Star Trek: Questions you always wanted answers to

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So when Picard says to Lily in First Contact, "the economics of the twenty fourth century are a little different". Were you hoping the rest of the film was going to Picard and Lily sat in the Jeffries tube going through economic policy? :lol:
Mighta been nice... :unsure: One thing that makes its way into the better prelim models I've seen for how it could possibly work is derived from pilot projects on basic-income programs. Prior to all the ones scheduled to roll out in the US in coming months, the last big one was in a town outside of Toronto. After two years, the only people who worked less were adolescents and pregnant women. People want more than the basics and are willing to work for it -- when the playing field is somewhat leveled and they don't have to worry about making the rent or whether they're going to be able to eat after paying the bills.

Other studies have shown that people like to do things, be useful. What Picard described as "enriching and improving oneself". It's no shocker that many people, when the pressure of living expenses is removed, work on becoming artists or writers or musicians or chefs. And yes, there are even people who get their biggest charge out of being of service to others. Especially if that's become a societally-inculcated thing, I can see that expanding, given the opportunity. One thing that was discovered early on after the introduction of the mandatory retirement age was that a lot of men didn't live a whole lot past it. Once deprived of a main element of their self-identity, they just kinda languished and faded. People like purpose, and I can see an evolved society being better at helping people generate purpose from within themselves, rather than having it have to be imparted from without, as through a job or the like. A lot of the rise in the '50s of civic organizations like the modern Freemasons, Rotary, Toastmasters, Kiwanis, and the like was because retired men found purpose there after they were put out to pasture.

There are, here, today, people who pay money to go pick grapes, press them, and make wine, even though they don't work at the vineyard. There are people who pay to go to dude ranches and participate in cattle drives, rather than being employed by the ranching company. I know tollbooth attendants, ferry deckhands, garbage collectors, postal delivery people, grocery clerks -- all manner of folks to take great pleasure in their work and being of service. There's a flourish in how they do what they do. Most I've asked have said they'd absolutely be doing it (maybe with different hours) without getting paid if their expenses and needs were covered.

Earth and whatever Human colonies are part of the same umbrella -- and, for that matter, other equivalent worlds like Vulcan or Andor or Betazed -- have "money", though not cash, derived from the fungible arts and ideas and such generated. All citizens have a nominal stipend that never obtrudes on their day. They just get the thing and the computers keep track invisibly behind the scenes. Most needs are so negligible it doesn't make a dent and is offset by their self-enrichment activities, as it contributes to the whole planet's future-GDP. 23rd/24th century economists and government accountants can likely attach a figure to Starfleet service for Earth and other non-cash-using worlds' citizens, that they can draw on at need -- like Crusher getting the bolt of fabric in "Encounter at Farpoint" or Troi buying the drinks at the Blue Parrot Café.

There's commentary in TOS about the nature of their work being why they get the big bucks, but Kirk doesn't know how to use money in TVH. It tracks if his (and everyone else onboard the Enterprise) has a background grasp of money and relative value, but there hasn't been an outward method of transacting in any of their lifetimes. Someone gives him a bill, he doesn't know what to do with it. It's normally just taken care of with biometrics, speech-recognition, and logic subroutines without him actively having to do more than order the thing.

There's also another factor Gene had in mind in the '60s and '70s, that people like the Orion Syndicate and Ralph Offenhouse in the TNG/DS9 era carry on. Gene, through Kirk, muses in the introduction to the TMP novelization that the people who join Starfleet are "throwbacks" -- less evolved than the Evolved Human of the day. Just like how, in the 19th century, Westward expansion was fueled in large part by people who didn't "fit" in civilization leaving it to strike out into the wilderness, so too the people who chafe in the utopian world of the day find they can contribute to it by leaving it. They go out and do all the scary stuff 23rd/24th century civilians would balk at. So there is value to their homeworlds and the Federation in their work. Like the Pony Express riders (but for longer). They are drawn to the danger because civilization holds little allure for them. Same with the Humans we see in DS9 who have "opted out", preferring to be part of something less utopian, but more -- for them -- real. They're the ex-pats of the day.

So yeah, I am willing to bet Robert Picard could put out a notice that it was coming up on harvest time, and have several dozen respondents eager to help, just for the experience and to be of service, a break in routine before going back to whatever they were doing before. Heck, some people probably spend a good chunk of their year transporting from region to region, Northern to Southern hemisphere, helping with the harvest and pressing just because they love the work and find it meditative and take pride in the result. It's not unimaginable at all.
 
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JPH

Sr Member

Remind me of the replacement lyrics I made for Rush's song Cold Fire.

*Chorus*
A dis-ruptor bolt on a buck-ul-ling shield is a cold fire
A mind belt, with a piz-za creature is a cold fire.
A horny Vulcan cravin' ev'ry se-eh-ven years is a cold fire.
The red shirt-er dies, on the a-way mish-sion is a cold fire.

I'll be around, until our shields come down...too far

back to the thread...

As for economics we already have plenty of examples of people becoming complacent when needs are met. As a matter of reality, generations of it! Need is the great motivator.
No reward for innovation, buh-bye innovation. No reward for motivation or drive, we've seen what that does as well. When you see a College graduation, and four of five Physics majors graduate vs hundreds if not thousands of business/biology/poly-sci/theatre majors, they all may have started off equally, but that ain't where they ended up!

Someone who worked two jobs to get their education is more motivated than the person who was GIVEN it purely with the *hope* they'd complete it. Whether it is quitting smoking or Vocational Rehab, no skin in the game = no cost = no effort, sabotages outcomes.


While we can pat ourselves on the back because we make stuff, we have the urge/desire. Most people are consumers. Take the hype and exclusivity and PRICE out of the latest craze and people lose interest. If everything becomes special then nothing is.

Lots of fancy guitars are sitting in people's homes, unloved because the fantasy died without enough expected reward! Lots of drunk freinds come up with ideas to save the world every day, how may try to implement? Nowadays. with the internet and instant world exposure capability, there is nothing holding you back if you *REALLY* want something realistic.

Show fans of the Expanse a home-made COM and they will swarm around you and offer to buy it on the spot. I often wonder how people at work have time to binge this multi-season show or that, for the THIRD TIME!
 

Lightning

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
One thing that makes its way into the better prelim models I've seen for how it could possibly work is derived from pilot projects on basic-income programs.

I've been mulling over the Basic Income scenario as well. Thinking about a kind of paetreon-like points system. Still working out the details. But it would allow you to ID the people who others think are contributing more to humanity.

Kirk doesn't know how to use money in TVH. It tracks if his (and everyone else onboard the Enterprise) has a background grasp of money and relative value, but there hasn't been an outward method of transacting in any of their lifetimes.

That's sounds about right, but I wouldn't describe Kirk as not knowing how to use money. He immediately recognizes that they need it and figures out how to get some. The only thing he doesn't know is how much $100 will buy. I don't know how much $100 will buy in 1822 off the top of my head and I use money every day.
 

Riceball

Master Member
I've been mulling over the Basic Income scenario as well. Thinking about a kind of paetreon-like points system. Still working out the details. But it would allow you to ID the people who others think are contributing more to humanity.
The problem with that model is that it's not a whole lot different from the way things work today and doesn't quite reflect the sort of utopia that TNG implies the Federation enjoys. This reward/tipping/Patreon system means that there will be a group of people who will have more than others. It also largely goes against the idea of doing things simply for the pleasure of doing so model that a lot of people subscribe to. Instead of doing things because you simply enjoy doing so, you're now, once again, back to doing it because you're rewarded for doing so, regardless if you enjoy it or not.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
In a true post-scarcity society where anyone can have anything they want so long as they have access to transporter technology, none of that makes sense. This is another case where they came up with a whiz-bang idea without ever trying to figure out the real-world impacts it would have on society. In a reality where anyone can have anything, there's little reason for anyone to do any actual work unless they want to. If you want to cook for others, you could open a restaurant, but there would be no need for anyone to pay you for your efforts because all of your costs, except your own sweat, are covered. No one would ever need to work in order to make ends meet. It would be little more than a hobby to wile away the boring hours.

Of course, that makes you wonder how Starfleet operates or the government, since nobody actually needs to do anything and nobody actually can enrich themselves through public service. It's a reality that if these developments ever came to pass, the resulting society would be so alien to us that we'd find it hard to comprehend.
 

ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Taking the more cynical route, based upon our current trajectory as a people…at least 75% of people, if placed in a society where “all is provided for”, would most likely become gelatinous bags of flesh occupying a hoverchair and staring blankly at a screen all day vs. making it their mission “to better themselves”. This is the reason the “Metaverse” is an inevitability and why who we call “influencers” are of such low-quality of character and contribution (find me an “influencer” who is trying to cure cancer vs. snapping vacuous photos of themselves in various settings).

5DB076C6-3105-42B2-AD69-FF3BBBE5FB54.jpeg


The 25% who still have ambition and self-respect, despite everything otherwise being given to them, would be the exceptional class of people.

The reason why Greek mythology and the works of Shakespeare are relevant today, despite their antiquity, is that the nature of human beings has not changed all that much, over time; only the scenery provided by technology and modern society has changed. I see that continuing into the near future.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yeah, the big problem with trying to apply the way things are now to anything in the Star Trek frame of reference is that they are not we. They had the heightened tensions of the '60s continue through the '90s, at least, with the technological development that drives. They had extraterrestrial and extrasolar colonies before the turn of the century. So emigration was already having an impact on population pressure. Then they had a third World War and "post-atomic horror" that drastically reduced the world population. There ended up being a bit of a second Renaissance, but all over instead of largely confined to Europe. Just in time for First Contact. Lord knows what Humanity got from Vulcans or Andorians or Tellarites or any of our other nearby neighbors that we absolutely cannot calculate the economic impact of.

ALLEY, I feel like your percentages are backwards from the studies I've seen. The number of people I know who would be Doing All The Things if they weren't dumping all their time and energy into the capitalist necessities of life is pretty up there. Sure, I know a few who would absolutely get stoned and play video games all day... For a month or so before they started itching to do something. Problem is we've never had a chance to properly rest. If the income pressures were taken off, there'd be a collective, societal "AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH.........." when no one would do anything because, for the first time ever in their adult lives, they didn't have to. I know people who would volunteer all the time if they didn't have to work. I know people in this hobby who would give their stuff away for the sheer joy of making it if they didn't have to take revenue streams into account. And then there are all the people who would be writing or biking or hiking or otherwise engaging with the world. Consumerist blobs is a capitalist wet dream, not a post-scarcity scenario.
 

JPH

Sr Member
I still feel like even with replicators, something genuinely hand created, naturally produced would have one heck of a market.

To have a market, gotta have currency.

I hear how by 2030 we will own nothing and be happy about it.

The irony is that the folks who *WOULD* own everything are saying that.

Could you imagine the news reporting about another police raid on people using currency?!?!?

"Karen called 911 because they ran out of home-made preserves" or "they insisted she pay for it using their approved currency."

The co-anchor on the news mutters, "savages!"

***Or think about career choices****

So, you want to be a captain? You get paid (Oops, have needs covered) the same as the guy who cleans up the trash. If you mess up, JAIL !!! If the trash guy messes up, what cha gonna do? He doesnt have to work. He doesnt want to work, he goes back to a career of feces sculpting.

How quickly would we degenerate into a world of SUCK?

In order for the future to be *enlightened* there needs to be consequences: reward and failure. Human behavior needs to be addressed.

I imagine the hoverchair blob from Wall-e posing for a photo with a 2% body fat marathon runner or triathelete. Just before the flash goes off, the blob talks about what an inspiration the triathelete has been.

*SIGH*
 

ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yeah, the big problem with trying to apply the way things are now to anything in the Star Trek frame of reference is that they are not we. They had the heightened tensions of the '60s continue through the '90s, at least, with the technological development that drives. They had extraterrestrial and extrasolar colonies before the turn of the century. So emigration was already having an impact on population pressure. Then they had a third World War and "post-atomic horror" that drastically reduced the world population. There ended up being a bit of a second Renaissance, but all over instead of largely confined to Europe. Just in time for First Contact. Lord knows what Humanity got from Vulcans or Andorians or Tellarites or any of our other nearby neighbors that we absolutely cannot calculate the economic impact of.

ALLEY, I feel like your percentages are backwards from the studies I've seen. The number of people I know who would be Doing All The Things if they weren't dumping all their time and energy into the capitalist necessities of life is pretty up there. Sure, I know a few who would absolutely get stoned and play video games all day... For a month or so before they started itching to do something. Problem is we've never had a chance to properly rest. If the income pressures were taken off, there'd be a collective, societal "AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH.........." when no one would do anything because, for the first time ever in their adult lives, they didn't have to. I know people who would volunteer all the time if they didn't have to work. I know people in this hobby who would give their stuff away for the sheer joy of making it if they didn't have to take revenue streams into account. And then there are all the people who would be writing or biking or hiking or otherwise engaging with the world. Consumerist blobs is a capitalist wet dream, not a post-scarcity scenario.

A noted expert on the relative ambition of those who are happy to do absolutely nothing if their base needs are met would like to “…address, like, your opinion, man…”

0CBA587A-FB53-4154-A07A-1D73A4A47F1C.jpeg


;)
 
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Sluis Van Shipyards

Legendary Member
I can't cite any specific occurrences, but I do remember several times where the characters (TNG and on) mention valuing things more that were not made with a replicator. Real food, as was mentioned earlier, is frequently mentioned, but I think someone mentions an instrument on TNG being real. I think Picard's saddle possibly was one handed down, I can't remember.
 

Riceball

Master Member
I can't cite any specific occurrences, but I do remember several times where the characters (TNG and on) mention valuing things more that were not made with a replicator. Real food, as was mentioned earlier, is frequently mentioned, but I think someone mentions an instrument on TNG being real. I think Picard's saddle possibly was one handed down, I can't remember.
That's perfectly reasonable and understandable. We already see that today with people preferring hand crafted items (of all sorts) over something that's mass produced in some factory in China or SE Asia. The only difference between this practice now and in the Trekverse is that in the Trekverse that hand made, bespoke item will no longer cost you an arm or a leg, you probably just have to wait until the craftsman has the time to produce said item for you.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
That's perfectly reasonable and understandable. We already see that today with people preferring hand crafted items (of all sorts) over something that's mass produced in some factory in China or SE Asia. The only difference between this practice now and in the Trekverse is that in the Trekverse that hand made, bespoke item will no longer cost you an arm or a leg, you probably just have to wait until the craftsman has the time to produce said item for you.
In fact, they won't cost you anything. They can't cost you anything. It'll just be a personal preference.
 

blewis17

Master Member
Why were the lyrics to the main theme never used? I mean, I know WHY there were lyrics (continued royalties forever for Gene, who wrote the lyrics), but never used?

Anyway, here's Jack Black/Tenacious D singing the original lyrics to the Star Trek TOS main theme. You have been warned (there are a couple of excited F-bombs here or there, so be careful where you play this).


...but in the mid 1960s, it would have sounded more like this...

...but it SHOULD have been done like this...
 
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blewis17

Master Member
This answers this:




Roddenberry wrote the lyrics so he would get half the royalties. They were never written to be used, just to make him money.

(to slightly derail our ST conversation)

...similar to how Toot Suite...


...later became "Johnny's Theme" on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (for which Carson wrote the original short drum intro at the beginning of the new arrangement, and collected the royalties every time the song was used on his own show).


Sorry. Enough rambling. Back to Trek.

Why did StarFleet never follow up on Khan / Ceti Alpha 5?
 

Strikerkc

Sr Member
...but in the mid 1960s, it would have sounded more like this...

Hold up. I stared at this image for a while, as my brain smoked and burned to try and put my finger on why I couldn't look away. Then I noticed it. Then I got frankly upset that I never saw a show with uniforms like this.

Is that a recolored main picture; or did they toy with color coded dress uniforms enough before the second film that they actualy made and photographed them in promotional material like that?

I really dig the Yellow/Blue/Red dress uniforms.
 

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