Re: Humor/Star Trek linguistics

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Wed Feb 27 2002 - 17:32:37 MST

"Dickey, Michael F" wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Lorrey []
> Mike Lorrey - "No, it doesn't. The advent of replicator technology has
> eliminated the
> drive for fulfillment of basic needs through labor. Furthermore, the
> federation citizens you generally only see in TNG are Starfleet
> officers, trained at Starfleet Academy. These are scientists whose every
> need is supplied by Starfleet from the moment of their induction. If
> they need personal items, they are replicated, so the concept of 'cost'
> for personal items and consumables is obsolete."
> ------------------------------
> He makes a good argument on the site that the replicators require a feed
> stock (some sort of raw materials) since in numerous episodes they state
> that many compounds are too complex to synthesize. Which would still place
> high value on those materials that could not be replicated, never mind the
> exhorbitant cost in energy to replicate them (unless the majority of matter
> comes from feedstock) In either case, TOS also had replicators on board, yet
> they seemed to still have a market based economy.
> Here are his comments about replicators with quotes from each episode

If TOS had replicators, they were never referred to as such in any
episodes that I recall. I always thought that the compartments that
characters took meals out of were nothing but microwave oven/food
reconstitutors (yes, you never saw anyone put anything INTO them, but
when NBC airtime cost thousands of bucks a minute, and you can't even
afford to make decent antennae for an alien character, you aren't going
to waste camera time sitting around waiting for the microwave oven...)

> Mike Lorrey - "Now, lets say that God has either been proven to be
> non-existent, or
> else federation technology has allowed private individuals to have a
> direct comm line with the universes sysop. In either case, chapels would
> be unnecessary, but what, exactly, does this have to do with capitalism?"
> ---------------------------------
> I think its more the fact that the TNG stayed away from any religious
> implications of any kind in the federation (probably cause the writeres
> didnt know how to handle it and paramount didnt want to offend anyone) yet
> most every alien race encountered has a religion. In the federation, it
> seems to be strangely absent (with the exception of Picard's brothers
> comments apparently) I think the lack of a god has a lot to do with
> communism (not capitalism) as marx said 'religion is the opiate of the
> masses' If the author is arguing that the federation is communist, it seems
> a good line of evidentary support to show the lack of religions in the
> federation, since communist nations typically avoid or actively persecute
> religions. Whether you agree with the authors conclusions or not, its hard
> for me to imagine that you didnt see why he used that piece of evidence.

I don't need marx to explain a lack of religion in the future. It's
obvious anyone in Starfleet is going to be highly trained as scientists,
and through travel througout the galaxy, there would be little need to
worship gods which don't exist (especially since Kirk defeated the gods
in TOS, as you might recall, then when you defeat your gods, why
continue to worship them?)

> >
> >
> > If you check the site out, he starts off (at some point) by saying that
> > was mostly a free enterprise system, and joked that there must have been
> > some kind of coup in the intervening years.
> Mike Lorrey - "Note that replicators did not exist in the TOE period, but
> did exist in
> the TNG era, supporting my theory."
> ---------------------------------------
> Replicators werent in the original series? What were those little
> cubbyholes that they would walk up to, say something, a door slides open,
> and out comes food. Is there a kitchen back there? Or was I hallucinating?
> They had transportors, why not replicators?

Why not transporters to transport meals into the cubbyhole from the ship
kitchen? ;) Talk about 'have it your way'...

> Mike Lorrey - "This is inaccurate. Note how farms in Japan still use
> primitive hand
> labor, hand polishing apples while still on the tree, etc and as a
> result command a far higher market price than mass produced American
> products, even of the same species. Note that 'authentic' french
> champagne produced using traditional methods commands higher prices than
> mass produced American "champagne" which is produced by the same method,
> but automated, though is not allowed to be called 'champagne'. Note also
> the organic farming movement, which commands higher prices for its
> produce than non'organic' produce."
> -------------------------------------
> I certainly wouldnt go so far as to say it is 'innacurate' as it is merely a
> different interpreation of an observed phenomena, Fact, they have a low
> tech hand worked farm. Explanation, could be in a memory or throw back to
> the 'old days' in a communist society, or it could be a high priced organic
> farm for technophobes. Why is your interpretation more correct then his?

Because my interpretation exists in fact today, and Occam's razor
therefore says I'm right.

> There is not any more evidence to suggest either explanation more clearly,
> with the exception of the rest of the anecdotal evidence from the series,
> which you interpret as being evidence of a free market society, and he
> interprets as being evidence of a communist one (at least in TNG) Seems
> that to determine which explanation is a simpler one for the observed facts
> you should take the debate up with him, as you (as he) seems (IMHO) to have
> some good points.
> In either case, you should probably not be arguing with me about it as A) I
> am not the author of the site and B) not a very big star trek fan. P

I'm not a big star trek fan either, although I've seen far more than my
fair share of episodes over the years, mostly due to a lack of much else
to watch. And I do see why picking on TNG would work, because I used to
gripe about the show back when it was new, calling it The Politically
Correct Generation, while DSN was simply Deep Sixed... Voyager was far
better than either of those, and I am really enjoying Enterprise (the
new show, set before The Old Show).

Picard's multi-season pussilanimous unwillingness to a) engage in
combat, and b) doing so badly after all else failed and getting his butt
saved by Riker or one of the other characters, as well as his insistence
that Enterprise "IS NOT A WARSHIP", always annoyed the hell out of me.
You don't arm the fastest ship in the fleet with weaponry capable of
frying a planet if it's not a 'warship'. Sure, once the Borg came along,
he kinda got his ass in gear, but would still waste time if given the
chance on Hamletian indecisive nattering about pros and cons that
reminds me of a certain prior presidential administration.

Riker, Data, Worf, and Q were the best characters in the series.

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