Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 426
# 111
02-28-2013, 05:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
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
A 3D printed car takes fifty times as long to make, costs a hundred times as much, and is significantly inferior to one produced the conventional way.

More to the point, this isn't economically surprising and there's no good reason why it would change. Replicators suffer all of the disadvantages and advantages of 3D printing- that is to say they're useful for rapid prototyping and building a wide variety of objects and totally useless for actually building stuff that you want in any reasonable quantity.

Quite frankly that's something that Star Trek got quite right about the replicators, both physically and story-wise; they won't solve all problems.

Ultimately, though, they have nothing to do with the original argument I made.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 869
# 112
02-28-2013, 05:37 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.
I think that the UFP is more like the Federal Government of the United States than the UN.

The UN is a treaty that nations sign. The UN can pass resolutions, but it cannot create laws. It has no military forces.

On the other hand, the Federation Charter seems more like the US Constitution. The US Constitution explicitly lays down which authorities are the domain of the States (or by analogy Planets) and which authorities belong to the Federal Government (or UFP by analogy). Unlike the UN, the Federal Government can pass laws and has military forces. The States have their own local military forces too (National Guard), but they can be called into active federal service and use the same ranks, uniforms, equipment, et cetera (for the most part).

In the show, it is shown that some Starfleet vessels are manned by a specific race (such as Vulcans) but it is never shown that other Federation societies have their own military warships.

My suspicion is that Andorians would not have their own military vessels but rather Starfleet officers on Starfleet vessels permanently attached to the UFP equivalent of the Andorian National Guard.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 869
# 113
02-28-2013, 05:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squishkin View Post
A 3D printed car takes fifty times as long to make, costs a hundred times as much, and is significantly inferior to one produced the conventional way.

More to the point, this isn't economically surprising and there's no good reason why it would change. Replicators suffer all of the disadvantages and advantages of 3D printing- that is to say they're useful for rapid prototyping and building a wide variety of objects and totally useless for actually building stuff that you want in any reasonable quantity.

Quite frankly that's something that Star Trek got quite right about the replicators, both physically and story-wise; they won't solve all problems.

Ultimately, though, they have nothing to do with the original argument I made.
Um, that simply is not true.

Typically, prototyping on a 3-D printer is much more cost effective than "conventional" prototyping, which is why 3-D printers are becoming so popular.

Sure, if you are comparing the cost of manufacturing 100 million items at an industrial facility to the cost of manufacturing 100 million items using current 3-d printers, the industrial facility will be more cost effective, but only because the tremendous cost of the traditional facility is negligible at a certain scale.

But there is going to be a price-point where it becomes more cost effective to use a 3-d printer and you better believe that industrial facilities are more-and-more using designs that can be rapidly retooled.

The replicators on Star Trek are made up technology with little basis in fact but it is pretty clear from the show that they have taken the place of many traditional manufacturing centers, hence the importance of "industrial replicators", devices which presumably can be used to quickly and efficiently manufacture everything from shuttles to significant parts of a large spacecraft.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 987
# 114
02-28-2013, 07:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
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.
You can. You don't even need to go to warp. Just release the antimatter.
Quote:
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.
Alpha quadrant species don't do that for various reasons: Its unethical to the UFP, the Klingons probably view it as dishonorable, the Romulans might find it overt or lacking finesse (or something), the Cardassians don't do it because it doesn't fit with their Machiavellian mindset. The Dominion probably would do that (they *did* try to blow up Bajor's Sun), but that they didn't was probably an oversight.
Quote:
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.
If you want to argue from a story teller's prerogative, that's fine. And probably within reason if only TNG were being considered. But Star Trek canon did expand with DS9 and Voyager (I hate on Voyager, but I sadly have to accept its bad with its scarce good when debating Star Trek canon), and this solidified technological boundaries (though unnecessary because TNG already defined the finite nature of replicators.)
Quote:
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.
I don't disagree with the ideals of Star Trek and how it tells stories. But good story telling only breaks what is necessary. Having inconsistent rules is always bad. Either Replicators and all sorts of technology are magic, and the Federation (writers) are mind bogglingly stupid, or they have consistent, finite rules.
Quote:
If a writer wants to say human beings or soong-type androids can't be replicated, they'll do that.
They're currently unreproduceable because Soong (and his ancestors) are/were geniuses far beyond their time. Eventually Data will be an off the shelf product, but the Federations communal knowledge of cybernetics isn't there yet.
Quote:
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.
Its highly implied, if not out right stated, that replicates can not make large, complex molecules. Its why a lot of people prefer real food. So I don't think bio-weapons are replicatable. As for Barriers, unless they have antimatter powering them (which they would need antimatter production facilities, which would have to orbit stars), then any warp capable ship would simply have more power (the time rate of energy use).
Quote:
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.
Cut main power; I doubt replicators are tied the backup system.
Quote:
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.
If it truly is technology, it must be logical and consistent; Replicators are unrelatable because people can't go to a slot in their wall and order food or a new shirt, but it would have definite limits. If it didn't, it wouldn't be technology, it'd be magic (and no, I do not use magic condescendingly, but to mean something which does not have to follow physical laws, but the flaws with that, as I have pointed out, are if it is Magic, then its not being used to its logical extent).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 129
# 115 Please start a new Thread
03-01-2013, 12:57 PM
While this is a very good and lively discussion of politics and resources in Trek, it has regretably taken over this thread. I both propose and strongly support creating a new thread to conitinue this dialog, with a fitting Title so other interested parties may find it for their perusal or even to contribute.

I thank you all.

*************************************

Now, back to the Andorian Escorts. How have they performed/handled since the patch to correct errors in the ships' code?

I know they are still being flown; i've seen a few the last few days. Although the Temporal and Jem'Hadar ships seem to be the most polpular of late; i see them more often than all the other non-standard ships combinened.
Sarvour ShipyardsSarvour Shipyards
=@=Commodore Joshua Daniel Sarvour, S.C.E.
U.S.S. AKAGI NX-93347, Enterprise-class Battle Cruiser =@= U.S.S. T'KORA'S WRATH NX-110047, Odyssey-class Battle Cruiser

"There Ain't No Grave, Can Hold My Body Down..."

Last edited by sarvour0; 03-01-2013 at 02:21 PM.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 43
# 116
03-01-2013, 02:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarvour0 View Post
While this is a very good and lively discussion of politics and resources in Trek, it has regretably taken over this thread. I both propose and strongly support creating a new thread to conitinue this dialog, with a fitting Title so other interested parties may find it for their perusal or even to contribute.

Sokath, his eyes uncovered!
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