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# 101
02-28-2013, 10:09 AM
Converting energy to matter is ridiculous, completely unfeasible.

It would mean whatever they replicate would end up being taken directly out of their anti-matter reserve (or at least half minus the inefficiencies)

They don't have that much anti-matter.
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# 102
02-28-2013, 10:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
They kindof are in that they have eradicated scarcity.
I've seen no evidence of that. While I'd like to believe the *ideals purported* by TNG, the sad fact is that TNG followed *one* ship which is supposed to represent the ideals of the Federation. But DS9 showed us that the Federation does run on a supply lines: Why are there *so* many cargo ships going to and from? Why does the Federation care if their worlds get cut off from most other worlds as the Dominion war rages?

In a peaceful situation, the Federation may have enough resources to adequately please most of its citizens, but its apparent it cant do that *and* fight a war.
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Replicators don't require finite resources to operate.
They do; If you pay attention in DS9, its implied. Voyager outright stated it, but abandoned it later because Voyagers writers didn't seem to care.
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In TOS, you had dilithium as scarce. But by TNG, dilithium was shifted to become infinitely replenishable
Because they learned how to reconstitute it after the Dilithium was worn out; This is similar to how thorium reactors today work; 95% of a "spent" fuel rod is still usable fuel, but because of how the reaction produces homogenized pockets non-fissionable material, a steady reaction can no longer be maintained in it. Part of thorium reactor design is to create a reaction chain which allows a fuel rod to be usable for a longer time before you have to resort to figuring out a way to separate out the non-fissionable material (Yay for longwinded examples).
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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 I stated before, Good Fiction only breaks as many rules as necessary. If the Federation was really post-scarcity, they could just build giant replicators, churn out as many ships as they need to kick whoever's ass and be done with it. But that didn't happen in the Dominion war, or even the tensions that arose between the Klingons and Romulans in TNG. TNG purported the ideals and aspirations of the Federation, but that doesn't mean they were *there*.

Last edited by atatassault; 02-28-2013 at 10:24 AM.
Commander
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Posts: 426
# 103
02-28-2013, 10:30 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by atatassault View Post
If the Federation was really post-scarcity, they could just build giant replicators, churn out as many ships as they need to kick whoever's ass and be done with it.
That assumes that their limitation is on replicable hardware, as opposed to, say, crew or antimatter generation, or whatever else.

Second, I think this is a very particular, and meaningless, definition of post-scarcity. Scarcity is simply the state of having finite resources, but it's not at all clear that it's possible to have infinite resources according to the laws of physics as we know them. It's not clear that it is in fact possible to be post-scarcity, by that 'hard' definition of the term.

It is certainly possible, however, to define "post-scarcity" as being a point where people's basic needs are met for everyone, and that does seem to be where the Federation exists.
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# 104
02-28-2013, 10:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squishkin View Post
It is certainly possible, however, to define "post-scarcity" as being a point where people's basic needs are met for everyone, and that does seem to be where the Federation exists.
That's not what I'm arguing. Replicators would simply shift farmers from farming and goods produces from produce to resource gathering.

What I'm arguing against is STOLevianthan's assertion that it would be impossible to subjugate a planet with Replicators; Replicators require resources. Anybody with a higher resource capacity and higher rate of resource use will be able to subjugate a planet with those abilities at a lower level. Replicators don't make whatever you want for free. They merely shift around what work is necessary.

Sure, a planet could easily turn all resources on hand into weapons, but anybody that wants to take you over would quickly take out the facilities which generate the resources for your replicators. They'll go into seige warfare, run dry the weapons you were able to make with on hand resources and energy, and then occupy your planet. This already happened once. The planet was Bajor.
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# 105
02-28-2013, 10:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by direphoenix View Post
Space, like open ocean, is not a territory that can be "held". You can only hold land, by occupying it with people, you can't hold ocean (or space) with ships. Planets (and starbases/outposts) are like islands in the ocean of space. You hold the planets, but the space in between is like open ocean.
Agreed that this is the best way to conceptualize it. On the in-game map, all Federation "territory" may be coloured blue, but it would be more accurate to have a series of blue circles around each Federation system against a black backdrop representing, er, "international waters."

Quote:
Originally Posted by walshicus View Post
I think Starfleet has always been described as something more integrated than NATO. Starfleet is a Federation organisation, while NATO is a military alliance. The UN is a diplomatic forum while the Federation is an actual state with a government and citizenship.
You're right, but there is no real-world equivalent to either the Federation or Starfleet. The Federation has its own government and citizenship, but it's also clear from the shows that each member state has its own government.

It'd be like citizens of countries who are UN members having "UN citizenship" in addition to the citizenship of their own nation, and all member states disbanding or combining their military into one multinational armed force under a UN flag. Although I think it's been established that UFP member states can and do handle their own internal security (oddly, Earth seems to be the exception to this - it's given pretty much everything over to the UFP).

Edit: Upon further thought, I suppose the USA is a reasonable analogue for the UFP.

Last edited by jeffel82; 02-28-2013 at 11:02 AM.
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Posts: 618
# 106
02-28-2013, 11:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffel82 View Post
Agreed that this is the best way to conceptualize it. On the in-game map, all Federation "territory" may be coloured blue, but it would be more accurate to have a series of blue circles around each Federation system against a black backdrop representing, er, "international waters."

You're right, but there is no real-world equivalent to either the Federation or Starfleet. The Federation has its own government and citizenship, but it's also clear from the shows that each member state has its own government.

It'd be like citizens of countries who are UN members having "UN citizenship" in addition to the citizenship of their own nation, and all member states disbanding or combining their military into one multinational armed force under a UN flag. Although I think it's been established that UFP member states can and do handle their own internal security (oddly, Earth seems to be the exception to this - it's given pretty much everything over to the UFP).

Edit: Upon further thought, I suppose the USA is a reasonable analogue for the UFP.

I think a better example might be the Russian Federation; a series of autonomous republics with their own cultures, traditions and governments.
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Most who don't like the new Star Trek either didn't like TOS, don't remember TOS, or didn't see TOS
Career Officer
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# 107
02-28-2013, 11:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordagamemnonb5 View Post
I think a better example might be the Russian Federation; a series of autonomous republics with their own cultures, traditions and governments.
I thought about Russia, but don't really know enough to know if it's a good comparison. I shall take your word for it!
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# 108
02-28-2013, 12:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by atatassault View Post
That's not what I'm arguing.
I know what you're arguing and I'm saying the definition of post-scarcity you're using is impossible.

A culture can still be "post-scarcity" and still not have enough ships to fight off any potential aggressor (to say nothing of the actual technical superiority or inferiority of those opponents).

The idea that "post scarcity" = "infinite warships capable of stopping any potential foe" is malformed on almost every level; it's not even wrong, it's fractally wrong.
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# 109
02-28-2013, 03:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacofangs View Post
Correct.

It is important to note that there are two independent, but related bodies here. The United Federation of Planets, and Starfleet.

The Federation is like the UN. Each subsidiary nation (or world in this case) can, and likely does, still have it's own means of production, and it's own ships. (Vulcan, Andorian, Caitian, etc.).
However, Starfleet is like NATO, it's an intergovernmental military force. Unlike NATO, Starfleet is the military wing of the UFP. Starfleet ships are what we are used to seeing (all the enterprises, etc.), but they are not the only ships within the Federation.
For example:

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Unit...e_Probe_Agency

Quote:
By 2267, UESPA was the operating authority of the USS Enterprise's five-year mission, as Captain James T. Kirk informed John Christopher. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday") In 2266, Kirk reported to UESPA Headquarters after learning of the destruction of the Antares. (TOS: "Charlie X")
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# 110
02-28-2013, 04:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squishkin View Post
I know what you're arguing and I'm saying the definition of post-scarcity you're using is impossible.

A culture can still be "post-scarcity" and still not have enough ships to fight off any potential aggressor (to say nothing of the actual technical superiority or inferiority of those opponents).

The idea that "post scarcity" = "infinite warships capable of stopping any potential foe" is malformed on almost every level; it's not even wrong, it's fractally wrong.
I don't think you need starships to fight a starship.

You just need to use replicators in incredibly complex ways.

If you want to get right down to, this whole isn't and should never be governed by logic.

If you go by logic, as one poster used to argue, any one shuttle could be used to annihilate a planet with a warp impact.

The reason why that doesn't happen has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with writers who, if necessary, would invent rules to keep that from happening or make it an isolated occurrence because it would destroy dramatic storytelling if any ship with shuttles could destroy any target.

Likewise with the scarcity of replicators thing, which the writers have tried to have both ways on. Not for any kind of sound in-universe logic (replicators already violate mass-energy conversion routinely) but so they can have them just effective enough to be cool and just ineffective enough so that people can't just use replicators in place of shields to replicate physical barriers around ships to absorb kinetic weapon impacts. That is, until somebody with the budget thinks it will be a cool visual and then it will happen, consistency be doggoned.

At the end of the day, Star Trek is more allegory than simulation. But the boundaries and limits have always and will always bend to whatever somebody thinks would make a cool plot.

If a writer wants to say human beings or soong-type androids can't be replicated, they'll do that. If it advances a theme, it will suddenly be possible. And it might have horrible consequences in one episode (oh, no! defective copy!) and in the next be part of a mind bending twist ending where lovable crewman #1 dies but replicates his body at the last second.

Trek is governed by possibilities more than rules. And by and large, if it happens offscreen, nobody will mention replicators (without the ability to frabicate starships) as a means of fending off a hostile invasion force.

But take the recent news stories about 3D printers being able to create most of the materials needed to make 3D printers coupled with the news about 3D printers being used to make ammunition and I guarantee if Trek were on the air today, you'd have a whole episode where a culture gets replicators and manages to change the course of their history and pose a threat to warp capable species without even using the replicators to make starships. They'd just have to replicate viruses or living DNA or physical barriers that make their fortress replicate and regenerate faster than orbital bombardment can penetrate its walls.

And it'd be twice as likely if a Starfleet engineer who starred on the show came up with the idea.

Or you'd have someone hack the replicators on a ship and have them produce water continuously until it drowns all the crew on one deck of a ship.

And personally, I regard DS9 and Voyager as doing a lot of cheating to make future technology and future humans more relatable to modern audiences whereas TNG under Gene deliberately set out to make them difficult or impossible to relate to.
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