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[Star Trek] Keep On Trekkin' (Lower Decks stuff in SPOILERS)

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited March 1
    daveNYC wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    I think "That's not the story the writers want to tell" is a pretty broad defense that handwaves any criticism one could have with any work of fiction.

    Take anything widely considered bad or ridiculed, say the ending of Dexter, or How I Met Your Mother, or Rise of Skywalker - why aren't they better works? "That's just not the point."

    This feels like "Well, man, that's like your opinion." Yes, technically true, but still unsatisfying. I get that most people don't care about Star Trek's economy but it would only be a better work if it actually made sense, especially given the focus on Ferengi in DS9.

    Nah. It's a specific point about what kind of story you are trying to tell.

    Does the world of John Wick make any goddamn sense? Would all this shit be happening literally just beneath the notice of the wider world? It doesn't matter because it's irrelevant to the type of story it's trying to tell.

    Does Omelas make sense? Does it need to make sense? It's besides the point of the story.

    Something like Rise of Skywalker is not shit because it's worldbuilding doesn't make sense. Star Wars has never made much sense in that respect. It's shit because it's got bad writing that abandons established plotlines and character arcs and has shitty pacing and randomly absolutely shuts down built up romantic stories because a multi-billion dollar franchise can't risk the blowback of interracial hookups and so on down the road. I have no idea how you think these are comparable.

    Actually, I think John Wick is a good example of the problem with Trek's setting. The first movie was relatively low key. It was a bit of a stretch, but yeah, you could buy that there's some weird shady underground of assassins doing business with gold coins. Third movie comes around and it's just gotten silly, with seemingly half of Manhattan and every homeless person and taxi driver involved in this shadowy world. It's gone from suspension of disbelief to just eye rolling so we can get on with the stunts and the shooting.

    Trek is in a similar situation. Two seasons of TOS? Fine. The tech can do whatever is necessary to carry the main plot. After TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Picard, Lower Decks, and Discovery? Even if you weren't trying to build a setting because that wasn't important to the story, at this point you've managed to build one just from the quantity of produced material. And if it's contradictory and doesn't make much sense, then that's on the writers not wanting to do the work in the first place. And I don't think the situation has been harmless to the core stories that Trek is trying to tell. There's certainly been enough situations where 'In Episode X, why didn't they just do the thing that they did in Episode Y since that'd solve the problem right quick?' came up as fridge logic. B5 and SG-1 managed to keep things fairly well sorted on that front, no reason to give Star Trek a complete pass on it.

    The B5 universe is 2 series and 6 movies over 9 years, most of it written by one guy.

    The Stargate universe is 5 series and 3 movies over 24 years.

    The Star Trek universe is 9 series and 13 movies over 54 years.

    They are just not comparable in scale. "These shows kept things well-sorted and coherent, why can't Star Trek", well because Star Trek is bigger than both of them put together with room to spare.

    Also, while Stargate SG-1 managed to keep things sorted out, the sequels were making things messier and messier as more and more new alien technologies were introduced. It also suffered from the increasingly impossible suspension of disbelief needed to accept that no one except a handful of people know of humanity having FTL spaceships, off-world colonies, routine contact and wars with space aliens, time travel, enough information to rewrite all of human biological evolution and cultural history, that Earth was nearly destroyed multiple times, that a sizable portion of the US budget is spent on this, that all major governments are in on it, and that we have and use technology that would greatly improve everyone's quality of life and solve many if not all current major world problems (but don't for secrecy's sake). If they had kept going on, I have no doubt that their fictional universe would suffer from the same inconsistencies as Star Trek.

    Richy on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 1
    The problem with the Fed in Disco S3 is that they're preposterously advanced, programmable matter, holographic ships made of forcefields - culture shit

    but at the same time they seem no more advanced or even more primitive than the old Federation from the 24th century

    their holograms/AI being disableable by blinking, numerous planets having trouble with food that they can't help (can't you solve that shit by just dropping one future replicator?), completely forgetting that non-dilithium methods of FTL exist in the star trek universe, the aforementioned lack of megastructures of any kind

    override367 on
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  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    I think "That's not the story the writers want to tell" is a pretty broad defense that handwaves any criticism one could have with any work of fiction.

    Take anything widely considered bad or ridiculed, say the ending of Dexter, or How I Met Your Mother, or Rise of Skywalker - why aren't they better works? "That's just not the point."

    This feels like "Well, man, that's like your opinion." Yes, technically true, but still unsatisfying. I get that most people don't care about Star Trek's economy but it would only be a better work if it actually made sense, especially given the focus on Ferengi in DS9.

    Nah. It's a specific point about what kind of story you are trying to tell.

    Does the world of John Wick make any goddamn sense? Would all this shit be happening literally just beneath the notice of the wider world? It doesn't matter because it's irrelevant to the type of story it's trying to tell.

    Does Omelas make sense? Does it need to make sense? It's besides the point of the story.

    Something like Rise of Skywalker is not shit because it's worldbuilding doesn't make sense. Star Wars has never made much sense in that respect. It's shit because it's got bad writing that abandons established plotlines and character arcs and has shitty pacing and randomly absolutely shuts down built up romantic stories because a multi-billion dollar franchise can't risk the blowback of interracial hookups and so on down the road. I have no idea how you think these are comparable.

    I would argue that the world building of John Wick 1 makes sense but that John Wick 2 and 3 are completely ridiculous, and that the first John Wick is by far the best one as a result. You can tell me that's not the point, but I really feel like the first movie is a better action film as a result.

    Basically, I feel this defense is the standard "Just turn your brain off" reply to dumb action movie stuff, and I'm sorry but I can't, and as a result I love Die Hard 1 but hate Die Hard 5, love Fury Road, etc. etc.

    I definitely feel this criticism of not fully thinking through their settings and doing the background storytelling applies to Discovery and Picard as well, the Red Letter Media guys tear into these details pretty viciously.

    Bliss 101
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

    My Dragon Age Origins Let's Play

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  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »

    The cold open is a much better introduction to the photonic cannon IMO, I lose it every time when those pips appear on his collar like an anime power up sequence.

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  • RhinocerousRhinocerous Registered User regular
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Cause and Effect:
    Groundhog day episode but with the members not realizing they're groundhog daying. Fun twist on it but so many scenes were repeated without changes I was wondering if this episode was made with budget constraints in mind, although the ship collision and explosion was pretty cool. And then SURPRISE KELSEY GRAMMAR.
    Surprise all of Frasier!


    Incredibly accurate considering the skit ends with a Janeway Pi.

    I now feel quite gratified to have never watched Frasier.

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    As many times as I see that Fraiser/Voyager video, my brain can only hear Martin saying "Shuttle door bay."

  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    As many times as I see that Fraiser/Voyager video, my brain can only hear Martin saying "Shuttle door bay."

    He's got that Sheriff of Rottingham speech impediment.

  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    The Outcast:
    This episode felt real interesting in 2021, but resolved in a pretty weird way with Soren getting "rehabilitated" off screen and everyone just leaving sort of sad about it. Considering the age of the episode, definitely interesting to see it tackle gender like this. I do want to know more about how they inseminate husks though.
    It's interesting how the episode probably feels more timely now than it did when it came out. The fact that the episode focuses on gender identity instead of sexual orientation was criticized at the time for being an awkward cop out, a way to "tip toe around" the issue of homosexuality. Memory Alpha says:
    objections came from the gay community, who believed that the episode was too oblique and didn't go far enough. In particular, they noted that homosexuality was not even mentioned.
    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/The_Outcast_(episode)#Reception

    But this perspective that now seems weird in a world where transgender people are the minority du jour for the hateful to hate on

    I also feel weird about the ending. My main objection, I think, is that if you're going to do an episode about queer conversion therapy I'd prefer that it somewhat resemble real life conversion therapy, which is to say I think it should've been clearly both tortuous and ineffective. Instead the episode seems to imply that the treatment has no side effects, legitimately works, makes the person happier, etc. "If a queer cure existed and worked perfectly, would it be immoral to administer?" might be an interesting philosophical question but it's so far removed from the reality of modern day anti-LGBT oppression that I don't know if it makes for very good drama.

  • CoinageCoinage Heaviside LayerRegistered User regular
    You don't really see the effects but she was talking about the treatment like it was more like a lobotomy.

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    Jacobkoshshryke
  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    edited March 2
    Our Star Trek watch-thru has taken us to the Cost of Living, an episode I loved as a kid because it combined the obviously great characters of Lwaxana and Alexander

    But now that I'm older and wiser, I see that.......the episode is still great, and Lwaxana is still one of the best characters in the history of Star Trek, eff the haters
    TROI: Mother, I'm trying to help this boy learn the value of responsibility. You're not helping by giving him a lot of mixed messages.

    LWAXANA: I exposed you to all sorts of mixed messages at that age, and you still turned out deadly dull; what're you so worried about?
    WORF (in a mud bath): You're just supposed to sit here?

    Lwaxana also gives a speech about being alone that is emotionally devastating and made even more so if you know that Majel Barrett filmed it just a few months after her husband Gene Roddenberry died

    wandering on
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  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    edited March 1
    Coinage wrote: »
    You don't really see the effects but she was talking about the treatment like it was more like a lobotomy.
    If that’s the intent I don’t think it’s clear. Compare to, say, the ending of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where it is crystal clear how the lobotomy has completely wiped out the main character’s personality.

    (Then there’s the separate question of whether a bummer ending is the right way to go in the first place. I think maybe not. If your show is self consciously diverse and optimistic and you only have one single episode dealing with LGBT themes, I think it would be better, in that case, to end on a more optimistic note.)

    wandering on
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    wandering wrote: »
    I also feel weird about the ending. My main objection, I think, is that if you're going to do an episode about queer conversion therapy I'd prefer that it somewhat resemble real life conversion therapy, which is to say I think it should've been clearly both tortuous and ineffective. Instead the episode seems to imply that the treatment has no side effects, legitimately works, makes the person happier, etc. "If a queer cure existed and worked perfectly, would it be immoral to administer?" might be an interesting philosophical question but it's so far removed from the reality of modern day anti-LGBT oppression that I don't know if it makes for very good drama.

    I've seen this mentioned before, and I just don't feel it. The whole thing read to me very much like the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Riker finds her in a sinister medical facility with spooky lighting and faceless functionaries pacing around in uniforms, and Soren doesn't seem to me at all happy or fulfilled, but dissociated and vacant. The whole thing read very much like the sci-fi version of a forced lobotomy, and my reaction as an 11-year-old at the time was one of horror and sadness, rather than "oh, I guess praying away the gay works."

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    like if queer folks don't like "The Outcast" because it's a huge bummer, I get that. I wouldn't show someone's Jewish grandma Schindler's List. But as the cis hetero target of the story's moral, I can say that my takeaway was absolutely not "oh I guess we should give more money to Jesus Camp."

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  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    wandering wrote: »
    I also feel weird about the ending. My main objection, I think, is that if you're going to do an episode about queer conversion therapy I'd prefer that it somewhat resemble real life conversion therapy, which is to say I think it should've been clearly both tortuous and ineffective. Instead the episode seems to imply that the treatment has no side effects, legitimately works, makes the person happier, etc. "If a queer cure existed and worked perfectly, would it be immoral to administer?" might be an interesting philosophical question but it's so far removed from the reality of modern day anti-LGBT oppression that I don't know if it makes for very good drama.

    I've seen this mentioned before, and I just don't feel it. The whole thing read to me very much like the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Riker finds her in a sinister medical facility with spooky lighting and faceless functionaries pacing around in uniforms, and Soren doesn't seem to me at all happy or fulfilled, but dissociated and vacant. The whole thing read very much like the sci-fi version of a forced lobotomy, and my reaction as an 11-year-old at the time was one of horror and sadness, rather than "oh, I guess praying away the gay works."
    I watched the final scene again, and I just don't think there's anything in her performance or in the script that indicates "lobotomized". She's able to express herself normally. It's completely different from the slack-jawed potato that Jack Nicholson turns into at the end of Cuckoo's Nest.

    I think in spite of that, yes, the episode manages to make you feel pretty about what happened because of Riker's reaction to the treatment after the reaction, and her extreme distress about the treatment before it happened, etc. But I think it would've been a stronger, clearer story if they portrayed her response to the treatment a bit differently

  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    May I recommend the classic Twilight Zone episode "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" for another perspective, then?
    The protagonist is quite expressive and apparently happy at the end of that story (made and aired all the way back in 1964), and yet...

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    Steam, Warframe: Megajoule
  • exisexis Registered User regular
    I just started Voyager. Halfway through episode 2. Tiny doctor is best doctor, greatest Star Trek series of all, don't know what everybody is complaining about.

  • SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    wandering wrote: »
    Our Star Trek watch-thru has taken us to the Cost of Living, an episode I loved as a kid because it combined the obviously great characters of Lwaxana and Alexander

    But now that I'm older and wiser, I see that.......the episode is still great, and Lwaxana is still one of the best characters in the history of Star Trek, eff the haters
    TROI: Mother, I'm trying to help this boy learn the value of responsibility. You're not helping by giving him a lot of mixed messages.

    LWAXANA: I exposed you to all sorts of mixed messages at that age, and you still turned out deadly dull; what're you so worried about?
    WORF (in a mud bath): You're just supposed to sit here?

    Lwaxana also gives a speech about being alone that is emotionally devastating and made even more so if you know that Majel Barrett filmed it just a few months after her husband Gene Roddenberry died

    I just finished this episode last night and found it to be largely kind of uninteresting. There's the whole nanite parasite subplot that I can't even remember the ending for. But the Lwaxana bits did grow on me, especially the mudbath ending and the wedding "dress."

    Also the floating wind dancer heads were very creepy, no thank you.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited March 2
    exis wrote: »
    I just started Voyager. Halfway through episode 2. Tiny doctor is best doctor, greatest Star Trek series of all, don't know what everybody is complaining about.

    Counterpoint: Neelix.


    Voyager is the Detroit Lions of Star Trek. It's got a couple good players, and because they're carrying the whole show their stats are way inflated compared to any other team. It's not that Seven of Nine can actually rush for 3500 yards, it's that nobody else is doing anything useful. Put her on DS9 and suddenly she's fighting Ezri and Rom for B-plots.

    Hevach on
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  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    haven't seen Jeri Ryan in much else but man Robert Picardo with a good writing team? Forget about it.

    that Orville episode with Picardo and John Billingsley was dynamite.

    autono-wally, erotibot300Hahnsoo1
  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    Most of the cast on Voyager were pretty good actors. There's an old Sfdebris review of an early season episode where everyone is just nailing all their parts, but the script was pretty bad. The show generally got into a groove as far as all the actors figuring out their characters and parts, so the show did not have the early seasons lower quality that many other shows tend to suffer from as everyone figures out how to make it all work. The writing and direction the show producers ended up taking that basically threw away their entire premise is where the show really got let down. But, they also succeeded in making something that was very watchable and episodic so it could easily be syndicated for re-runs. I'm guessing the people up top were quite happy with their return on investment.

    shryke
  • SnicketysnickSnicketysnick The Greatest Hype Man in WesterosRegistered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    exis wrote: »
    I just started Voyager. Halfway through episode 2. Tiny doctor is best doctor, greatest Star Trek series of all, don't know what everybody is complaining about.

    Counterpoint: Neelix.


    Voyager is the Detroit Lions of Star Trek. It's got a couple good players, and because they're carrying the whole show their stats are way inflated compared to any other team. It's not that Seven of Nine can actually rush for 3500 yards, it's that nobody else is doing anything useful. Put her on DS9 and suddenly she's fighting Ezri and Rom for B-plots.

    Seven would likely be very good at baseball and 100% on the Niners

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    haven't seen Jeri Ryan in much else but man Robert Picardo with a good writing team? Forget about it.

    that Orville episode with Picardo and John Billingsley was dynamite.
    Jeri Ryan is excellent in Leverage, as well, when she plays their substitute Face. She's among a lot of Star Trek vets on that show.

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    She was really good in a recurring role as a suspect on season 2 of Bosch.

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  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    haven't seen Jeri Ryan in much else but man Robert Picardo with a good writing team? Forget about it.

    that Orville episode with Picardo and John Billingsley was dynamite.
    iv4d8zyp78u6.png
    “Now, you may not agree with our society’s first principle. And I would like to know that now…”

    “How do you mean, first principle?”

    “Well, put in its crudest form, Mr. Grunzer, the Society for United Action believes that some people are just not fit to live.”

    https://vimeo.com/42934682

  • CoinageCoinage Heaviside LayerRegistered User regular
    Since we're in the off-season I'm off-topic posting because technically the parody is more Star Wars than Star Trek, but as sci-fi fans I implore you listen to Mission to Zyxx.

    I only discovered it this year so I only just caught up, and I was nearly pissing myself at the incomprehensible time travel bullshit episode in the latest season

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  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    Alan very sus.

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  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    sgwmd9ktgbqm.jpg

    Probably my favourite Picardo bit part.

    DanHibiki
  • PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    one of the things that i have idealized about the future in star trek is that at some point, without the worry of food, shelter, healthcare, etc. people will be able to find out what they are really good at without limitations. Like, i always wonder, how many people never became the next michael jordan because they have never heard of basketball? Who could have been an astronaut if maybe their basic education wasn't completely neglected? Is there an ASVAB++ in the future or do people know what skillsets someone will have because the human genome has been mapped out and can tell them. Oh hey, you'll suck at athletics but you would probably be great as a chef!

    Given that people have to worry about so much more than their personal development, that's an exciting thing to think about in Star Trek? Why did Picard become a captain? We get hints of that from some episodes and it builds the character and setting well.

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  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    If Star Trek didn't want to handwave away transhumanism there's no reason to let genetics limit your athleticism.

    I agree though, I'd love some side stories on what normal life is like in the Federation, I imagine most people are probably just fucking around in a holosuite 24/7 but it's fun to explore what people would do if they can do anything they want. It gets complicated fast by economics again though.

    So ok, Sisko's dad operates a cajun restaurant just because he likes to, he doesn't need to worry about making rent or putting food on the table, he just enjoys doing it. If he's good at it or there are people who appreciate a "real" meal cooked by a man rather than replicated then there's going to be a lot of demand for seats at Sisko's restaurant and the only solution is cost or queues. Assuming Mr. Sisko doesn't start charging for meals there'll be constantly booked reservations or lines, and now there's a business to be had by selling your reservations or positions in line. If there's anything else with value that Mr. Sisko wants, e.g. maybe he wants to expand the restaurant or buy a vineyard in the south of France, that's worth money as well so he really should be charging for meals, etc.

    The way I see it, it comes down to whether you're happy with living in wherever the free public housing is and consuming virtual goods and services, e.g. you and your friends are content with going to a holosuite copy of Sisko's restaurant and eating the replicated meal, or whether you want to partake in "real" things and have a home in a certain place or go to the hip new club, etc., and if it's the latter you need to participate in the economy and maybe work a job you don't actually like to have the things you want, just like today.

    This is all assuming that energy is limitless and free and you can use holo-programs and replicators to your heart's content and that every apartment comes with one of each pre-installed. Otherwise holo-time and "replicator rations" become commodities to buy and sell and work a job to get more of, etc. etc.

  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited March 3
    At least on a star ship holotime is definitely limited unless you're like Barclay or something.
    When Tom Paris set up his gambling ring I'm pretty sure that was what was being wagered

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  • HydropoloHydropolo Registered User regular
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    If Star Trek didn't want to handwave away transhumanism there's no reason to let genetics limit your athleticism.

    I agree though, I'd love some side stories on what normal life is like in the Federation, I imagine most people are probably just fucking around in a holosuite 24/7 but it's fun to explore what people would do if they can do anything they want. It gets complicated fast by economics again though.

    So ok, Sisko's dad operates a cajun restaurant just because he likes to, he doesn't need to worry about making rent or putting food on the table, he just enjoys doing it. If he's good at it or there are people who appreciate a "real" meal cooked by a man rather than replicated then there's going to be a lot of demand for seats at Sisko's restaurant and the only solution is cost or queues. Assuming Mr. Sisko doesn't start charging for meals there'll be constantly booked reservations or lines, and now there's a business to be had by selling your reservations or positions in line. If there's anything else with value that Mr. Sisko wants, e.g. maybe he wants to expand the restaurant or buy a vineyard in the south of France, that's worth money as well so he really should be charging for meals, etc.

    The way I see it, it comes down to whether you're happy with living in wherever the free public housing is and consuming virtual goods and services, e.g. you and your friends are content with going to a holosuite copy of Sisko's restaurant and eating the replicated meal, or whether you want to partake in "real" things and have a home in a certain place or go to the hip new club, etc., and if it's the latter you need to participate in the economy and maybe work a job you don't actually like to have the things you want, just like today.

    This is all assuming that energy is limitless and free and you can use holo-programs and replicators to your heart's content and that every apartment comes with one of each pre-installed. Otherwise holo-time and "replicator rations" become commodities to buy and sell and work a job to get more of, etc. etc.

    And again, you are missing the fundamental point. It's not that things don't have value, and people won't exchange things of value. It's that people no longer are compelled to have more "things" for the sake of "things" and they don't need crappy jobs JUST to survive. Hell, we see this on DS9. The crew, at least, can have anything they want foodwise (presumably) replicated at any time, yet they are constantly spending time buying food, drinks, etc down on the Promenade.

    Again, it's accumulation of goods for greeds sake that humanity has "overcome" (I mean, ignore Harvey Mudd or countless other examples).

  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    edited March 3
    If I read things right, it's the difference between "some people enjoy kayaking, and will do it" vs. "everyone is compelled to go kayaking or die."
    (starve, be homeless, etc.)

    If you want/like to do certain tasks, or to collect Stuff, go for it. But these things are no longer required of everyone just to meet their basic needs of survival.

    or to put it yet another, but very obvious way: it's the difference between a hobby and a job.

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  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    Pailryder wrote: »
    one of the things that i have idealized about the future in star trek is that at some point, without the worry of food, shelter, healthcare, etc. people will be able to find out what they are really good at without limitations. Like, i always wonder, how many people never became the next michael jordan because they have never heard of basketball? Who could have been an astronaut if maybe their basic education wasn't completely neglected? Is there an ASVAB++ in the future or do people know what skillsets someone will have because the human genome has been mapped out and can tell them. Oh hey, you'll suck at athletics but you would probably be great as a chef!

    Given that people have to worry about so much more than their personal development, that's an exciting thing to think about in Star Trek? Why did Picard become a captain? We get hints of that from some episodes and it builds the character and setting well.

    It's a nice idea but in reality it would probably work the other way round, 99.9% of people will just disappear in to the nearest holodeck and never be heard from again.

    Commander Zoom
  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    If I read things right, it's the difference between "some people enjoy kayaking, and will do it" vs. "everyone is compelled to go kayaking or die."
    (starve, be homeless, etc.
    )

    I think chief O'Brien is under this impression

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    Jandaru
  • MancingtomMancingtom Registered User regular
    I'm no economist, but the only semi-consistent things about the Federation's economy is that a) there's no "money" and b) people engage in ad hoc bartering when necessary.

    Now, we know there are some things that can't be replicated. We know every Federation citizen has access to basic necessities. We also know that people keep inherited wealth—nobody finds it strange that Picard lives at an ancestral chateau—indicating that there's still a social belief that some things are worth more than others. However, such inheritance is not universal. Ralph Offenhouse discovered that his monetary wealth from 1994 simply did not exist in 2364.

    We also know that the Federation engages in commerce with other nations at both institutional and individual levels. That indicates it has a medium of exchange that holds real value outside Federation authority. We see Starfleet trade with newly-encountered or far-flung species, implying that medium's value is intrinsic rather than created by political agreement.

    Based on that, I've got a few hypotheses about how the Federation economy functions:

    1) The medium of exchange is based on dilithium. Nearly every FTL-capable culture uses it, allowing the Federation to easily trade with anyone.

    2) If Earth's economy wasn't based on dilithium until after 2063, then it makes sense for pre-warp wealth to lose value—unless it's real property like Picard's family chateau/winery. Conversely, Offenhouse's fortune is worthless because it's based on a medium of exchange nobody uses anymore.

    3) Every Federation citizen likely owns a potion of the Federation's total dilithium reserve. Everybody gets the same share regardless of social standing or employment. That means there's no wealth disparity within the Federation since everyone has access to the same resources—especially things that can be replicated. At the same time, however, any Federation citizen is able to engage in commerce with people outside the Federation, like buying a drink at Quark's bar.

    4) Given the Federation's status as a great power—it was one of if not the most powerful nation in the known galaxy for 900 years—a Federation citizen is probably wealthier than the galactic average. That's why capitalist Quark seeks out Federation customers and hyper-capitalist hyper-libertarian Orion pirates target Federation assets.

    5) The Federation provides basic necessities to all of its citizens. If you want something more than that, like opening a Cajun restaurant in New Orleans, you either build it yourself or barter for it. We know there's a demand for handcrafted things, just like the real-life demand for "artisanal" work, so customers either get it for free or barter something. Continuing the example of Sisko's restaurant, I could see Joseph trading a seat in exchange for live music or a bottle of Picard's wine.

    Jacobkosh
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    Having no money is the incredibly stupid part, what goods the Federation trades with other interstellar civilizations is beside the point, we're told Federation citizens have no need to ever buy anything.

    And then the writers stumble with this every time they want the characters to buy a drink at a third party bar or whatever. The DS9 crew spends a lot of time at Quark's but no one is paying them, leading us to believe they're all engaged in constant side hustles to make a buck.

  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited March 3
    I always figured part of quark's rent agreement is some form of free drinks for federation staff that he settles with Sisko or Kira on a monthly basis

    dlinfiniti on
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    Pailryder
  • HardtargetHardtarget There Are Four Lights VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited March 3
    Quark's agreement with Sisko is that he runs the bar and Nog doesn't go to jail

    that is literally a plot point in the pilot

    I assume this is an agreement for life

    edit - also it's a bajoran station, nobody has ever said bajor doesn't use money, they aren't part of the federation (aka the conceit of the show)

    Hardtarget on
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    PailryderJacobkoshMatevshryke
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