baseball card.

    So I always assumed the universe had a "big" economy with large nation/planet-players, like the Federation, that uses "super credits". But that these credits are so incredibly huge - like they pay for dilithium crystals, entire starships, stations or celestial objects - that it's simply too large for one person ever to having to deal with it. (And maybe that's where Mudds desire for credits comes in, as he clearly wants to "own" his own starships or moons)

    But maybe the citizens of the Federation turned back to some form of advanced barter economy: In a capitalist economy, daily needs have a fixed (monetary) prize, and scarce objects (like art or locations) get converted into that currency. But if all essential needs (food, housing) are for free - than these scarce objects have no relationship no a "monetary" prize, and their worth becomes determined by how much people are willing to exchange for them.

    The only thing that would truly resemble a currency in such a society would be time - the time to learn an art or a profession, the waiting time to inherit a certain location. Maybe these "Federation credits" are even that - a monetized version of time. They still could use that "trade" with, when they're not actively swapping goods. But at the same time, this really couldn't be called "money" anymore.



    //off-topic train-of-thought
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why swap at all, though? If you want a swimming pool, the right way isn't to bribe fifty workers and one landowner with promises to do their flower benches or hair. It's to find the fifty guys (or the one with the nice bot) who do it for absolutely free on that piece of land nobody else wants. This is what an "economy" of a trillion people on thousands of planets allows for: 24th century just needs to introduce the machinery for doing the finding.

    Barter might be a nice hobby. It wouldn't need to amount to a system in the end, though: it would at most be like filthily rich people giving each other Christmas presents and expecting (and getting) nothing at all in return.

    Yes, time would be a scarce item. But we manage without trading in time today, even though we are all piss-poor in that respect. Time barter would amount to a hobby, too. Although heaven knows people in a money-free society would need hobbies to deal with all that lack of lack.

    ...Perhaps Mudd does it mainly because he'd die of boredom otherwise, too?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    That's just reintroducing a problem humans solved millennia ago.
     
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  18. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    You don't barter everything.

    If you want a new swimming pool, you just order a robot to build or replicate one, and it's a done deal in a day.

    You barter the valuable things - the scarce things. You really want to have that swimming pool next to a beautiful garden, but that place already belongs to somebody. So now you have to barter with that person to allow you to build your pool there and not having to move to another place. Maybe with something that he values but has no direct access to. Lika painting. Or you give him the keys to your holiday house at the beach. Or the swap doesn't work out, and you just build it somewhere else and get a car to get there for free.

    A post-scarcity society would really work differently on so. many. levels.
    Cars, buildings, food and everything easily producable would be completely for free, only things that are rare or unique would have a value.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. Barter has always been an inefficient method of conducting an economy. Because it all falls apart when nobody has something you want, or nobody wants something you have.
     
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  20. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Presumably, Mudd hasn't completely DDoS'd Starfleet's operations in that sector, never mind the "customer service" aspect of telling Federation citizens to pound sand when they fly up to a starship for, presumably, some perfectly legitimate interaction that their tax-credits paid for. So a civilian ship comes up, clean record, no red flags, asks to beam aboard the ship to talk about something or another. It's SOP, why not? Then Mr. Security Man sees Mudd, and knows Tevrin didn't come over because his ship blew a compression coil, or he wants to check if there are any newly-discovered spatial anomalies on his course, or just to say "Hi" to some fellow spacers and trade a couple bottles of Saurian brandy for a meal from those fancy fleet food slots.

    And then, well, exactly what you say happens. The Redspangles knows the drill, and that this guys is going to need to be convinced that he didn't just flush 50k down the toilet, and the quickest, easiest way to prove what's going on and get him to go away is to walk him down to the cargo hold and show him all the MuddBots they've already got, rather than have a long debate and discussion in the transporter room.