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(BBC-US)   Building a new society in space will be vastly different than the Star Trek version - first off it won't be run like some quasi-military dictatorship   (bbc.com) divider line 51
    More: Interesting, Star Trek, colonization of Mars, Space Agency, Starship Enterprise, military dictatorship, colonizations, space technology, Robert Zubrin  
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2841 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Mar 2013 at 10:12 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-18 05:41:53 PM
library.creativecow.net
 
2013-03-18 06:02:35 PM
Let's idly speculate about something that may not happen for 100s of years

/if at all
//slow news day
 
2013-03-18 06:10:20 PM
Probably going to be corporate imperialism, without the natives to oppress, just the workers.
 
2013-03-18 06:25:58 PM
I thought we were an autonomous collective!
 
2013-03-18 08:07:09 PM
Subby, go open that door over there. Just for grins and giggles.

Me? Late for a lunch appointment. Ta-ta!
 
2013-03-18 09:33:01 PM
*sadly puts away his sharply-tailored black uniform*
 
2013-03-18 09:41:51 PM
Honestly, between Fight Club's little diatribe and the Alien movie series, I imagined space being ruled by corporations.
 
2013-03-18 09:46:12 PM
ih3.redbubble.net
 
2013-03-18 10:21:43 PM

Nadie_AZ: Honestly, between Fight Club's little diatribe and the Alien movie series, I imagined space being ruled by corporations.


So.. not much changes, except scale?
 
2013-03-18 10:24:12 PM
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-03-18 10:31:38 PM
Star Trek wasn't a military dictatorship.

Star Fleet was merely the Federation's military, but they weren't in charge of civilian society. The Federation itself was basically democratic, though pretty socialist.
 
2013-03-18 10:31:59 PM
Not a quasi-military dictatorship.  A really big UN backed up by hundreds of ships that can blow you out of the stars.  The person in charge is a civilian.
 
2013-03-18 10:34:33 PM
I imagine it will be like Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series, which both enthralls and terrifies me.
 
2013-03-18 10:39:02 PM
I'm guessing humanity will spend its entirety right here in this solar system without ever getting to another star system.

So, nothing like Star Trek at all.
 
2013-03-18 10:50:38 PM

SpdrJay: I'm guessing humanity will spend its entirety right here in this solar system without ever getting to another star system.

So, nothing like Star Trek at all.


Yep. More than likely governments will be run by corporations. (More so than they are now). The amount of resources in our solar system is basically limitless and it just needs wealthy enough people to establish monopolies on mining resources. Also, even though resources are limitless, certain resources will be more valued and easier to obtain than others and wars will probably be started over it. It will get to the point where it would not even be worth it to travel outside the solar system because it would take too long and there will be plenty of resources to last hundreds of thousands of years. No need to expand if you have everything you need.
 
2013-03-18 10:55:45 PM

Doc Daneeka: Star Trek wasn't a military dictatorship.

Star Fleet was merely the Federation's military, but they weren't in charge of civilian society. The Federation itself was basically democratic, though pretty socialist.


The Federation depicted on Star Trek is an odd government. The term suzerainty sort of describes it... the Federation asserts territorial control but not sovereignty over worlds within that territory.
 
2013-03-18 10:59:23 PM

ActionJoe: No need to expand if you have everything you need.


There will always be people who will to go just because they can. With resources of the entire solar system, the amount needed to send colony ships to the nearer stars is trivial.
 
2013-03-18 11:09:09 PM
Starfleet is the military...but an odd military since they are out there for exploration, but ready for a fight with enough fire power to destroy a planet's entire biosphere.  But the Federation clearly has a president that is elected, but no mention what so ever about the government below the president.  No mention of senators, governors (Well, it was mentioned that the Klingons and Romulans had governors), or anything beyond that.

But, here is my question about the Federation government, Earth, Vulcan, Betazed, Andoria, Tellar, and many others are members of the Federation.  Each of these planets have Ambassadors, and have human Ambassadors.  Following the events of Star Trek: III, Kirk and crew lived in exile on Vulcan and were not taken into custody, and had to make their way back to Earth in the Klingon Bird of Prey.

How exactly does this government work???  If all these planets were part of the Federation, part of the same government, then shouldn't Kirk and crew been taken into custody as soon as the Katra Ritual was completed?  Or, is Vulcan a sanctuary planet were fugitives can live without fear of arrest?  But if that were the case, then what about McCoy's comment about not being picked up and having to travel back to Earth on their own in the Bird of Prey?  And again, if they were part of the same government, why Ambassadors?  Clearly it's not a UN type of arrangement since they all serve in the same military, but it's not like the EU or US because Texas doesn't have ambassadors in New York and North Carolina.
 
2013-03-18 11:11:30 PM
www.madman.com.au

 I am declaring Martian law! Mars is wild, untamed. I'm forming a cadre of Martian knights charged with enforcing Martian law. I dub thee Sir Phobos, Knight of Mars, beater of ass. Be a hitter, babe.
 
2013-03-18 11:15:03 PM

Great Janitor: Starfleet is the military...but an odd military since they are out there for exploration, but ready for a fight with enough fire power to destroy a planet's entire biosphere.  But the Federation clearly has a president that is elected, but no mention what so ever about the government below the president.  No mention of senators, governors (Well, it was mentioned that the Klingons and Romulans had governors), or anything beyond that.

But, here is my question about the Federation government, Earth, Vulcan, Betazed, Andoria, Tellar, and many others are members of the Federation.  Each of these planets have Ambassadors, and have human Ambassadors.  Following the events of Star Trek: III, Kirk and crew lived in exile on Vulcan and were not taken into custody, and had to make their way back to Earth in the Klingon Bird of Prey.

How exactly does this government work???  If all these planets were part of the Federation, part of the same government, then shouldn't Kirk and crew been taken into custody as soon as the Katra Ritual was completed?  Or, is Vulcan a sanctuary planet were fugitives can live without fear of arrest?  But if that were the case, then what about McCoy's comment about not being picked up and having to travel back to Earth on their own in the Bird of Prey?  And again, if they were part of the same government, why Ambassadors?  Clearly it's not a UN type of arrangement since they all serve in the same military, but it's not like the EU or US because Texas doesn't have ambassadors in New York and North Carolina.


They did mention a few other Federation offices... Robert Fox, the *Special* Ambassador comes to mind, and the whiny biatch in the shuttlecraft when they crashed on the planet where Zefram Cochrane had retired... Also something akin to the Public Health Service was mentioned in the second pilot, I think... they were the organization that made the rule about periodic physicals for scientists afield...
 
2013-03-18 11:19:12 PM
Doubtful. How will the republic maintain control over the local star systems?
 
2013-03-18 11:22:06 PM
If a small settlement on Mars does try to act independently of Earth, it would be a hell of a boost to spaceship and propulsion technology; we'd invest heavily in that so that we could bomb them back to the stone age.
 
2013-03-18 11:23:51 PM

SpaceBison: Doubtful. How will the republic maintain control over the local star systems?


fear.  Fear will keep them in line...
 
2013-03-18 11:30:57 PM

AndreMA: If a small settlement on Mars does try to act independently of Earth, it would be a hell of a boost to spaceship and propulsion technology; we'd invest heavily in that so that we could bomb them back to the stone age.


The sands will run red with Earther blood!
 
2013-03-18 11:33:34 PM

Great Janitor: Following the events of Star Trek: III, Kirk and crew lived in exile on Vulcan and were not taken into custody, and had to make their way back to Earth in the Klingon Bird of Prey.


The planets of the UFP are independent, they only coordinate scientific and defense. They do adhere to a set of principals that are required to bring a planet into the federation proper, so long as they're met, they can join Starfleet (though aren't required) and can share in scientific data. A planet can be in "Federation Space" yet have no specific reason to join the UFP (though I doubt they'd be allowed to, say, join the Klingon Empire, though people like the Maquis obviously show it's not lock-step.)

Also, in the STIII example, Ambassador Sarak and Kirk's influence was obviously being used to keep them from being frogmarched back to Earth.
 
2013-03-18 11:41:04 PM

saintstryfe: Great Janitor: Following the events of Star Trek: III, Kirk and crew lived in exile on Vulcan and were not taken into custody, and had to make their way back to Earth in the Klingon Bird of Prey.

The planets of the UFP are independent, they only coordinate scientific and defense. They do adhere to a set of principals that are required to bring a planet into the federation proper, so long as they're met, they can join Starfleet (though aren't required) and can share in scientific data. A planet can be in "Federation Space" yet have no specific reason to join the UFP (though I doubt they'd be allowed to, say, join the Klingon Empire, though people like the Maquis obviously show it's not lock-step.)

Also, in the STIII example, Ambassador Sarak and Kirk's influence was obviously being used to keep them from being frogmarched back to Earth.



Well, I know what you're getting for Christmas, young man...

www.therobotspajamas.com
 
2013-03-18 11:58:00 PM
Paging Quantum Apostrophe. Quantum Apostrophe, please report to the space thread.
 
2013-03-19 12:26:21 AM
This is why I could never get into Star Trek.  Completely unrealistic future.  The Enterprise should have a coke ad plastered on the side of it.
 
2013-03-19 01:08:18 AM
"But the Force will still be with us, right?" asked President Obama.
 
2013-03-19 01:43:05 AM
As I just finished writing a story set on a Martian colony, here was my take:

The UN declares all of space beyond Earth as territory that must be held in common between all nations after the Chinese send some astronauts to the Moon who die there (which China did deliberately as an attempted land grab.  'But of course the land around our fallen comrades will be Chinese territory, yes?' Sorry, China, no moon for you).

America then takes over Mars as we'll be the only country with the capabilities to make it there, rendering anything the UN declares irrelevent and cute.  By then our Roman decline will have reached the point that America will be a hot mess, but the survival instincts of the idiots in charge will have kept the space program funded, as well as some private donors who will be expecting a little payback, once we've worked all the grusome hypothermic deaths out of the system.

Other than the personal drama and the plot points I don't want to give away, that's about what I've got.

/see you all out in the moonslight
 
2013-03-19 01:47:06 AM

Brontes: Probably going to be corporate imperialism, without the natives to oppress, just the workers.


Soooo....like "Megatraveller" Universe?   Or god forbid like that Dr Who episode "The Sunmakers"
 
2013-03-19 02:28:25 AM
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-03-19 02:41:04 AM
I'm hoping for a Traveller style universe.  Long communication times will lend to feudalism, but with a unifying force in the way of the Imperium.
 
2013-03-19 03:06:48 AM

gingerjet: This is why I could never get into Star Trek. Completely unrealistic future.


What always struck me as the most unrealistic is how humans are the voice of reason in the universe. Even those godly Q guys are all impressed by us.
 
In reality we'd probably be the running joke of the universe, and that's even being optimistic. Most of the races we'd encounter are likely to be much older and more advanced, technologically and intellectually. We'd be ignored by them for the most part, like we ignore less intelligent animals on our planet. But we think we're so special, and alien races would be lining up just to talk to us. I'm sure the experience would be quite humbling.
 
2013-03-19 03:54:46 AM
absolute bullshiat

when flushing twice can endanger people's lives, you end up living in a police state or dead from anarchy
 
2013-03-19 06:25:12 AM

J. Frank Parnell: gingerjet: This is why I could never get into Star Trek. Completely unrealistic future.

What always struck me as the most unrealistic is how humans are the voice of reason in the universe. Even those godly Q guys are all impressed by us.

In reality we'd probably be the running joke of the universe, and that's even being optimistic. Most of the races we'd encounter are likely to be much older and more advanced, technologically and intellectually. We'd be ignored by them for the most part, like we ignore less intelligent animals on our planet. But we think we're so special, and alien races would be lining up just to talk to us. I'm sure the experience would be quite humbling.


So... Farscape then?
 
2013-03-19 07:26:46 AM

Doc Daneeka: Star Fleet was merely the Federation's military, but they weren't in charge of civilian society. The Federation itself was basically democratic, though pretty socialist.


Over the years I've watched almost every episode that Gene Roddenberry had control over (and will casually -- yes, casually dismiss the drivel afterwards from canon), and I never figured out what the heck the government was supposed to be.  As others have noted, Starfleet was a military arm, though they do a lot of scientific work.  This is hardly unprecedented; NASA often collaborates with the USAF, DoE and DoD.  Kind of has to, when pretty much anything beyond Mars runs on plutonium.

Back to Star Trek, I can really only justify their bizarre quasi-something economy and government as it's not well-run because it doesn't need to be.  The utopia envisioned by Roddenberry is one where technology has completely eliminated scarcity, and with it any social, economic or political tension.  You don't need a system to distribute resources when pretty much anyone can make anything from breakfast to diamonds with a replicator.  Much of Starfleet's non-exploratory missions are to settle territorial disputes in fringe systems where some scarcity remains, or keep tabs on races with both xenophobic tendencies and access to superior technology.  This is obviously exaggerated in the series for dramatic tension, and it's justified because the Enterprise is the flagship.  However, if you're an average joe in the Star Trek universe, your biggest challenge is finding something meaningful to do.
 
2013-03-19 07:41:17 AM

gingerjet: This is why I could never get into Star Trek. Completely unrealistic future. The Enterprise should have a coke ad plastered on the side of it.


Star Trek isn't for cynics.  It's for humanists.  If you want your cynical post-apocalyptic dystopia, take your effin' pick.  Blade Runner, Red Dwarf, Akira, Brazil, Evangelion, The Matrix, Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes. . . I could go on for days.  Some sci-fi authors envisioned not-quite-so-crapsack worlds, but the humanists have. . . Star Trek.  And now even Star Trek is being raped by pop culture because it's not edgy enough.  Except it never was supposed to be edgy.  It was one of the only voices hopeful for the future during the Cold War.

Love it or hate it (and since most Farkers are cynical I'd say it's mostly hated here), don't call its optimistic tone a flaw.  It's supposed to be optimistic, and frankly one of its biggest challenges through the years was making interesting stories that didn't require abandoning its identity.  I'm not saying it always worked, but I respect Gene Roddenberry for having a sort of vision that challenged people to think differently about themselves.
 
2013-03-19 07:52:01 AM

dragonchild: The utopia envisioned by Roddenberry is one where technology has completely eliminated scarcity, and with it any social, economic or political tension.


nice concept. However, we almost do live in a post scarcity-world -we do for information, and it hasn't changed much. And desirable land on will always be scarce.
I think humanity -or more acurately, humanity's ruling class- will force artificial scarcity on itself to sustain the existing social order.
 
2013-03-19 07:56:14 AM

ausfahrk: saintstryfe: Great Janitor: Following the events of Star Trek: III, Kirk and crew lived in exile on Vulcan and were not taken into custody, and had to make their way back to Earth in the Klingon Bird of Prey.

The planets of the UFP are independent, they only coordinate scientific and defense. They do adhere to a set of principals that are required to bring a planet into the federation proper, so long as they're met, they can join Starfleet (though aren't required) and can share in scientific data. A planet can be in "Federation Space" yet have no specific reason to join the UFP (though I doubt they'd be allowed to, say, join the Klingon Empire, though people like the Maquis obviously show it's not lock-step.)

Also, in the STIII example, Ambassador Sarak and Kirk's influence was obviously being used to keep them from being frogmarched back to Earth.


Well, I know what you're getting for Christmas, young man...

[www.therobotspajamas.com image 400x462]


I don't like using LOL, but i did literally laugh out loud. And i used literally properly.
 
2013-03-19 08:38:40 AM

2chris2: Paging Quantum Apostrophe. Quantum Apostrophe, please report to the space thread.


Meh.Just another page-filler with delusional real estate brochure art. Will be forgotten in two weeks, dead and buried like all the other space crap from decades ago.
/I sense someone on another site thinks we'll colonize space!
//QA out!
 
2013-03-19 09:52:13 AM

Doc Daneeka: The Federation itself was basically democratic, though pretty socialist.


ehrmergerd nert sersherlism!
 
2013-03-19 11:47:08 AM

dragonchild: Doc Daneeka: Star Fleet was merely the Federation's military, but they weren't in charge of civilian society. The Federation itself was basically democratic, though pretty socialist.

Over the years I've watched almost every episode that Gene Roddenberry had control over (and will casually -- yes, casually dismiss the drivel afterwards from canon), and I never figured out what the heck the government was supposed to be.  As others have noted, Starfleet was a military arm, though they do a lot of scientific work.  This is hardly unprecedented; NASA often collaborates with the USAF, DoE and DoD.  Kind of has to, when pretty much anything beyond Mars runs on plutonium.

Back to Star Trek, I can really only justify their bizarre quasi-something economy and government as it's not well-run because it doesn't need to be.  The utopia envisioned by Roddenberry is one where technology has completely eliminated scarcity, and with it any social, economic or political tension.  You don't need a system to distribute resources when pretty much anyone can make anything from breakfast to diamonds with a replicator.  Much of Starfleet's non-exploratory missions are to settle territorial disputes in fringe systems where some scarcity remains, or keep tabs on races with both xenophobic tendencies and access to superior technology.  This is obviously exaggerated in the series for dramatic tension, and it's justified because the Enterprise is the flagship.  However, if you're an average joe in the Star Trek universe, your biggest challenge is finding something meaningful to do.


Breakfast to Diamonds would make a great band name. I think a big reason people tend to attack the ST universe is that it was too simplistic in postulating that technology would solve all problems. And it's hard and boring to map out the workings of an entire society in a half-hour TV show.
 
2013-03-19 12:17:27 PM

the_innkeeper: So... Farscape then?


One of the many reasons I love that show.

"Wait, you can read that from over here?"
 
2013-03-19 01:06:45 PM

redlegrick: I think a big reason people tend to attack the ST universe is that it was too simplistic in postulating that technology would solve all problems.


To be more precise, technology only eliminated scarcity.  Society also "grew up"; otherwise, as On-Off noted, douchebags would introduce artificial scarcity just because they're sociopaths on a power trip (though they should really be dealt with by throwing them into a holodeck and letting them lord over sprites).

Honestly, I think it makes for a nice escape, and when everyone can reason, life gets very, very simple indeed.  The entire effin' Cold War is one big sick joke (hi, Dr. Strangelove) considering it was driven on both sides by xenophobia, ignorance, propaganda and ideological absolutism.  Consider that in real life between two trusting & trustworthy people, borrowing money and then paying it back is as easy to arrange as a lunch & a handshake -- yet almost no one does it that way because people are assholes.  Instead, major transactions among strangers & businesses take weeks and require hundreds of pages of paperwork.  Star Trek really isn't a utopia because it's got replicators (I kinda take that back); it's utopia because no one needs a lawyer.  There are still areas where crime and scarcity aren't eradicated (otherwise the show would have no story at all), but generally their handling of these things is clumsy because no one in this future gets much experience dealing with assholes.

It works for me -- the idea, at least.  I don't speak for everyone, but my career's had its fair share of emotionally abusive work environments.  After hours of dealing with thick-headed, narrow-minded man-child douchebags whose behavior ranges from turning work into a fiefdom for inflicting emotional pain on others to grown men literally throwing temper tantrums in meetings, I don't need to "escape" to yet another goddamn "life sucks" wangstfest.  Some days if I can't spend an hour pretending people have the capacity to grow out of their petty lobster-think, I'd rather just stare at a wall.

Oh, and one last thing I take back -- Star Trek IS edgy.  It's so edgy most people don't get it.  It dared to hope for better -- hold humanity to a higher standard where we lead the galaxy in moral standing -- during some of the most absurdly frightening years in American history.  Dreaming up yet another crapsack world where people are basically the same douchebags they are today isn't edgy so much as extrapolating from the present.  It's been done a million times, and it's only "realistic" because there's almost no creativity involved.
 
2013-03-19 01:13:17 PM

FuturePastNow: Doc Daneeka: Star Trek wasn't a military dictatorship.

Star Fleet was merely the Federation's military, but they weren't in charge of civilian society. The Federation itself was basically democratic, though pretty socialist.

The Federation depicted on Star Trek is an odd government. The term suzerainty sort of describes it... the Federation asserts territorial control but not sovereignty over worlds within that territory.


The ultimate federalist approach?

I'd also point out things like Capitalism, Communism, Socialism really have to the world of Star Trek where very few resources are scarce.   Energy to matter conversion and vice versa means scarcity is only a problem of territory and a few items that can't be replicated.  And for territory, space is damn large.

Seems the closet thing to call the economic setup of Trek would be a non-capitalism meritocracy?

Information and knowledge of technology seemed to be the ultimate good, and the scarce product that made the future go round.
 
2013-03-19 01:54:22 PM
Many years ago, some friends and I were playing Starfleet Battles, and one friend said "Klingons conquer territory, and Romulans subject territory to their rule. I wonder what Starfleet does."

I suggested they "annex" it.
 
2013-03-19 01:58:48 PM

TyrantII: FuturePastNow: Doc Daneeka: Star Trek wasn't a military dictatorship.

Star Fleet was merely the Federation's military, but they weren't in charge of civilian society. The Federation itself was basically democratic, though pretty socialist.

The Federation depicted on Star Trek is an odd government. The term suzerainty sort of describes it... the Federation asserts territorial control but not sovereignty over worlds within that territory.

The ultimate federalist approach?

I'd also point out things like Capitalism, Communism, Socialism really have to the world of Star Trek where very few resources are scarce.   Energy to matter conversion and vice versa means scarcity is only a problem of territory and a few items that can't be replicated.  And for territory, space is damn large.

Seems the closet thing to call the economic setup of Trek would be a non-capitalism meritocracy?

Information and knowledge of technology seemed to be the ultimate good, and the scarce product that made the future go round.


Actually I have to reconsider what I said above.

Despite having its own military, the Federation can't really be considered a government.  It's more like a cross between NATO and the UN.  A mutual defense and assistance pact between a large number of different sovereign entities.  Each member planet of the Federation had its own government which could be democratic or otherwise.  But I think there were certain pre-requisites for admittance to the Federation - they wouldn't let in just anyone.
 
2013-03-19 02:23:12 PM

Great Janitor: SpaceBison: Doubtful. How will the republic maintain control over the local star systems?

fear.  Fear will keep them in line...


Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed.
 
2013-03-19 02:43:31 PM

prjindigo: absolute bullshiat

when flushing twice can endanger people's lives, you end up living in a police state or dead from anarchy


Yup. The local commander will need to have the same sort of authority as that of a captain in the age of sail. If you want to go off-planet, you'd better learn to abide by rules and be ready to take orders in a crisis.
 
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