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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,565
# 99
02-28-2013, 10:04 AM
Originally Posted by atatassault View Post
Replicators are not magic; They take energy run and raw material to form into useful objects; And some objects are either too complicated to make (long chain molecules; the reason why replicated food doesn't taste quite like the real thing) or the stuff that makes it up can't be manipulated by a replicator (like latinum). Governments in Star Trek would work just like they do today: Organizations which live and die by the control of resources.

It has never been stated where the empires in Star Trek get their antimatter from. Good Fiction never breaks more rules (physics in Sci-Fi's case) than is necessary. Therefore it can be assumed star empires control antimatter production facilities which orbit stars and mine gas giants for fusion reactor fuel (and mine dead planets, asteroids, etc, for raw materials).

Having a replicator is nice, but all it does is shift around what work needs to be done. Most efforts will be shifted to resource gathering since you don't need Ford or Honda to make your car for you, but you still need the designers from Ford or Honda to make new car designs.
They kindof are in that they have eradicated scarcity.

There is no such thing as scarcity in the Star Trek universe except:

- Pre-warp cultures
- When the limitless resources (the only limited resources being time and latinum, basically) are somehow artificially withheld.

Replicators don't require finite resources to operate. This is one of the core problems with most attempts to depict war in Trek is that they constantly fudge this aspect of the universe.

In TOS, you had dilithium as scarce. But by TNG, dilithium was shifted to become infinitely replenishable because TNG was supposed to be completely devoid of resource scarcity.

I know some people think that's just silly and that Trek needs to stay more grounded in a modern mentality but I really think a key to strong sci-fi work is being forced to incorporate unreasonable or unrelatable ideas.

As-is, we do have modern theories of post-scarcity or scarcity-free economics... and I think warfare in Trek needs to incorporate the idea of scarcity free warfare. Which means, among other things, fights should not REALLY be over physical resources and doing so overrelies on the mcguffin that something can't be replicated.