Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 31
03-30-2010, 05:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
they are post scarcity in all the ways it would matter.
Like I said, economy is still a concept to them, beyond the simple problem of there only being one original of an artists work. Post scarcity is abundance without concern; the Federation simply doesn't stack up to any such ideal. You can sit on your butt with your room and your replicator, but that's all you've got. You can't request a runabout for example, it just won't happen. If you want one you've got to work, get rich, and buy one. The same goes for many, many other things.

The Culture, by comparison as the kind of hypertechnology you'd need to really realise the post scarcity ideal, is limited only by the Minds potentially deciding it might be a bad idea to give you whatever thing you've asked for (maybe deciding it's a bit nuts), but beyond that, there's not actually any reason they can't make anything you want, including colossal interstellar vessels. For the absolute largest things if they really deigned to let you take up that much stellar real estate and effort you'll never really appreciate, they can just throw down a load of automated devices and let it happen. The only reason they use currently existing energy sources and mass is because they consider it ecologically irresponsible to rampantly add energy to the universe from the Grid.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 32
03-30-2010, 02:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khorak View Post
They are nowhere close to it. They still mine for a start, resources and economy are a serious issue for them.

If you want post scarcity, that would The Culture, as written by Iain M Banks.
They do mine, for energy sources to power the replicators and for minerals and such that would be too complex for the synthesizer to replicate. You could theoretically replicate these energy sources, but it would take just as much if not a bit more energy to replicate the energy source material then the material would produce, making this an inherently self-defeating system. And with a growing population, new energy sources need to occasionally be added to the available energy pool to allow everyone to continue with the same standard of living they currently enjoy.

Also original products still have a demand, such as real alcohol as opposed to synthale.

I don't think they have a giant replicator in Earth orbit where they replicate endless numbers of completed starships. Rather I think there would be many smaller replicators producing the components of the ship which are then assembled. I would imagine a similar technique would be used on other large items such as starbases, dwellings, hovercars, etc.

But the average person can exist wholly using their replicator to make whatever common devices and items they would need. While the Federation is not completely post-scarcity, it is very close to that threshold. If an energy source that was truly unlimited could be found and harnessed, the Federation would effectively move to that economic level.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 33
03-30-2010, 03:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khorak View Post
Like I said, economy is still a concept to them, beyond the simple problem of there only being one original of an artists work. Post scarcity is abundance without concern; the Federation simply doesn't stack up to any such ideal. You can sit on your butt with your room and your replicator, but that's all you've got. You can't request a runabout for example, it just won't happen. If you want one you've got to work, get rich, and buy one. The same goes for many, many other things.
Actually you can replicate a shuttle, one part at a time, but you can. even the culture don't produce ships whole.

I really think the mining thing is a conceit by the writers to create conflict where there doesn't really seem to be any.

position a replicator near a star and you have an effectively unlimited supply of energy for even a planet with a ship yard in orbit.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 34
03-30-2010, 03:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
Actually you can replicate a shuttle, one part at a time, but you can.
There's actually zero proof of that, despite the jokes about Voyagers endless shuttle fleet. All spacefaring vessels in Star Trek have shown themselves to have enormous amounts of components that no-one ever seemed to bother trying to replicate, whether the proof of that is an inability to repair ships when away from the more extensive facilities of their mothership despite having a replicator on board, or Nog finding some random thing for O'Brien on a lunatic trading quest.

And the final, damning nail in the idea of the Federation being post scarcity; trade. And not little things, a full trade network to the extent the Ferengi wear it as their hat. Trade in raw materials, trade in manufactured goods, passenger services....the whole Alpha and Beta quadrants are dominated by species with replicator technology as standard, and yet there is a vast, thriving economy in general goods.

They can't just replicate stuff a lot of the time. And even things they can replicate can often need laborious man hours to be fashioned into the end result.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 36
03-31-2010, 06:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
Good work completely failing to address.....anything at all. There's stuff they replicate, but they very, very, very clearly can't just replicate anything they want like you claim they can. If they could, the galactic economy would consist of nothing but your replicator and the power line hooked up to it. O'Brien was expecting to wait three weeks for a graviton stabiliser to repair the Defiant before Nog found one to trade with him. DS9 has industrial replicators. Level 17. Clearly he couldn't replicate one.

There is no 'replicate a ship' mechanics in Star Trek. They mine/farm resources and maintain a manufacturing economy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 37
03-31-2010, 06:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khorak View Post
Good work completely failing to address.....anything at all. There's stuff they replicate, but they very, very, very clearly can't just replicate anything they want like you claim they can. If they could, the galactic economy would consist of nothing but your replicator and the power line hooked up to it. O'Brien was expecting to wait three weeks for a graviton stabiliser to repair the Defiant before Nog found one to trade with him. DS9 has industrial replicators. Level 17. Clearly he couldn't replicate one.

There is no 'replicate a ship' mechanics in Star Trek. They mine/farm resources and maintain a manufacturing economy.
very true. Something to do with more complex compounds and chemicals. Even a replicated beverage has from time to time be described as close but not the real thing.
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