Trekonomics – Work and what it means – by Amanda S. Green

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Trekonomics – Work and what it means – by Amanda S. Green

Space. . . The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. . . .

Those words inspired a generation of TV viewers to a new love of science fiction. At the time, our country had a thriving space program. People could imagine NASA one day doing what we saw the Federation doing – sending out ships to explore those strange new worlds, to fight the good fight to protect those who needed it. To have adventure and Tribbles!

So what happened? Somewhere along the way, the adventure of Star Trek: TOS turned into The Love Boat in Space, er, Star Trek: The Next Generation. The opening lines changed slightly but that change turned into a good indication of changes we would see in the Trek Universe going forward.

Space… The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

It’s a subtle change but it signals a change in attitude, in philosophy in the franchise. That change in attitude is something we see come to full fruition in books like Trekonomics. In ST:TOS, we met characters like Harry Mudd. Mudd might not have been the most upstanding member of the Federation but he wasn’t “feared and loathed around the galaxy for [his] ruthless entrepreneurial drive and shady business practice.” That quote, from Trekonomics, is used to describe the Ferengi.

Think about it. Those little Ferengi with their bad teeth and follicle-challenged pates, were feared and loathed because they were good businessmen who wanted to make a profit. Instead of seeing those tendencies as a plus, the Federation valued “heroism, enlightened ethics and self-sacrifice.” Except heroism isn’t needed for the vast majority of members of the Federation. Only those joining Star Fleet might be required to possess that quality. After all, according to Trekonomics, there is no want and no need in the Federation. You have your handy-dandy replicators. Your sense of enlightened ethics means you will volunteer to work the mines if necessary to make sure there are enough dilithium crystals – or whatever else it might be. And self-sacrifice? Again, other than a very few in Star Fleet, where is the self-sacrifice in the Federation?

When Nog, a young Ferengi wants to join Star Fleet in ST: Deep Space Nine, Commander Sisko is more than a bit skeptical. In fact, he basically sets the kid up for failure. In doing so, however, he – and the show’s writers – prove the Federation isn’t as enlightened as it is supposed to be. First, Sisko fails to understand the cultural differences between humans in the Federation and the Ferengi. Now, a lot of folks will say this shouldn’t be held against Sisko. After all, we live in a day and age of cultural misunderstanding and cultural appropriation. Except DS9 doesn’t take place in today’s world. It takes place in a time and place where members of the Federation are supposed to be uplifted and enlightened. Sisko should know by the time Nog makes his request the process young Ferengis go through in becoming adults. He doesn’t and Nog proves his skepticism to be wrong.

More than that, Nog shows his work ethic is apparently better than that of Sisko’s own security forces. How? By finding contraband they failed to find. How did this kid, without the training and supposed knowledge of the security force, do this? By having the desire and determination to do his job well – something you would have thought the enlightened Federation personnel would have exhibited.

According to Saadia, author of Trekonomics, work in the Federation “offers the promise of finding one’s true calling, free of the shackles of tradition and economic necessity.” Why do I have visions of someone jumping from job to job, career to career as they try to find their “one true calling”. Screw those they are supposed to be doing the job for because that doesn’t matter. This is the Trekverse. You can do whatever you want because there is no scarcity of goods. You have your replicator to take care of your basic needs. Want to live in your parents’ basement all your life – you can do it. Want to make a lifetime career of studying the lint in your belly button, you can do it.

You are enlightened and uplifted.

Riiiight.

So why work in the Federation? According to Saadia, it’s simple. “Because learning, making and sharing is what makes life in the Federation worth living.”

OMG.

Life apparently isn’t worth living because you have a spouse you adore or children you love. It isn’t because you value yourself. Life is worth living because of the fact you can learn and then make and share the products of your labor. “Welcome, comrade, you need to produce for the good of the rest of us.”

According to Saadia, there is no money in the Federation, therefore, there is no salary work and no profit motive. The chips used in a poker game have no value. Guinan, the character played by Whoopie Goldberg, doesn’t “run” a bar on the Enterprise because she doesn’t charge for her wares. Royalties aren’t earned on inventions or other works of creation. You do all this because you want to give, to share.

Right. No.

Saadia goes on to say that someone could – and probably should – spend their lives walking around the beaches of Risa if that’s what they want to do. I guess bumming is okay because the state – sorry, the Federation – will take care of you. Does that mean the Federation is nothing more than an attractive-looking welfare state? It is certainly beginning to look that way, isn’t it? The only way to possibly escape is to join Star Fleet or to leave the Federation. But, as we have seen with the perpetuation of the welfare state in our own country, that might be a lot easier said than done.

“There is nothing particularly odd in choosing to work for free,” Saadia writes. To support this claim, he points out how we do so even today. Of course, his examples are where we volunteer on a part-time basis doing things like picking up litter on the beaches or volunteering at a hospital. He even points to Wikipedia as an example of our working and sharing our knowledge for free. All of that is his way of justifying working for free in the world of Trek. After all, in the Federation, work is essential but “for purposes of a higher order: increasing knowledge, perfecting technology, and promoting personal and collective self-improvement.”

Why don’t I buy it? Maybe because of the use of the phrases “higher order” and “collective self-improvement”.

Again, the lessening of personal valuation bothers me and it should you. The ideology in Trekonoics reminds me too much of what we’ve seen in the writings of Marx and Lenin, in the political speeches of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Collectivism. Socialism. “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine, comrade.” Nope. Nope and oh, hell no.

In order to prove his point about work being something you do out of some “higher order” and because you want to promote “personal and collective self-improvement”, Saadia turns to Commander Sisko’s family’s restaurant back on Earth. Sisko’s Creole Kitchen doesn’t need to worry about keeping down overhead or paying wages because this is the new, improved Earth of the Federation. It doesn’t charge for its meals but puts out quality food because the only way to judge success is through its reputation and popularity. Hmm, I thought that was pretty much how success in the restaurant business was judged today. After all, if a restaurant doesn’t have a good reputation or isn’t popular, it isn’t going to be successful because people aren’t going to come. In fact, there are any number of restaurants that have garnered critical acclaim but that weren’t popular with the dining public and closed as a result. So what is the difference, other than the fact you pay for your meals now and you supposedly won’t in the world of the Federation?

And, buried in the text is the real limitation of the Federation when it comes to being able to do whatever you want. It’s something Saadia basically glosses over because it doesn’t really fit his narrative. “The only real limitations are one’s imagination and job availability.” So, that puts the lie to what he’s said earlier. You really can’t be anything you want. There are limits.

But let’s take that a step further. In this enlightened world of the Federation, in a world where you are expected to not have the ego that pushes you to be competitive with your fellow man, what happens if you want a job and you know you are better qualified for it than the person who currently holds it? Do you just shrug and pat your comrade on the back and go away? After all, that would be part of the collective self-improvement, wouldn’t it? You’d be letting that person improve himself by doing the job and learning from it.

And what about the employer who isn’t really an employer because they aren’t paying those wo “work” for them? Do they have to settle for someone in a job who isn’t as qualified as the next person to come along or do they have the ability to tell the lesser qualified person to move along? Even if they have the ability to do so, would they? After all, telling them to find something else to do just because they weren’t as qualified might damage their poor little egos and that doesn’t seem like something an enlightened citizen of the Federation would do, does it?

Now, I think this is where I completely lost it with Saadia and this particular chapter:

Work is another way to love and be loved and to express one’s unique sensibility.

What. The. Fuck?

You are only worthy of love based on your work, on what you produce? You can only express your “unique sensibility” (whatever the hell that might mean) through work? Nope, nope, and nope again.

Saadia sees the problem with this, and the reason some fail at it, because there can be a “constant striving for recognition and social currency.” You can push yourself, working without break.  You can find yourself working on dead-end projects without getting out. You can develop performance anxiety, something he terms as a “mental illness”. Hmm, sounds like there really is a dark side to the glories of the Trek universe. You have everything you want but you are driven to continually “improve” – read prove – yourself as a productive and valued member of society.

Yep, I wanna be a Ferengi.

Now, after spending so much time telling us everyone in the Federation is basically equal because there isn’t that nasty little thing called money driving them, Saadia tells us the Federation is a meritocracy where the “highest crime” is cheating. Wow. I guess that means there is no murder, no treason, no theft of ideas (after all, you can’t steal money because there isn’t any). My mind simply can’t wrap around this. We know there are worst crimes. We’ve seen them in the various series. We’ve read about them in the books. But the new canon, not to mention the socialist blinders it adds, ignore them. Everything now must be for the good of the Federation with the individual coming in well down the line.

There’s more, much more. I’m going to finish up the book next week. Let’s just say ST:TOS is a much different show and a much different universe from the later shows. ST:DS9 isn’t the show this book tries to make it. The mental gymnastics Saadia goes through to try to justify the Federation’s so-called values and economic ideals (as identified by Saadia) are exhausting and infuriating. It also explains a great deal about why races such as the Ferengi were presented in the way they were. It all basically boils down to this: Capitalism bad, socialism good. Individualism evil, collectivism a virtue.

That is bad enough. But what we have to remember is this is the sort of thing we are getting from Hollywood and too many traditional publishers. This is the sort of brainwashing our children are being exposed to. We need to put our foot down. We need to make sure we counter this sort of thing with Thomas Sowell, with the founding documents of our nation, with common sense alternatives. This is a war and, if we aren’t careful, one that will claim our children’s minds if not their lives.

I’m up for the battle. Are you?

 

280 responses to “Trekonomics – Work and what it means – by Amanda S. Green

  1. The only counter I’ve even needed to shut down this Socialist drivel is “You have more than a century to put together a Socialist paradise, and every single on turned into a nightmare. Maybe True Socialism was never tried, but you had more than a hundred years. You and yours have used up any and all benefit of the doubt. Put together a small scale Socialist society that works for more than one generation, and maybe – MAYBE – we’ll look at scaling it up. In the meanwhile, sit down, the adults need to tend to business.”

    Sometimes they get so offended they forget to breathe.

    *grin*

    • Yea, I’ve tried that and the condescending smug I got back, all about how Capitalism is morally bankrupt and props itself up on the backs of the poor and minorities, and how unfair it is because the rich only get richer where the poor get poorer, and and and and… Each “and” a bigger, fatter lie than the previous one.

      The definition of stress: The pressure endured when forcing oneself to not beat the tar out of a smarmy a-hole that truly deserves it.

      • You just have to lose the inhibition about beating them senseless. They say you’re morally bankrupt. Prove them right.

      • Deny them use of the term “capitalism”. Tell them that “Yes, capitalism is bad, Marx captured that. But we don’t have capitalism, we have a (mostly) free market economy. Now explain how that’s bad.”

        And don’t let them cheat and re-use “capitalism” arguments without backing them up with good, fresh data.

        • Marx actually had a point with his original expositions of “capitalism”, which he used to refer to what the Germans called “smoke-stack barons”; industrialists who had set themselves up as what amounted to wage slavers, taking advantage of the conditions of extreme poverty so many lower-class urban Britons lived in. Even the State got into the act, with work-houses for the indigent, which were slavery in all but the name.

          But even by the time Marx was writing his indictment of the system, it was going away, mostly as a side effect of the Industrial Revolution. The kind of generic unskilled labor that the early capitalists exploited became much less valuable when machinery replaced serfs. The final blow came when the upper classes finally took up “the plight of the poor” as a cause, and the beginnings of labor laws and workman’s rights started being taken up by Parliament.

          That kind of exploitation didn’t vanish overnight, of course, and the colonies and America lagged behind. It wasn’t until the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory case of 1911 that the USA finally started doing something effective at the Federal level.

          The problems Marx wrote about were (more or less) real, but were just about gone by the time Lenin’s group got power in 1917. For almost the entire duration of Soviet Communism, the “capitalism” they used as a bugbear no longer existed, at least in the English-speaking world.

          In the West, “capitalism” was the same word, but a very different meaning, one which has now been supplanted by propaganda. Some words carry so much historical baggage and modern spin they’re just not worth using any more, “capitalism” is one of them.

          • As Chesterton put it– while falling prey to it himself!– right about what’s wrong, wrong about what’s right.
            (His Distributism is a lot less nasty, of course.)

            • Considerably so, and it has at least the benefit of a slightly longer pedigree, and it allows men to make their own choices.
              Unfortunately, agrarian societies don’t tend to be really good at waging industrialized warfare.

          • Yup. It’s also worth pointing out that the first response to efforts to organize labor were not to improve standards, but to have the Government shove guns into organizers’ faces.

            Kindly note that Adam Smith had no objections to labor organizing…and that the old school union leaders like Reagan were advocates of the profit motive.

            • Given where ‘organized labor’ has ended up, I’m not totally sure that was the wrong answer.

              Which goes to show something Imrealized a while back; a lot of the time, when a social structure seems to be the problem it isn’t a failure of theory, it’s simply that all human organizations calcify over time. In spite of my differences with Teh Professional Educators, I’m more than halfway convinced that’s what’s wrong with Public Education. Which is why arguing theory is beside the point. The point is,,what we have doesn’t work, amd efforst to MAKE it work within the same social structure have failed for decades. Time to try something radically different in structure.

              • Allowing closed-shop contracts was a BIG mistake.

                • Unions’ entire shtick is a cartel of labor to artificially inflate prices. That is why union violence is aimed more at other workers than at business owners.

                  Allowing open shops would cut them off at the pass.

                • Which is why unions are still trying to break Texas. It passed laws a century ago, iirc, making it illegal to force union membership in order to work. It has loosened up some over time but unions have yet to get the foothold here they have in other, :more enlightened” states.

        • I like to use this a lot in discussions on capitalism/free market

        • “But we don’t have capitalism, we have a (mostly) free market economy.”

          Not trying to be adversarial, but I think you have that backwards.

          I admit, I didn’t know for sure, but that statement didn’t look quite right to me. So I did some looking. The couple articles I read said that Capitalism and Free Market Economy are MOSTLY the same thing, the main exception being that with Capitalism, some governmental control is expected and considered to be part of the system and it would still be considered Capitalism. With a Free Market economy, as soon as the government steps in, it is no longer considered a FREE Market economy. So in effect, what we have is arguably (somewhat over-constrained) Capitalism, rather than a Free Market economy.

      • I simply reply, “Yes, Capitalism is based on greed. So much nicer than a system based on fear, don’t you think?”

      • That reminds me of a headline I saw a few minutes ago about how we are placing more emphasis on being nice than we are on helping fight oppression. Funny, I thought if you were nice, you weren’t oppressing folks. SMDH

        • Heh.

          The thing about “nice” is, that it’s about YOU. The thing about oppression is, that it’s about the person oppressed. People lately crying about how horrible things are happening want to be “nice”, they need to show that they feel the proper way about what’s going on… if them being “nice” doesn’t actually solve the problem or potentially makes it worse, well, at least they weren’t a hard hearted horrible monster. They were “nice”.

    • The problem is they don’t forget to breathe long enough. VBEG.

      Honestly, that’s basically the same response I give to counter their argument. When someone tries to point out how “successful” the Paris Commune was, I remind them how short of a time it existed and what happened to it. Funny how the socialist paradise never evolves or it lasts for mere days/weeks before disappearing.

      • Some of my ancestors were involved in the United Order in the Utah Territory. The particular one they lived in lasted for 20 some years before finally being dissolved. It went through several changes through the years as they saw needs that weren’t being met, or problems that couldn’t be addressed with the current structure. But it only lasted about 1 1/2 generations.

  2. I’ve been thinking here and in the previous parts of this where I’d heard all this “evolved beyond” thing before. Basically, what the author of this book is claiming is that the Federation has succeeded where the Soviet Union failed in creating the “New Soviet Man”, the “International (as opposed to ‘national’ but really meaning ‘Russian national’) Socialist” version of the Ubermensch.

    • Yep – all the USSR really needed to finally succeed was a magical box that gives you anything you want for free!

      It was probably a Reagan plot that kept it from them. Ollie North probably headed up the Ultra Top Secret team that prevented the delivery of the magic replicator box that Manuel Noriega found in the jungles of Nicaragua, left there by the flying snake aliens, helped by Scooby Doo and the gang in the Mystery Machine.

      They would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those darn kids!

      • The scary thing is your utter nonsense would at least be more entertaining. Egad, now I have Nixon-era stuff ala Star Wars (yeah, yeah, I know, but it’s not really SW because Gungan…)

        “And ‘Bebe’ Rebozo as Comic Relief.” (With a name like that, what else?)

      • Well, that “magical box” really is the issue. Because reality involves scarcity, and most of what we do as economics revolves around resolving that scarcity: prices, supply/demand, etc. So, when you remove that single element, you suddenly upend the whole “science” of economics, and can introduce whatever you want.

        It’s the same thing with progressivism, except the magic box solves “human nature” instead of “scarcity”.

        It’s sort of like physicists vs. engineers. Physicist says, “Well, first, we assume a frictionless environment…”. And the engineers rage. It makes for a neater equation, and you can see some of the principles operating better, but it makes for a not-quite-good-enough real-world airplane design.

        • > scarcity

          Which is another path Saadia chose not to go down, or to plaster over with “New Starfleet Man.”

          What do men want? High on the list is “women.”

          What do women want? I have no idea, but whatever it is, it’s probably not something they can get from a replicator.

          There’s always a scarcity of *something*. Just because all your physical wants are covered doesn’t mean you’re not going to try to bend the world to your will. Why do 13-year-olds form gangs and kill people? All their physical wants are provided for, at least in the civilized world. Pecking orders in schools and playgrounds. Which is why Saadia has to wave New Starfleet Strawman in, because people aren’t going to be all nicey-nice just because they don’t have to work a 9-to-5 at Circle J any more.

          • I’d say that women want the man who can provide for them, protect them and give them healthy, strong children and stick around to protect and provide for those children too (which, it seems, was and is at times divided into two – breed with the more masculine guy, find somebody else for what comes after if the first is not willing to stick around for that…).

            What that includes nowadays, well, right now money is probably a good indicator, although that can in real life conflict with healthy physique and good looks as there aren’t that many billionaires or millionaires around who look like Hugh Jackman or Dwayne Johnson or Jason Momoa (especially if you leave men who used their looks to become wealthy out of the equation), and even on way lower levels of wealth it often can be either or – the more wealthy guy or the more hot guy when the woman has what it takes to attract enough suitors that she can choose.

            So, if money lost its prestige – women would still prefer the man who can lead other men over the follower. And looks means a lot because that is an indicator of the genetic make-up. Strong healthy guys are less likely to have bad ones.

            It’s in our genes. Lots of things in modern world can mess that up one way or another but the base level is that.

            • kenashimame

              “… women would still prefer the man who can lead other men over the follower…”

              Explains why Kirk, Picard, and Riker get more girls than Scotty or LaForge.

          • But, but, but, he says the new Federation man is all nice and self-sacrificing. Remember, they will volunteer to work in the mines if there is a need for latninum or dilithium crystals or something. (Gawd,i managed to type that without throwing up — or laughing hysterically).

            You tagged it right. Saadia does a lot of eye averting and hand-wavium to avoid human nature in this book. It has been a fun read, at least when compared to reading Lenin, but the idiocy is easily seen.

    • As I remember the “canon” – there were massive genetic wars at some time before the Vulcans ever contacted humans. Supposedly the survivors eschewed genetic engineering (at least as applied to humans) – but perhaps this was only after the sheep genes were firmly established. Star Fleet would then be for those in which the “real human” genes failed to express (or succumbed to natural mutation).

      Not a “nice” interpretation, of course, for why the Federation works – but the only one that I can think of.

      • This pretty much fits Saadia’a book. Remember, in the intro, we were told the “odds”, the outliers of society were the ones who tended to join Star Fleet. It might not have been said, but it was firmly implied, that this was because they didn’t fit into “polite society”.

  3. They even made the Ferengi look ugly. Most of the other humanoid species are allowed to be some sort of attractive, or maybe intimidating like the Klingons, but the Ferengi are just ugly.

    • Of course they did! EEEEEEEEEVILE capitalists!!!111!!! got to be UGGGGGGGGGGGGG-LEEEE.

    • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    • I’ve seen the claim that they’re meant to be Jews and then old anti-Semitic caricatures to compare. I’m not convinced of that at all, though the choice of depiction might come from the same mental/emotional place. (Twisted and small instead of tall and healthy.)

      And besides if it’s true? Who doesn’t think that the Ferengi are awesome?

      • An interesting idea occurs…

        What if.. the Ferengi were not ‘meant to be Jews’ etc.
        BUT the similarity to anti-Semitic caricature is NOT pure accident..

        But a sort of Common Factor in “Those good/better as business must be ‘evil’ of this sort.”?

        I have NO certainty of this, and it might well be a fluke, or coincidence. BUT.. it is something to look for in other works. Is it the “these are the Jews” or is it “Evil Business Types must be thus..” ? BUT… coincidences do not keep on happening. (“Three times is [Civilian] a trend [Military] enemy action.”)

        • There’s long been a human tendency to equate physical deformity with sin, and and to equate beauty and health with virtue. I’d scoff at that except, you know, meth addicts. :/ It might even be true that over eons someone with smaller stature has to be either clever or tricky to make it in a more unforgiving world. It might also be very true that children brought up in bad circumstance are likely to be underfed and undergrown. Add to all of that a turn of the century fascination with evolution and the belief that one’s moral strength was certainly genetic.

          The comparison of Ferengi to anti-Semitic cartoons is shockingly similar.

          Still it seems unlikely to me that someone would do that *on purpose* even if they were an anti-Semite. But it seems very likely that there is a sort of primal prejudice attached to the phenotype which is why it gets hauled out and used whenever someone wants to signal “tricky and untrustworthy and morally twisted.”

          • As a person of… lesser altitude (Yes, even for a ‘minotaur’.)… I have some Issues with that attitude – not denying it exists, but it makes it all so much more tempting to start swinging a Very Large Axe or such. Resisted – so far. But yeah, there have been times it has been tempting to open a gas valve and just walk away. There’s ALWAYS a spark.

            • As a person of lesser altitude myself, I feel your pain and your impulse to violence. 😉

          • A turn to anti-Semitism is hard to explain, though. The link below claims quite a few of the original TOS cast and production crew were Jewish:

            http://jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/jews-star-trek

          • Still it seems unlikely to me that someone would do that *on purpose* even if they were an anti-Semite.

            Yeah, to do it openly, even in Hollywood, would take bigger lobes than Gene had.

          • Beauty can indicate health (symmetrical features, clear skin and eyes and so on), and health can indicate good genetics, but past that not much there. However being drawn to what we consider beautiful, especially when mating is concerned, makes sense from an evolutionary viewpoint. So of course people have tried to figure out why certain looks are so attractive to them.

            • It can also mean “of a family line that has proven economic success.” A lot of “ugly” is not the result of bad genetics, but of bad nutrition (or, for males, poor hunting skills that left them cripples).

              That is what I use to understand cultures that create “beauty” that are not beautiful to me. Such things as the neck elongation, elaborate facial tattooing, female foot-binding – all indicators in that culture that the family is well off.

        • Ah, you have not read ahead in Sowell’s book, my minotaur. The next section (after beating up on rednecks some more) is all about “the Jew” and all the other groups in cultures around the world that fill the same position with regards to prejudice. The Economic Middle-Man. 🙂

      • I thought they were stand-ins for Jews the first time I saw them and nothing has changed my mind.

        • Well, Marxism as a whole and its descendants (National Socialism and Communism) are rife with antisemitism with Marx’s demonizing Jews as the epitome of capitalism. Given that the leftist fantasyland of TNG and the intent that they be the “big bad” up until the point that proved to be a ratings drag, is it any surprise that the Ferengi are characterized by all the classic blood-libels against Jews?

          Fortunately the Ferengi as portrayed in DS9 proved the la la land leftists wrong.

          If Federation is truly organized and operates as Trekonomics claims, the only reason it must continue to exist is handwavium by Q who needs his entertainment from Picard and crew. Prohibition, socialism and appeasement never work, Ever.
          For me, the choice is Ten-Forward, with fake booze, fake gambling and no fun, and Quark’s with real booze, real gambling and real fun. I’ll take Team Ferengi any day.

      • Terry Sanders

        They’re supposed to be us. In the first episode to actually show them, Wiki-I-mean-Data compared them to “Yankee traders.” And I can’t be the only one who heard them mentioned on Farpoint and immediately flashed back to a hundred knife-wielding Arabs in a hundred stories snarling “Die, ferenghi dog!!!”

    • I don’t know… There was occasionally a (somewhat) good looking Klingon female here and there, and I have it on good authority that a friend of mine was totally soggy for Warf (So strong, so demanding). Yes, she was a weird one, why do you ask?

      Hell, for that matter, one of my first girlfriends was a weight lifter (long story), and when she got really angry – my older brother was particularly good at pissing people off – she might have been described as being not so much unlike a Klingon. One of my favorite memories of her is second hand from my older brother’s friend Perry. The two of them had gone to the fair, and said girlfriend saw his truck and came over, hoping that I was with him. When she asked, apparently my older brother decided to show his ass. Perry said she took it well enough, until he called her “Horse-faced” and the next thing he knew, my older brother was (quite literally) flying over the truck. She picked him up and chucked him. Yea… Klingon… I miss that girl. 🙂

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    A few years back, I read a book by Simon Hawke titled Whims Of Creation (note, it is available on the Kindle store).

    It was set on a generation starship where AIs did the important work, people were raised to be non-competitive, people were taught mainly by “virtual reality” programs where you were to just “go with the flow” and so forth.

    In short it seemed to be a paradise but people were “checking out”. IE Killing themselves.

    It was paradise but people weren’t happy and were told that they should be happy.

    Then strange things start happening. 😉

    Amanda’s post here reminds me of that book.

  5. Isn’t the first time we meet the Ferengi when they try to capture some of the Enterprise (NCC-17001D) crew for slaves?

    Slavers, complete with energy whips, is their view of capitalists? And what happened to slavery and Ferengi when we get to Deep Space 9?

    • NCC-1701D. Oops.

    • Becuase by then Gene was not dictating storylines anymore.

      It’s been mentioned here before, but the Roddenberry intended the Ferengi to be The Main Big Bad Opponent in ST:TNG, but they were basically far too comical. And really that was all down to makeup design – If the Ferengi had been presented as 7 foot tall scary strong dudes with energy whips, raiding the soft Federation borders for slaves and loot, it might have worked, but instead they went for short cringing capitalist caricatures with size anxiety who, even though vastly more experienced in negotiation, could be easily bluffed and tricked into defeat.

      • Some people might have found 7 foot strong dudes with energy whips admirable, and something they’d want to be. Which happened with the Klingons and other scary warrior races in the series. Which presumably explains the butt ugly comical make-up decision.

        Heh. Which then didn’t work either in quite the intended way.

      • Not to mention the features that somewhat resembled 1930s era caricatures of Jews…

    • thewerewife

      Oh, for the Love of Life Orchestra. Don’t start me on the Ferengi … because they are obviously a conscious or unconscious (which in its way is even worse) antisemitic caricature, with big ugly ears instead of noses. An even stronger proof is their custom of studying, quoting, and living by the Rules of Acquisition, which surely number 613 in total, IFYKWIMAITYMight. They are cowardly, vulgar, uninterested in the Higher Things, and of course venomously sexist — will someone please explain to me why a warrior culture like the Klingons would have near-parity between the sexes, and a commercial culture like the Ferengi keeps half of its population out of the game because tradition, when all of known history points to the exact opposite?
      Heck, when Nog and Jake begin their careers (LOVE Amanda’s analysis of Nog’s progress!), it seemed at first that Jake was manifesting a head for commerce, and might disappoint his father by going into – gasp! – business instead of joining Starfleet … but no, Jake has to become a journalist, which is a calling of heroes on Planet Lefty. And I could go on, and on, and on, but I’m at work and had better get a grip on myself so I can do my job….

      • That is a puzzler. Warrior does tend to imply MALE* (yes, even potentially mess with ‘the kids’ and ‘YOU DIE NOW’… but leave the kids alone and… damn near anything goes). And business is “money good” and throwing away 50+ % of earning power is the act, not of a fool, but of a Damn Fool.

        * Yes, “Amazon”… ONE race of female warriors. ONE. Of how many?

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          One comment that I read concerning the Amazons of Greek Legend is that they exist to be defeated.

          Almost every story about them has an Amazon (or Amazons) being defeated by a hero.

          For that matter, there was (apparently) a story about the Amazons taking on the “evil” Atlantis and not doing so great.

          In Plato’s story, it took ancient Athens to really give Atlantis a good fight. Although, Plato has the gods actually destroy Atlantis (and ancient Athens suffered in the aftermath of the destruction of Atlantis).

          • I think it was an Asimov pun (other than the robot who recalled Little Miss and the computer of the Final Question, does anyone an Asimov _character_?) where Atlantis sank beneath the W.A.V.E.s…. not a Victory as such, but….

            • Other than Susan Calvin?

              Characters weren’t one of Asimov’s strong points.

            • You are recalling “Shah Guido G.”. And, any relationship to “shaggy dog” was purely intentional and admitted. It’s collected in Buy Jupiter and other stories, release in 1975. The story was circa 1951..

              • The Shah (aka a tyrant) had a floating (anti-gravity) “island” he called Atlantis. His enemy found the handwaveatron units were failing, and invited the W.A.V.E.S. to land on the island to put down a bogus rebellion. The units failed, and Atlantis sunk beneath the WAVES.

                Note: “Shah Guido G.” –> Shahgui doG.

            • Daneel and Elijah Bailey… Nope, got nothing else right off hand.

          • If you take some recent theories as being pretty close to historical truth, the Amazons had to be defeated in Greek mythology for Greek social roles to remain the true way of civilization. Having barbarian (literally – “bar bar bar” speakers) women who lived as the near equals of men in all things not losing to the greatest heroes Greece had… Not done in civilized circles.

            As to what really happened out on the Pontic steppe and elsewhere, well…

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Nod.

            • Those stories of women warriors exist all over, they are always living somewhere far off. The same way as the dog headed men. The only difference being that while nobody had ever seen a dog headed man some had probably seen a woman dressed in men’s clothing and acting like a warrior, maybe even fighting. Besides the stories I think there is some vague archeological evidence of individual women doing that, and we know some more recent people had some tradition for tolerating what we’d now call transpeople – man taking on the role of a woman, women taking on the role of a man. I have the impression that in most cases those were though some sort of holy fools, shamans etc. And there have been some real cases of women, a few of them, who served in armies disguised as a man in a bit more recent European etc history. Plus even some who did it openly – Joan of Arc at least.

              But for a whole tribe of them – always far away. Only stories of them, even the storytellers never claimed to have seen it themselves, it was always what somebody had told them, and usually that somebody had also heard it from somebody else.

              BTW, part of either Finnish or Estonian coast also had those stories attached to it a long time ago. It was called “Women’s Land” by Adam of Bremen.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_Feminarum

              • The archeological discoveries of “women warriors” of the steppes turned out to be teen males.
                So, still like dog-headed men.

                • There was some relatively recent news of a woman’s grave from England which was assumed to be a woman gladiator, but I don’t remember why.

                  And I do remember having see a few other similar stories through the years, although it was always one grave, not like the stepped, an assumption of several graves. One of the best swords which have been found in Finland is also from a grave which may have been woman’s, as far as I remember the skeleton was assumed to be female (which is very questionable here always as bones don’t survive well in our ground, so it’s usually a miracle if there is anything left in something dating from that far – Viking age, or very early medieval), plus there were a few typically female grave goods too. I don’t think any DNA analysis has been made, the grave was found before that was possible and I have no idea what has been done with the skeletal remains.

                  • All of them, all of them, always, either turn out to be male or the warrior stuff is “ceremonial.” I.e. some queens “wage war” just not really.
                    BTW I’m sure there were women who passed as men to fight. There always are. But they might at least that far back be genuinely intersex (you needed the muscles) and anyway, are such a small percentage they can’t be found.

                    • Yep, exceptions. I guess my point mostly just is that there are always exceptions. They may be very rare, but there always are some. And as for the woman pretending to be a man joining an army – there were jobs even in ancient times where you never or hardly ever actually needed to fight, those where they usually had boys too young to be effective fighters. The messengers and the drummers and other musicians, those in charge of the logistics and such. Probably a bit easier for a woman who’d look more like a boy than like a man to get one of those.

                      And that rumors can start from little, and start quite easily when there is just a little bit truth behind them. Back in those times the rumors of an “amazon” tribe could easily have started from a traveler who had seen a people who had allowed their women to temporarily take some male tasks when there wasn’t enough men around because they were on a raiding trip or many had recently been lost in a fight, even if they never took part in actual combat if they could avoid it. Or a tribe which had ruling queens who would direct a war effort even if they never actually fought themselves (but who very well might have dressed like a warrior). Or the war leader’s wife was left in charge of the defense of the home when he was away who also might have dressed like a warrior, or at least carried a ceremonial weapon during that time. Possibly she had even had some training with it so she wouldn’t have looked like an idiot if she ever needed to draw it out of its scabbard to make a point or to wave it around a bit when rallying her troops for something.

                      Which, btw, is what I assume might be the case with the Finnish burial which was maybe a woman but with that sword – what is known for certain is that the men in that time went regularly for hunting and fishing trips which would last months, maybe as long as a year, as furs (and later dried fish) were the big trading item. And there are some hints in what has been found that the wife was at least at times left in charge when the master of the house was away. So if it was a woman with a sword, most likely it was a ceremonial sword, a mark that she had been the boss when she died.

                    • And to clarify: I am not arguing that there would have been actual warrior women, that kind of story amazons who survive a long military career while fighting in the front lines beside men and with men.

                      What I am thinking about is something like a young Viking woman somehow for some reason ending up with the raiders – maybe she was running from something and disguised herself as a man, and got there more or less by an accident. The boy she is pretending to be is liked by the men, she fights and survives a few battles, probably by mostly staying out of the way or because she is somewhat shielded by the men, then is killed and the men discover it was a girl. A few years down the line those men are again on a raid, or are trying to get some new recruits, and to encourage the young men who seem a bit scared or hesitant or unsure they tell a story of how even our women can beat those curs in a fight. A few generations of telephone and you have a full fledged shieldmaiden slaughtering men left and right in a battle.

                      Or lets take a raiding party going to a village of people they had heard of from some traders who had very few fighting age men in it, maybe due to a previous raid. Easy pickings, and they boasted of that home before leaving. But the village put up a way more effective resistance. The party returns home, victorious but with a lot of casualties. They get teased about it.

                      Hey, wasn’t it just women? You did that badly fighting just women?

                      But, you know, those were no ordinary women. That was a tribe of warrior women who have been trained from birth. Very good, very scary. But we beat them anyway…

                      And you have your whole tribe of amazons.

                    • Yep. Some women would be good too. By virtue of being taller than most men, I was strong enough when young, and certainly bloodyminded enough. But yeah, exceptions.

                • Okay, not quite that recent (how time flies), and inconclusive. I found this:

                  http://www.ancienthistoryarchaeology.com/female-gladiators-in-the-arc

                • At this point, the crazier SJWs are liable to claim they *identified* as female, so totes Amazonas…

              • And another btw, that has also sometimes led to speculation that the name Finland might actually come from an old word meaning either woman or queen. Not by anybody trained in etymology or archeology or anything, but the words are very similar – part of modern Finland is also called Kainuu (now in the east, next to the Russian border, but it seems to originally have been an area of current Ostrabothia’s coast) which IS still assumed by a few professionals (old theory, and not popular now, but it doesn’t seem to have been completely abandoned yet) to possibly be connected to the words old words kveenit, Kvens – a name for an ancient tribe who lived somewhere around here – which presumably led to a land name Kvenland. Which does sound a lot like something which might be connected to what now is the Swedish word for woman, kvinna (very similar or same in Norwegian and Danish).

                The official theory for Adam’s story is usually that he mixed Kvens with kvinna, or something, and assumed that “Kvenland” meant women’s land. However the etymology of the word Kvens is not known as anything certain. So – the occasional speculations that maybe Kvenland actually might come from the old form of “kvinna”.

                And from that you can kind of go to “Fin”, especially as nobody knows where the name Finland comes from. Kven and Fin do sound rather similar the way a modern Swede says them.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_Kvenland

      • will someone please explain to me why a warrior culture like the Klingons would have near-parity between the sexes, and a commercial culture like the Ferengi keeps half of its population out of the game because tradition

        as I recall the early Ferengi stories, the females were supposed to be non-sentient.

        • Terry Sanders

          Don’t remember that, but I do remember that they thought wmen were happier nude. (Humans) *force them to wear clothing!*

        • I stopped watching the new generation series fairly early, and never watched anything except the movies after that regularly, but I would catch an episode of something now and then, and I remember that too. Which would be about the only way that idea of keeping all females pregnant, barefoot and in home in a space faring highly competitive species which specializes in trading really would make sense, very high sexual dimorphism, showing in – or also in – the brain structures, and females which were fairly close to being almost like a different species.

          • Did they stick to that, btw? Or did the Ferengi females start showing up as characters (with speaking roles) at some point?

            • They showed up with bells on. Which was bad enough, but then she wore clothes, too…

              Turns out that Quark takes after his mother, and Rom is more like their father. Then she charmed the grand magus (king) into marrying her….

        • Somebody read the Kzin stories, perhaps?

      • “An even stronger proof is their custom of studying, quoting, and living by the Rules of Acquisition, which surely number 613 in total”

        And contradictory. If you really believed it was all right to rip off your brother, you would studiously inculcate in him the belief that it was wrong to rip off you, and his duty to cherish and provide for you

    • The Bug-Eared Ferengi Want Our Women! (the best of the TNG episodes, in my opinion. A hysterically funny send-up of a slew of 1950s B-movie tropes)

    • “Slavers, complete with energy whips, is their view of capitalists?”

      What? You haven’t been paying attention? This is EXACTLY what a lot of socialists/progressives think about Capitalists. Horrid amoral rich white men getting richer and richer on the backs of the wage-slave poor. Actively working keep those poor wage-slaves in their place and unfairly enslave more and more.

    • There were still a few slavery stories, but there was also an implication it had been Conveyed to them, with great force, that getting caught was a bad idea.

  6. Social Justice Spacepeople put me off StarTrek.

    • and if it hadn’t, STD would.

      • The aptly-named STD is so bad even the SJWs are ignoring it. I have yet to see even a trailer for it. I view this as a good thing. ~:D

        • considering the way it rewrites and ‘reinvents’ the Klingons, and that was done specifically to ‘cast them as Trump supporters’, yeahhh…

        • It is so bad that they had to jump to the Spock-with-a-beard mirror universe as the main season story pivot point “explanation” right in STD season 1.

          And continuity, what continuity with TOS? Or anything else? The entire Discovery jumps to the mirror universe, and nobody writes anything down? When Kirk and McCoy accidentally show up there, they haven’t read about it? And WTF is it with all the shiny gold crap on the completely non-canon uniforms?

          And they fark up the entire concept of military rank structures right up there with how crazy the Kelvin-timeline movies did – I know, it’s hard to believe, but they are right up there with the movie’s “You just sort-of graduated from Starfleet Academy, young ner-do-well fourth-year cadet Kirk? Well, here’s new rank tape for your sleeves, and here are the keys, because You Get To Be A Captain! And not just in rank, you get command one of only 12 Constitution-class Heavy Cruisers in Starfleet!!”

          And WTH OMG ARE THOSE SUPPOSED TO BE KLINGONS? Seriously, screwing around with the most popular chunk of intellectual property in the entire Star Trek Franchise is just insane.

          Bottom line: The Orville production team loves ST fans. The Orville is a heartfelt love letter of a show. And the folks who made Star Trek Continues love the fans. It is obvious in what they deliver.

          The STD producers and writers obviously hate the fans. The show they deliver is their revenge for the unfair Hollywood system making them do this instead of a 90210 reboot.

          So, yeah, kinda bad.

          • Gee, and I thought I’d might be missing something. Heartburn, most likely. 🙂

          • Yeah they alienate the entire IKF in the first episode. Literally, the entirety of Klingon culture is rummaged through and only a few elements retained…

            (anything else i want to say is spoilery)

  7. Work is another way to love and be loved and to express one’s unique sensibility.

    I know I’ve had bosses who would have loved it if I believed that rather than flushed it. I have a few names for those. The names you just thought of? Those are the ‘polite’ ones.

    • So that sentence and what else is in that books seem to indicate that if your boss is somebody who gets paid to be your boss then he is evil, if your boss has searched that position for other reasons then it’s all flowers and puppies. Presumably doesn’t matter if the boss’ motivation is having more or less power over other people? Which, who knows, might motivate more than a few sociopaths and psychopaths in a society which doesn’t use money. Sure, less workers to lord it over, and those who are there could leave easily, but since those who’d bother to work in the first place would presumably mostly be idealists and people who want to feel important if they can’t get it otherwise and other types who’d then also would be way more emotionally tied to the job than somebody who does it just to get paid…

      Yep.

      • I’ve said before I do not desire management position.
        That doesn’t mean I won’t and don’t do it.
        But I do not do it for power.
        I do not do it for prestige.
        I do it for the Almighty… Dollar.

        If that makes me base, very well.

        • So, a Ferengi Minotaur then?

          • If the choice Federation Socialist or Ferengi, then Ferengi.

            But I am also reminded of the Trek-folk who show up at RenFaires (and get told they’re violating the Prime Directive by the more properly garbed, at times). Most are mocked, but the Klingons (classic) get some respect. See, their weapons work.

            • How can they not know that the rules are way different in the SCA?

            • …Are there really folks who go to SCA events in Star Trek costume?

              That is hilarious and awesome.

              • Dunno about SCA (which I *still* read as Sub-Carrier-Adapter…) but I _have_ seen such at renfaires.

                • The RenFaire in Las Cruces got major points with me for not having any accuracy zealots floating around. Even the SCA folks seemed to be having fun, even the ones who were being very period correct. I got the impression that the folks who would’v liked to be nasty had been smacked a few times.

                  The lady who was dressed like one of those fairies that were all over the place in the late 90s got a LOT of attention…her very proud, very obviously taken guy, who was built along the line of a macktruck might have helped with that. 😉

                  Biggest draw was the guy with the Rat-a-pult. He explained the technical name for it, and then went back to calling it the rat-a-pult. 😀

                  • Bad RenFaires feel like a Maul (not a typo). Good RenFaires feel like a party. And you can *feel* the attitude. Sioux Falls has a one-weekend thing that, some years back, at a Saturday night after-party some other Faire/Fest tried “poaching” vendors/talent… and got told, roughly, “You don’t get it. This one we’d consider doing free. It’s THAT MUCH FUN.”

                    (And some of the fundraising events, some Talent really does do some stuff gratis… plus tips, I presume. It’s one of the precious few events that are on my “I. AM. GOING. Do you understand?” list. To get me to be elsewhere would most likely mean a Close Relative Funeral… or involve so much money I wouldn’t worry about money after that.

                  • kenashimame

                    I was under the impression that the comment was more directed towards the “an armed society is a polite society” idea rather than the period nazis.

        • > I do not desire management position.

          I can perform management if necessary, keeping in mind Matthew Quigley’s words with regard to something else: “I said I never had much use for one, not that I didn’t know how to use one.”

          • I dislike extremely reviling our perfectly honest ambition as avarice. Hubby deliberately double majored in Accounting and Information Science so that he’d be able to get a good job upon graduation from college. Having more money is nice for what you can get: Your own house! Gold plated health insurance. I dislike the idea that it’s wrong that everyone doesn’t have the same. People aren’t widgets. Some people are much better in some things than other people. Hubby works sometimes crazy busy hours, 16-18 hours a day everyday for a few weeks. He does it for salary and for bonus and because it’s necessary. And sometimes due to really bad planning on someone’s part. When he’s on the road He gets up at 5:00 am and works from 0:700-19:00 Monday-Wednesday and 07:00 to 15:00 on Thursday, day he flies home. With some work done on Sunday (day he flies in) and some weekends. The reason for all this TMI is that he is willing to work extremely hard to provide for me and Nemo.
            If no one gets paid then you are a slave. Slaves had their basic needs met. I feel that you get paid in accordance with yours skills, experience and many other economic factors.

  8. Here, have some antidote:

  9. Did he also mention the Open Source (and/or ‘Free Software’) stuff? Reputational economy… BUT.. some DO get paid for it. Other have *gasp* Day Jobs. And it’s not pure Reputation, but “Alright, this sucks so bad even I can do better, damnit. I’ve had all I can stands, I can’t stands no more! Stand clear!” or as it’s been described, that one particular ‘itch’ that needs scratching.

  10. “feared and loathed around the galaxy for [his] ruthless entrepreneurial drive and shady business practice.” — quoted from Trekonomics

    You do not want to get me started.    

    When books like Trekonomics make such statements regarding the Ferengi … think how that combined with their appearance come far to close for comfort to the propaganda in Germany prior to WWII?  You would think the SJW dreamers of the world would be far more sensitive about this when you consider how happily they discover all sorts of examples other -isms and -phobias at the merest hint of an excuse.

    No you really don’t want to get me started.  

    No really you don’t.

    • thewerewife

      Thank you. Thank you for noticing. I have no idea how this sort of thing can fly under the radar so easily … or rather, I don’t want to think too much about how it can do so.

      • All too many are either ignorant of history or willfully letting the obvious-as-all-get-out slide. Both are scary as [BLEEP]. I know I’m a bit of an outlier (“Gee, ya think?”) as the school pep rallies reminded me all too much of mid/late 1930’s German newsreels.

        It CAN “happen here.” Eternal Vigilance, etc.

        • Its like the Europeans (and others) who say “I have no problem with Jews. It is wrong to desecrate a Jewish cemetery or to harass people who wear Jewish skull-caps and stars of David. But Israel must be destroyed and Zionists are teh EVULLLLLL!!!!!” *Blink, blink* And they don’t see the connection between the two.

      • The more things change the more they stay the same.

    • scott2harrison

      It is easily explainable when you consider that the propagandists were the SJW’s of the time, so of course the current SJW’s don’t see their dreams as being wrong, they just use the bogey man aspect as a club to hit those that are not SJW’s and are nothing like their forbearers.

    • Why would this shock you? Jews are a group that have managed to not only survive, but thrive, without the assistance of SJWs. Furthermore, they have done so by being very, very good at self-improvement, self-discipline, self-control, and (horrors) capitalism. In fact, you could argue that without Jews capitalism’s development would have been badly retarded.
      The only reason the SJW left has even grudgingly accepted Jews is because of the Nazis, and because there are some strands of Jewish thought that can easily be turned to their purposes. Once memory of the Holocaust dies down, anticipate left-wing antisemitism to drop the anti-Zionist mask.

      • I know that Jews have survived. The Spouse and I have noted that one of the great problems the world has with the Jews is that they insist on keeping their own history and their own faith, and not letting even their conquerors to rewrite it.

      • The mask has dropped in Europe, or so it is said.

        • When the media are reassuring people that an Iraqi “refugee” murdered a 14 year old girl after assaulting her just because she was a girl and not because she was Jewish, there’s a problem. Even with the government restrictions (official and otherwise) on the German media, hooooolllleeeee smokes, things blew up that week. It was fascinating to read the headlines and ledes.

    • I drew the same connections between such comments and the appearance of the Ferengi. Didn’t like it when it first dawned on me, pissed off by it now.

  11. I am forcibly reminded of _Wyst_ — Jack Vance’s scathing satire on socialism, egalitarianism, and all their works. An excellent and accurate review:

    https://gatesofvienna.net/2018/04/a-dystopian-masterpiece-jack-vances-wyst-alastor-1716/

    • Alas, Wyst is not among his freely available works, but the first two (Trullion and Marune) are in the F&SF collection at archive.org. March-June 1973 and July-Aug 1975.

      Since I happen to be rereading Marune just now…

  12. Harry R Spitz

    No money?
    Fine! I want my own star yacht- small, fast, comfortable, armed and shielded, with a decent range, and room for guests, passengers, a couple of cats, and a bunch of souvenirs. Also, easy to operate and maintain.
    I’m gonna play star tourist for the rest of my life and see cool stuff, eat interesting food, publish what I learn.
    Where do pick it up and get some training?
    What? I can’t have one? Why?
    So, I guess there IS scarcity in the Federation – and therefore money of some sort….

  13. Why is there a special planet dedicated to pleasure when all of the Federation is supposed to be experiencing the same level of pleasure?

    Mudd, et. al. were smugglers; black marketeers. They provided goods and services that either weren’t availble through Federation channels, or had prohibitively high taxes, fees, and tariffs levied on them that justified the risk-to-benefit ratio for smuggling. It’s for certain that Saadia doesn’t have any understanding of the drivers of economics, legal or otherwise.

    Why is the Federation lousy with security forces? No murder, no treason, no theft? Then why all the crimson clad cops? Considering the death rate of people in the Red Shirt profession, that kind of belies the concept of an “enlightened” Federation, doesn’t it?

    Wikipedia is free? Saadia shows his ignorance yet again. Wiki damn sure isn’t free, just because he’s not the one paying for it directly.

    Someone mentioned it in a previous day’s post, Star Trek episodes, from any of the series, are just too small, and too restrictive a sampling to get a true evaluation of the economics of the Federation.

    • Is difference between “Synthehol” and right, proper Scotch. One is Federation, the other is worth something.

      • It is worth a lot when compared to the Federation version. VBEG

      • I might be misremembering, but weren’t there a few occasions when “Romulan Ale” put in an appearance with a lot of “shhh! don’t tell” type of giggling?

        There is totally a thriving black market in the Federation.

  14. Does Saadia address at all in his book how the Starfleet people pay for things on DS9? Garak isn’t making suits and dresses for free. Quark *certainly* isn’t letting Sisko, O’Brien, Bashir and Dax drink for free. And it appears that the Bajoran shopkeepers on the Promenade all charge for their goods and services– so where does the money come from that the Starfleet personnel use to pay for those goods and services?

    • Those dirty Ferengi, duh.

      • And why would the Ferengi give Starfleet money to use in the bars? As Nog said “If you don’t need money, you certainly don’t need any of mine”. =)

    • Well, again, Starfleet personnel are all military personnel (plus dependents). They are all posted on DS9 or there on orders temporarily, so the personnel get the money from Starfleet. Where Uncle Saccharine gets the money is another question. Either they sell something to the Ferengi or some other race that has money or they park a heavy cruiser over your home planet and demand money. Hopefully, in not the mirror universe, it’s the former.

  15. “I’m up for the battle. Are you?”

    To quote a certain android from a certain, rather mediocre, sci-fi film,

    “Saddle up. Lock and load.”

  16. I’m thinking that what might be interesting is if someone actually wrote “The Economics of Star Trek” the way that “The Physics of Star Trek” was written: discussing the fundamental principles involved in what they did, the things that would have to be true in order for some of these things to happen, and pointing out the things that almost certainly couldn’t happen. Similarly, someone could look at the Federation through a serious economic lense, pointing out what might work, what would be difficult, and where the writers were frankly just smoking something.

    Instead, it seems that the writer of this book just assumed that of course a bunch of Hollywood writers doing whatever they had to in order to get out 26 scripts a year created not just a consistent society but one that could actually work with real people. I mentioned it in a previous comment, but that frankly seems stupid as assuming that you could follow the blueprints in the Star Trek technical manual and build yourself something that can get you to Alpha Centauri by tomorrow.

    • I was Greatly Amused, pre- (or perhaps at the very beginnings of) ST:TNG to see a Star Trek “Technical Manual.” Having an interest in radio, the Communicator was investigated if not first, very shortly. And… it was a bog-standard 49 MHz AM kiddie-talkie, right down to crystal and reflex (use the same transistor as an amplifier twice – once RF, once AF) design as I recall. It was either hilarious or disappointing. Or yes.

      • the Franz Joseph Designs Technical Manual actually says that some of the information in it has been degraded into stuff that won’t break the prime directive or some such, i’d have to go look at it in the other room. Translation: we dumbed it down for 20th century readers.

        • I might have missed that, but really, a phase-locked-loop setup would not have been out of line. (Ox know of PLL – how advanced can it be?)

          One thing I’d like to see is whatever info there is/was (yet again re-classified…last I chekced) on “Ivan the Terrible” who synch-ed up Longwave transmissions to mess with the Nazi LW broadcasts in WWII. I can see how it could be done with double-sideband suppressed carrier and/or PLL… but with 1940’s tech? Not saying it wasn’t DSB-SC or PLL, but… mighty interesting, no matter how it was done.

          • Once more for those of us who made a ‘D’ in second semester physics?

            • Alright, but be warned that all too often even non-radio type Electrical Engineers seem to regard radio as, if not black magic, damned close.

              First the simplest thing: The old one frequency only (fudging already really) transmission switched on and off. Morse code. Pure ‘carrier’ – the carrier is exactly that, it carries the signal.

              Now, AM is both very simple and complicated. Yeah. The main frequency is still there, but the information is in the ‘sidebands’ (two, upper and lower, so 1000 KHz AM is, say, 990-1010 KHz if you have 10 KHz of voice & music etc. AM is inefficient (The ‘carrier’ sucks power, but the information is in the sidebands, and TWO are sent. It can be made more efficient [Single Sideband, SSB – not going into details] BUT that comes at a cost. AM’s beauty is the receiver is ‘simple’ or at least simple to operate. Tune ONE dial, done. SSB means more to do, and attempts at automating it haven’t met much success. And mistuned, you get things skewed to bass or treble (Alvin & the Chipmunks sort of effects).

              BUT… if ‘Ivan’ managed to get the exact frequency right and matched carrier phase (or left the carrier out… fiddly but doable) the ‘interfering’ signal doesn’t sound like interference. It sounds like it belongs there.

              “Last night the Luftwaffe did a mission to…”
              “Get any of the planes back, this time?”
              and none the shrieking and whistling you might have expected.

              This was done on LongWave (Low frequency, below the usual AM band – so matching things might have been a bit easier. MIGHT.

            • PLL is “Phase-Lock(ed) Loop”

              A gadget called a phase comparator is used to issue corrections to a local source (oscillator) from a ‘reference’. If the phases drift apart, the comparator adjusts the local up or down to try to get it to match again. It’s sort of constantly re-tuning. (Which means it’s imperfect – there is ‘jitter’.. there are ways to minimize it, but this is messy enough already). If the Axis transmission was received and filtered (throw away the sidebands – the phase detection stuff doesn’t need it) it could be used as the reference, and control a local oscillator (sort of the first part of a transmitter) and that signal could be used to match up to the original broadcast and then make the ‘interfering’ transmission sound like it belonged there. Or rather, not sounds like it didn’t belong.

              PLL systems really took off with integrated circuits. The ‘synthesized’ radios of the (later?) 1970s and on got ever better and ever small thus. Before that, a lot of stuff used quartz crystals for every frequency it used. PLL not impossible with 1940’s technology, but it would be an accomplishment.

              What did ‘Ivan’ use? No idea. Might have been something I’ve not mentioned, nor even thought of. Which is why it would be so very interesting to learn how it was done. It might have something really simple, but really clever, that would result in a “wow” moment. Or it might be “Zarquon, he managed to get that to work?!?”

              • D’oh! There is the non-PLL method… if you can isolate the carrier that well, you can use that itself (perhaps with a delay to match phase in the recieved area… every amplifier, etc. introduces delay that might need to be compensated for) as the source signal for your own transmitter. The gotchya there is: If you are sending out a signal… how do you make sure you get the signal you need that is on the exact same frequency you are using? Without interfering with yourself? Thus… sending ONLY the sidebands might be the ideal. Suppressing the carrier only, but leaving both sidebands is MUCH easier than getting things down to only one sideband.

    • I also got the very distinct impression that the TNG writers were second-tier. TOS episodes were written by every up-and-coming SF author of the era, with the possible exception of Larry Niven (who I would argue was no longer up-and-coming, but already A-list).

      The sad part being that you could take a serious look at the effects of something like a replicator on culture and economics. Both on the people who have it, and on how they cope with people who have older tech.

      • That was supposed to be one of the reasons for Star Trek: Enterprise. No Prime Directive, no replicators, etc.

        It was a decent idea, but I was apparently not the only one to give up after four of five episodes…

        • The problem was that they didn’t go far enough. They needed to go back to the very origins of ST, the various Age of Sail novels.

          No transporter (meaning no way to easily rescue characters)
          No replicator (though a good CNC and 3-D printing setup could come close)
          No STUN setting on weapons (means you have to shoot people for keeps)
          No subspace radio! (means the Captain is on his own making decisions)

          • No holodeck (means the writers can’t decide “You know, I’m sick of this whole spaceships thing, let’s do a gothic novel episode.”)

            • OMG, yes! How many times did the holodeck get TNG into trouble or play a major role in the script?

              • Cool as I found the concept as a kid (and there is still a soft spot in my heart for TNG, from the days when the socialism garbage went right over my head), as an adult I find the closet-horror-implications, well, horrifying: HOW MANY PEOPLE in the Federation are wasting away on holodecks because their lives have no meaning?

                (I thought Brad Torgerson touched nicely on the idea in The Chaplain’s War, taking the whole ‘addicted to virtual reality’ thing to its logical conclusion for some.)

        • Yeah, Enterprise started awfully rough. I too gave up on it early, then accidentally dipped back into it in mid-spate, and discovered that it had gotten better (if you ignored that ‘relays’ was the catchall word for any sort of technological handwavium) and eventually binge-watched the whole series. It’s really One Big Story With Side-Trips, and in spots is very good indeed.

      • Some TNG writers were up-and-coming. And some were well established writers.

        Robert Bloch was the most senior, I think. First professionally published in Weird Tales in 1934, friend of H. P. Lovecraft, one of the major horror writers starting in the 40s. And his novel, Psycho was probably turned into one of the more famous movies.

        Ted Sturgeon started a bit later, as one of Campbell’s mainstays in 1939 onward.

        Fred Brown started in 1941.

        Jerome Bixby started writing SF in the late 40s, and was editor of Planet Stories in the early 50s.

        I suppose Harlan Ellison could be up-and-coming — as a screenwriter who only started in Hollywood in 1962, but he’d been publishing short stories in the genre since the mid-50s.

        So Roddenberry, for TOS, got as many of the major authors of the time who were willing to write for TV to send him stuff.

        • Mr. Yallow, thanks for commenting. I loved the fact Roddenberry got so many of the “pros” to write for the series.

          • Although Harlan Ellison savaged Roddenberry and the Trek folks for what they did to his original City on the Edge of Forever submission; he recounts it an essay in one of his story collections in the intro to his original version. Apparently he was not upset enough to demand they use his pen name “Cordwainer Bird” instead of his real name, which is something he did when he did not want his name associated with something (which is what he did with the short lived 1970’s series Starlost). One of my favorite stories though is his recollection of his short of one day employment with Disney, as recounted in his piece “Scenes from the Real World-1, The 3 Most Important Things In Life” contained in his Stalking the Nightmare collection.
            Sadly I don’t think he is going to be with us much longer.

            • And that collection printed his original script.

              Aside from violating everything we knew about the Trek universe at the time, it also called for enough special effects and stuff that would have made it cost many times what a regular episode would have cost. Even with rewrites by lots of people (including Dorothy Fontana, who was brilliant with any screenwriting she did for Trek), it still overran its budget, although by a tolerable amount.

              The original Ellison version would have been a brilliant story. The version, as rewritten, was a far better Star Trek (TV show) episode than the Ellison version would have been, and was brilliant in its own right.

  17. At one point in yoiur discussion, you quote the sentence, “Work is another way to love and be loved and to express one’s unique sensibility.” In a following comment, you ask, “You are only worthy of love based on your work, on what you produce?”

    The original statement and the one you question don’t mean the same thing. “Another” implies that the thing described is an option among other options that are not named; “only” implies that the thing described is the one, sole option. If I say, for example, that eating at a Chinese restaurant is another option for dinner, I am not saying that it’s eat Chinese or go hungry.

    That change of meaning makes the interpretation that follows, and your reaction to it, irrelevant to the passage you quote. And it undermines my trust in your criticisms; if you are not careful to criticize the author for what they actually said, if you seemingly misunderstand the actual sentence you have just quoted, then I don’t feel sure that I can count on you to be just in dealing with the sentences you don’t quote. I expect I disagree with the book and its author as much as you do, but I don’t feel I could endorse your criticisms with confidence.

    • Work is how we express our love towards our families, by the work we do for them… would be an interesting claim. It would also get one crucified in this day and age to suggest that one ought to expect to do “work” to express affection. Those dishes need to be done, and food prepared, after all. To do so to BE loved is right off in la la land.

      Work outside of the family as an expression of love and a way to *be* loved is bizarre beyond comprehension. No matter if expressed with a qualifier or as an absolute. If one may also work to express love and be loved and what you’re working for is the FEDERATION so that you’ll receive love, you’re a sad sad pathetic creature.

      In other words, I really *really* don’t think that the mistake of saying “only” makes a significant difference in understanding. The only mistake that changes meaning is if the author really was talking about the labor one does for those you love then the context is wrong and the “only” is still irrelevant.

      Take the “only” out… “You are… worthy of love based on your work, on what you produce?” You may *earn* love by working and production.

      There’s no way that isn’t horrifying.

      • Well you might earn “reasonably priced love” if not free love. }:-)

      • Gary Chapman wrote a good book, oh, 20 years ago; it’s now in its second edition. It’s “Five Love Languages.” He talks about how people need different expressions of love—physical affections (hugs, kissing, etc.), words of affirmation, acts of service, and two more that I forget right now. So, work (service) can be a way of showing love—you cut your grandmother’s grass for her because you love her, e.g.

        • Terry Sanders

          And it’s way of showong it that males are particularly attuned to, on the average.

          A counsellor once talked to a young man who was having problems with his girlfriend/wife (I no longer remember the details). He told the guy he should let her know how much he loved her. The guy said that sounded like a good idea.

          So he went right out and washed her car.

    • Except you are basing your comment only on the single quote and not taking it in context of the rest of what I wrote or, as I was doing, in the full context of the book.

      • In fact, I am taking that into account; that’s why I concluded with “I expect I disagree with the book and its author as much as you do, but I don’t feel I could endorse your criticisms with confidence.” That is, I believe you are probably right in general, but it looks to me as if you read this particular statement carelessly.

  18. first reaction on seeing this post:

    Oh god we weren’t done with this???

    • She said there were (at least) two more posts to finish it off last week.

      Next week.. there will be the Great Distraction (aka LibertyCon) so comments by some might be lighter. And then… after this.. uh oh. Maybe. Or maybe Sowell again as a Cleanser before the next Great Debacle.

    • Aw, c’mon and jump in. The mud is nice and comfy!

    • Hmmm, maybe I should threaten to keep writing about the book and the “wonderful” economics it promotes unless you guys start buying me more booze.

      Wanders off to consider if that sort of blackmail would work.

      • Be careful, you might get it, and given the range of stuff that folks here drink….?

        I LIKE R&R. And PBR. And jaeger is a sipping drink…..

  19. “But what we have to remember is this is the sort of thing we are getting from Hollywood and too many traditional publishers.”

    Yes indeed. This is -all- we are getting from Hollyweird and Big Five publishers. Marxism as a theme, plus the mainstreaming of S&M/torture pr0nz.

    I’m of the opinion that, leaving aside moral judgement for a second, this represents a lucrative business opportunity. If you’re the ONLY guy out there with an alternative set of themes in a monolithic industry, that makes you the go-to guy for anyone bored with the usual themes.

    I’m watching the “SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online” anime this week because it is offering themes that are not-Hollywood. That’s mostly what it has going for it.

    Wouldn’t it kick ass to fight evil AND make money at it? Where have I heard that before? “Evil looms. Kill it. Get paid.”

    • The more I look at the RPG potential of MHI, the more I like the idea of tackling it for laughs using the Steve Jackson Games “Toon” system. Cartoon heroes defeat cartoon monsters. And get paid. Sometimes. Occasionally in money….other times, in rocks, cookies, and dates with attractive members of the opposite sex. Of course, their bills from Acme for arms, armor, gadgets, and other exotica can be pretty daunting….

      • You know, those two words “get paid” are probably responsible for 95% of the grief Larry Correia and Sad Puppies get from the Perpetually Depraved out there. The other 5% is him being gleeful about it.

        I think a nicely done Monster Hunter RPG game with “get paid” as part of the game play would be hilarious. Have the vampires drop gold teeth or something goofy like that. Team Fortress Two with zombies and werewolves. Hell yeah.

        • Whilst I might have some issues with some of Howard Tayler’s views, the idea of “getting paid three times” is admirable – providing I’m not one of the payers, that is.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Well, if you’re satisfied with your purchase, what’s the problem? 😉

          • In one of Bujold’s Vorkosigan books Miles manages to get the Dendarii Mercenaries paid three times over for the same job. I *think* it was Vor Game and he was rubbing the opposing mercenary chick’s nose in it.

            • Patrick Chester

              Sounds like the Vor Game. Plus Miles put on filters to protect him from the opposing mercenary chick’s perfume, which seemed to annoy her even more.

            • Terry Sanders

              Yep. Before that, he was talking to his father, who mentioned that the Imperium would of course pay for the services rendered. If the Dendarii would submit a bill–

              Miles had a data chip with all the figures, including materials costs, etc., out of his pocket before Aral could finish the sentence. His father was pleased to see how quickly he was getting the hang of it.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Were you around the last time I trotted out the “Taylor doesn’t think the Irish, Italians or Mexicans are human” canard? 🙂

    • plus the mainstreaming of S&M/torture pr0nz
      The second bit here particularly disturbs me, since it often occurs in shows/stories that conservatives seem to like.

      • Examples? I’m not up on my TV shows recently.
        (Note: Kildar doesn’t count, I know about John Ringo’s id already.)

        • 24 comes to mind by name, but pretty much ANYTHING that involves actually standing up to the bad guys, and fighting with anything but words, tends to have torture pr0n.

          It’s like they can’t imagine fighting back without torture.

          • Which is really, really stupid.
            “We oppose torture, but we’re also going to feature the protagonists who are the only effective opposition to the the villains using torture, because reasons.”

            • They oppose torture and guns, so that’s what they feature every five minutes: torture and guns.

              Good guys who torture. Good guys with guns. Bad guys who torture. Bad guys with guns.

              Good, Bad; They’re the guys with the script.

              • Remember that the many of writers, etc., working on those “conservative” shows are themselves leftists/SJW’s, etc., and even when they are not, the studios who have the final say in direction are run by leftists/SJW’s, so of course they think that all conservatives are hypocrites who denounce torture while engaging in torture

                • I could go for that, except for the part where the torturers are often the protagonists.

                  • I think what counts as ‘conservative’ in Hollywood circles is somewhat different than in the real world, basically anything ‘rightward’ of those Hollywood centrists who assert “Trotsky was correct: Stalin went too far right”.

                    And when that’s the center, you will see pretty clear agreement that the ends justify the means – Hey, to get an omelet you gotta break a few eggs, right comrade? It’s all for the greater good.

                    I think one of Sarah’s recent posts pointed out that the thing with socialism, even in Star Trek, is you never ever get the omelet.

                    • They see anyone not swallowing & regurgitating Das Narratif as a sort of Captain Planet villain. Such a character does evil things purely to do evil things (Capt. Planet case was, whenever I had the misfortune of happening across it, that polluters did it for the very act of polluting, not something that was a side-effect of something else – a side effect they’d prefer not to have, as waste is NOT profit) rather than anything approaching real. Are there some ratfinks who do cut corners? Oh yeah. But even then the idea is decreasing costs, albeit at someone else’s expense.

                      “Waste” and “byproduct” are often “stuff we haven’t figured out how to use… yet.” Process A has Product B and Waste C. If things work out (not always, alas) Processor D looks at C and goes, “Hey! Cheap feedstock!”

  20. Given the “collectivism” is good mantra espoused by TNG and Saadra, the only real question I have is given the Federation’s attitude, why did they ever resist the Borg, which is the ultimate collective entity in the Trekverse

  21. to boldly go where no one has gone before
    Well, if no one has gone there before, you won’t find many civilizations or life, now will you. Sure makes the mission easier.

    Picard: “Data, is that planet inhabited?”
    Data: “Yes, sir. It…”
    Picard: “Very well then, move along. Warp 3.14, Geordie.”

    • Am I the only one on the planet who was thrown out of my suspension of disbelief every time someone scanned for “life forms” on a planet surface?

      Every. Time.

      • “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know, not as we know it, not as we know it. It’s life Jim, but not as we know it, but not as we know it, Captain.” — Star Trekkin’ – The Firm

      • Terry Sanders

        That was one of the places where I cut them some slack. It was clealy shorthand. At least at first.

        Roddenberry himself set that precedent. When Joe Friday pulled a .38 out from under his coat, he didn’t say “As you know, Bill, this device propels a 158-grain lead slug toward its target using energy generated by the rapid combustion of a nitrate’based powder…”

        Gene specifically excluded that kind of technobabble for the casual asides. So when Kirk said “Scan for life forms,” Spock did *not* spend two minutes of air time explaining what handwavium oscillations he was using to search for which unlikelium resonances. He just told the Captain his conclusions.

        So, of course, as the show degenerated with time and cheaper writers, the “no casual technobabble” rule became “it’s magic, it can do anything.” Sigh.

  22. where the “highest crime” is cheating. … I guess that means there is … no theft of ideas
    Well, that would actually be cheating, I think. The others not so much, and your point still stands.

    • Dan Hamilton

      “where the “highest crime” is cheating”
      That cannot be true or Kirk would have been destroyed and NEVER become a Capitan.

  23. Dan Hamilton

    “Nog shows his work ethic is apparently better than that of Sisko’s own security forces. How? By finding contraband they failed to find.”

    No, there is another reason. He had been helping his Uncle smuggle, so he KNOWS the better hiding places. You KNOW that Quark was smuggling and naturally would have Nog helping him.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      I thought of that. 😉

      Of course, in the first Honorverse novel, Honor has to assign people to check out Freighters for counter-ban.

      She asks her Bosun to find crewmen who might have “witnessed” other individuals smuggling stuff on board. 😀

    • Pretty much. I haven’t seen it, but The Housemate talks about the DS9 series fairly often, and said that during the war Nog (Or his father, Rom, who has a talent for engineering, to Quark’s frustration) helps procure parts and items that Sisko had been having problems getting through normal channels. When asked how they were able to get these things, they shrug and say “I’m still Ferengi.”

      Rom’s elevation in status later in the series is also alluded to in the Star Trek Online MMO, as you partner up with Nog in dealing with some illicit smuggling and problems involving the Ferengi. It’s not his Starfleet rank that Nog uses to browbeat and strongarm the Ferengi opponent into surrender, it’s the staff of office that is part of the Ferengi ruling family. “Kiss the staff.”

      • I need to give that MMO another go. 😀

        • If you’re able to run it in high detail, apparently the new cinematics have your characters/away team have facial expressions.

          We have a friend who plays with us (for a bunch of different games) and one of the things that we wonder about every new game we play is “How will Seth glitch this up now?” In STO, he beamed up to his ship… and five seconds later:

          *standing at one of the windows of Earth Space Dock* Tomaka: That’s Seth.
          Seda: Yes, he just beamed up…
          Tomaka: No, that’s *Seth*. Standing. In space. Without his ship.
          Seda:What the f- … Goddamnit, Seth.
          Seth *having finally reloaded the screen on his end*: Where did my ship go? O_O

          The next hour or more was devoted to trying to figure out how to get him back INTO ESD. Beaming up didn’t work, because as far as the game was concerned, he was already IN a ship… and yet, wouldn’t allow him to beam ‘down’ from space, because he wasn’t. At the same time. Good times.

    • I never quite got the “contraband” part. The Cardassians were advanced enough to be a menace to the Federation, so they’d certainly have the technology. Even if the Cardassians had forbidden replicators to the Bajorans, the Bajorans certainly knew about them, and they weren’t depicted as being particularly backward. So it’d be some other planets they were trying to interdict… planets what neither the Cardassians, the Klingons, or any other replicator-using culture wouldn’t pass the tech on to simply to cause trouble for the Federation.

      • People pay more for the “real” stuff.

        There are taxes.

        Some things can’t be (legally) replicated.

        They belong to someone else.

        They are alive.

        They may be contaminated.

        They object to being smuggled….

        Those are reasons to smuggle I can think of, which replicators wouldn’t avoid.

    • Of course, but that, too, shows how ineffective the so-called glorious ST security forces were. Of course, what can you expect from all those red shirts? They were probably afraid if they looked in the shadows, there would be a monster waiting to kill them. VBG

      • Ah, I see the problem. Redshirts were all replicants! Disposable and easily replaced. “Computer! Two strapping lads, red shirts. Hold the brains.”

  24. Think about it. Those little Ferengi with their bad teeth and follicle-challenged pates, were feared and loathed because they were good businessmen who wanted to make a profit. Instead of seeing those tendencies as a plus, the Federation valued “heroism, enlightened ethics and self-sacrifice.”

    The Ferengi were definitely not good businessmen, they were just very focused on profit. If anything, a caricature of businessmen. Generally very short-sighted in doing it, too, before you get into issues like slavery and piracy being totally OK tactics as long as you are pretty sure you’ll end up ahead.

    Good businessmen aren’t going to be thieves, and aren’t going to be stupid enough to wall out half of their human* capital right off the bat, taking centuries before someone does the scandalous thing of letting his mom make money! (Especially since she’s GOOD at it!)

    Good businessmen aren’t going to cut their own throats to make sure that someone else doesn’t make more than they do– again and again and again, the Ferengi show a cultural tendency to do something that completely ruins their chance to make a decent profit so they can make a grab for the whole pie, and then they end up with nothing. But at least nobody else got ahead, either!

    Sisko didn’t sabotage Nog, he gave him the Augean stables. A really boring version of the Kobayashi Maru, with one of the “lose” options was a lot of work. One of Nog’s weaknesses is that he can be quite lazy, and Sisko would know that because he’s been Jake’s friend for years at that point. There’s also that it would give him a way to sabotage the attempt if it was another one of Quark’s great ideas, without getting Rom in trouble. Of course the story would have to have an outcome that wasn’t programmed for–someone doing inventory who wasn’t following standard procedure, because he was familiar with ways around it.

    *Should be person, because they do that with all females until they find out that they’ll get smashed hard, but I do have standards. Odd ones, but standards, and this fails to get a “made me smile” exemption.

    • Sisko didn’t sabotage Nog, he gave him the Augean stables. A really boring version of the Kobayashi Maru, with one of the “lose” options was a lot of work. One of Nog’s weaknesses is that he can be quite lazy, and Sisko would know that because he’s been Jake’s friend for years at that point.

      Yep. By this point he’d been more or less honorary uncle to Nog, and you’re correct that Nog’s big flaw for a while was being lazy and taking shortcuts.

  25. If they were capable of thinking about long-term consequences of their desires they wouldn’t be on the Left.

    The Left Better Be Careful What They Wish for on Immigration
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Yesterday President Trump caved to the emotional attacks of the left and signed an executive order allowing children to stay with parents.

    Shame on you, Mr. President.

    You just made absolutely sure that the left will start whining about some other wholly imaginary issue until they’re all convinced it’s the moral equivalent of the Holocaust and you cave again. And again. May I suggest, sir, that giving in to the emotional blackmail of the left and their media allies is no way to run a country?

    You’ve also just effectively made it that much easier to traffic children for sexual purposes across our border.

    For the rest of you, particularly any of you so soft-headed as to be concerned about the “horrors” of the DHS separating families at the border, the truth is a little different than what you were led to believe. …

    • I just checked over there a couple hours ago!

      Anyway – on this one, I’m reserving judgement. I’m not really sure if this was a back down, or baiting the hook. Polls are rapidly swinging the other way right now; i.e., separating the families is wrong – but not detaining the parents is worse.

      Plus, it’s making the Dems do really stupid things – like Fonda’s outburst, or bringing up photos and abuse easily proven to be from Obama’s terms, or protesting at the UNaccompanied minors facility. I also notice that the “law” that caused separations to start is being really publicized as coming out of the 9th Circuit.

      • It sure doesn’t look like a back-down– it looks like “fine, you’re pissed we’re following the 20 day rule? Fine. Then we WON’T follow the 20 day rule. Still going to arrest the SOBs, though. There’s no way in hell this will stand up in court, but we tried!”

        https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/affording-congress-opportunity-address-family-separation/

        • Yep. And I noted in the EO and the policy statements from DHS that it has the same things – if there is reasonable doubt about the parentage, or there is reason to believe abuse – they’re still going to be separating the children. It still ends catch and release – thus changing the “debate” over to that issue, and only that – and the Dems lose on that issue, biggly.

        • Problem is that you have three outcomes of reopening flores.

          1. You may detain confirmed families for extended periods. This is both best case and least likely.

          2. Still gotta release kids after 20 days. Then the danger is a contempt of court judgement that our ruling class can use as the reason they must reluctantly impeach.

          3. Detaining illegal aliens for extended time invalidates the right to speedy trial and catch and release is judicially imposed. As long as they give new names that are not attached to crimes or prior bond jumping they’re free as a bird. My concern is that I expect this to be the result.

          • #3 is not going to happen because it would have to apply to all cases– and you can’t even get an open and shut theft case in 20 days.

            #2, only if they keep doing it after a judge says, again, that they can’t.

            My bet is on 2.5, judge says “no” and they go back to what they’ve been doing, or #4, a bill leaves congress for Trump to sign. Hopefully Cruz’s idea of doubling the number of judges.

            • All that has to be done to get 3 is to use the lack of previous crimes to say that since a us national who did same action would be bonded or released on recognizance pending trial. But there is a reason that something like 70% of deportation orders in past years have been in absentia.

              I will note that I’m not certain if the expansion of asylum was expanded by law or executive department. That is the killer. Go back to older rules and fewer people can use it as a talisman to evade the law, just as the children are used as weapons

              And sadly there looks to be a large enough split in the r caucus to kill any bills (see today’s bill shootdown of bill with amnesty and control measures, almost entirely by reps more interested in the amnesty than legality). Dems aren’t the only one that want to effectively repeal immigration law for the right nationalities.

              • Asylum criteria are defined by statutory law (sorry, I don’t have the CFRs handy, and it has been a long day). Who meets those criteria in the first instance, before they are allowed to legally enter the country, is an Executive function (which is how Obama could refuse asylum to Syrian Christians while letting the Islamics in). The determination after they are in the country (legally or illegally) is a specialized Judicial function (the immigration courts).

                Which division is one reason the whole thing is such a sorry mess. When one branch ignores the problem (Congress), and two branches connive to get what both of them want (Obama DOJ and the Ninth Circuit), we have the “perfect storm.”

                • Do you have a link for the “refuses asylum to Christians” thing?

                • I am informed there’s a requirement in international law that asylum-seekers stop in the first safe country. That would be Mexico (Yeah, the Mexican government is not going to allow that). Using the fact they didn’t stop to adduce economic migrant status would be one really big way of cutting through these applications.

                  Were I in charge of this, I’d go with an administratively modified Cruz option: Administratively deny any asylum application that is submitted at a border crossing or after ICE apprehension instead of through a U.S. Embassy or consular post, plus double the judges working these applications to clear the backlog.

                  And as to the cases – I understand these are almost universally evidence-free beyond the applicant statements, pretty much he-said/she-said but with only one side of the story. This means the hearing process is story review (they get the statements on paper in interviews before the hearing), with the judge deciding if anything looks like it meets the legal standard in the U.S. Code. Most don’t using the current process.

                  Again, were I elected GodKing (if nominated I will not run…), I’d make this a live hearing ala Night Court – “You just caught these fine folks, Ms. ICE Agent? OK, tell me your story; nope, that won’t cut it, you should have applied in Mexico City, application denied, deportation ordered; Next case!”

              • The thing where they included crime victims for asylum? That was not by law.

      • Imagine, the Left having fits – during a midterm election year – that Leftist’s (Clinton, Obama) policies weren’t being undone nearly fast enough.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I /can/ attack him either way, because I am prejudiced against him.

        Thing is, I’m more credible and persuasive when I restrict my attacking to issues I fully understand. Okay, maybe not all that persuasive.

        Issues are complex, I haven’t much time or sense to spare, and there are so many potential sources who are either deranged by their hatred for him, or sycophantic towards him.

        Do I have to figure it out now? Not really. At most, I need to figure out if I’m changing my mind about whether I can vote for him by 2020. I’m not going to swing any local Federal elections, and those idiots in the FBI have not convinced me that anything they present just before the election is likely to stand up long as evidence to impeach with.

        • The danger is that for the political class all the evidence needs to be is a fig leaf. Baffle em with bs is still the big tactic of both sides.

        • Allow me to put it this way.

          If Melania Trump shows up at my front door, I will invite her in, break out the good booze, and settle down for a long and no doubt fascinating conversation (she does have to guarantee to keep it to the one language that this poor benighted man is fluent in).

          If she brings hubby along, I’ll let him him, so long as he sits down, shuts up, is satisfied with the stuff I use to cook with, and he’d better not even look at my daughters.

          If Hillary Clinton shows up, she gets the door slammed in her face, hard enough to rattle the windows. Unless she brings her hubby along – in which case, I am not responsible for any stray rounds which she might catch.

          • I can’t think of anyone that I wouldn’t actually be polite to if they stopped by… or called. Speaking of… That was so very very weird, those people bragging about hanging up on Trump (though I suppose they hung up on whoever was doing the calling and connecting before transferring the call to Trump.) Particularly if you’ve got something to *say*, hanging up seems petty and stupid.

            • Well, if I have nothing to say to the person on the other end, I let them go to voice mail if they are determined to say something to me. Call blocking for the most persistent of them.

              Although the next one from a certain fraudulent breast cancer scam, I’m going to answer with “Federal Bureau of Investigation, Consumer Fraud Office, to which agent may I transfer your call?”

    • “What do you mean, you object to dropping children off into the adult detention population? You said you wanted to keep the family groups together, right?”

      “Be careful what you demand and screech for; you might get it…”

      • /*“What do you mean, you object to dropping children off into the adult detention population? You said you wanted to keep the family groups together, right?”

        “Be careful what you demand and screech for; you might get it…”*/

        Yes. ^^ This ! ^^

        What should happen is:
        1) Arrest the criminals & keep children with those they come with.
        2) DNA to verify they are the relatives; if not, immediately additional charges of child trafficking, child endangerment, & immediate removal of child to DHS.
        3) Otherwise the adults have 20 days to agree to be returned to their home countries with their kids, or risk their kids being removed to DHS because of the 9th Circuit Courts’ Juvenal Detention rule AND charges of child endangerment.

        Although using traffickers to come across in the first place with their children should be considered child endangerment, but what do I know

        Don’t believe in open borders. Period. Don’t care what: color their skin or hair or eyes are; Or the slant or not of their eyes, nose, or ears; Or their religion.

        • Yup. As I said over on PJM, there are a lot of “my” people, Germans, Irish, Scottish, French (hypothetically, anyway, not having had my DNA tested) that I would send back in the direction they came from. A lot of them without benefit of an airplane or boat.

    • scott2harrison

      Yes, IF they can get the judge to modify the consent decree, the kids get to stay with their parents (once it is verified that they are their parents) in detention. Congrats dems, you just got a lot of kids locked up.

  26. That the diversity they demand is superficial reflects the depth of their thinking.

    Make No Mistake: SJW Demands for Diversity Are Driven by Racism and Fear
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Yes, I’m still exercised about “diversity” and the demands for “diversity” (of external characteristics, never, ever of thought) in everything from science to advertising.

    I’m obsessing about it because this is bad crazy, the sort of crazy that can destroy civilization and all we’ve built up.

    To the extent “diversity” is important, it’s a diversity of ideas and points of view, not of incidentals like orientation, or color, or sex. Do those influence opinion? Less than you think when the subject is science or economics or other indisputable facts.

    Talents, or even the desire or the ability to do a job aren’t evenly distributed, you see. No one gets the “standard packet” of talents at birth. And there are things even the best of us can’t do.

    I’m not the best of us, but I do have a modicum of talent with language and with telling stories, both the real ones and the imaginary ones. However, if you tried to make me fulfill even a more or less average job that demanded coordination or fine motor control, you’d probably think I was impaired.

    Truth is I am impaired, part of it being the result of having been born very prematurely. The other part is probably hereditary. But whatever the reason I was once the despair of gym teachers who thought I should be in basketball (for my generation in Portugal I’m freakishly tall) but couldn’t teach me to dribble a ball. And they tried. Oh, boy, they tried.

    The diversity crowd assumes that all humans are widgets with precisely the same interests, abilities and desires, and so if your company/department/organization doesn’t have precisely the same proportions as the population at large, this is prima facie evidence of discrimination. …

    • My phone was offering me a link to a story about Google and their difficulty retaining black googlers. (I forget who published the article since it was a few days ago that I looked at it.) They hire black people, it seems, but they leave more often than other demographic groups. And then the article went on, mentioned Damor and essentially talked about how hard Google works at diveristy and they didn’t know why black googlers leave.

      And I thought… you bring up Damor and you can’t figure out why no one TELLS YOU what you might be doing wrong?

  27. Trekonomics is on Amazon at 4-15+ dollars. I thought Saadia did it for love ….

  28. Nog shows his work ethic is apparently better than that of Sisko’s own security forces. How? By finding contraband they failed to find. How did this kid, without the training and supposed knowledge of the security force, do this? By having the desire and determination to do his job well…

    Harlan Ellison wanted the Enterprise crewman who went through the Guardian of Forever (City on the Edge of Forever) to a crewman who had overdosed on a contraband drug. Roddenberry nixed that, but something similar might explain why Sisko’s security forces failed to find that contraband…

  29. That was one of the good things about Voyager; unlike TNG, they actually had to pay for supplies to get home. They couldn’t use money/credits to pay for things, of course, since there weren’t even any credit currency exchanges in the Delta Quadrant. But they did have to barter for what they needed. And while Janeway couldn’t pay the crew in credits, the crew did have allotted rations and holodeck hours they trade/barter with amongst themselves from time to time. Voyager wasn’t perfect, but in many ways it was better than TNG and came close to recapturing TOS’ “Horatio Hornblower in space” plotline.

  30. Freude durch Arbeit
    The Federation is your mother, the Federation is your father.

  31. More than that, Nog shows his work ethic is apparently better than that of Sisko’s own security forces. How? By finding contraband they failed to find. How did this kid, without the training and supposed knowledge of the security force, do this?

    Maybe simply by having eyes open and not having a cut of it?
    The security may want to procure things like Romulan ale somewhere, after all. And if they can’t do this on their own, perhaps the smugglers don’t need to hide everything else too hard in the first place?