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Was really disappointed as the title implies that this is exactly what the book is about the economics of Star Trek Unfortunately he goes on and on about scarcity and the distribution of resources Which while it can t be the only possible issue in a Star Trek economic utopia it certainly is one in our contemporary times It is the very issue that defines political arguments do we become a social democracy or slash all social programs into a Keynesian market free for all The author is an advocate for the former But where the author could have used some imagination to think beyond logics of capitalism all he can say is how expensive things are and how we have to think about how to distribute and allocate resources His short introduction of GPS as a global common good is interesting but it ust cracks the surface before he moves on to something else In fact that is a common tactic in his book he brings up a lot of things briefly then moves on before he has fully considered themOne thing he recognizes that I absolutely agree with that technology will bring us to a new world In fact as he recognizes somewhat it already has Agricultural Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing jobs and now industrial manufacturing especiallyobs are uickly waning as technology takes care of the drudgery for us But instead of prosperity for all the owners of the technology pocket the profit and live a life free from work and need while the workers must find their drudgery in wages elsewhere in other areas Instead why not bring up the proposals of the guaranteed basic income for example While it s still embedded in capitalist thinking it is an interesting way that a few governments have come up with to deconstruct the idea that we must work for a living What else is going on in the world right now that suggests a move toward a Star Trek economics He doesn t sayI also enjoyed his short discussion of early science fiction authors and their influence on the original Star Trek show I really do want to know about Asimov after reading this book and I ll try to delve into other authors of the time period as well Perhaps for this book to have been a success someone with an extensive economic theory background would have been able to look at failures of utopian models in history look at current trends surrounding capitalism and movement to and away from it to answer the authors final uestion how can we get to a world like Star Trek Unfortunately either the author s knowledge of economics and history psychology social sciences etc was inadeuate or he neglected to write about it This book reads like a meandering cobbled together undergraduate thesis rather than a coherent well edited book I wonder if the author could have improved it if he had sought traditional publishing where his ideas could have been critiued edited and re written As it stands I doubt it would be published conventionally without heavy editing But despite this review I did not hate the book I was Mordecai Cubitt Cooke Victorian Naturalist Mycologist Teacher and Eccentric just very very very disappointed I love Star Trek and I don t love it as the author disparages because it s an adventure in space with aliens and faster than light travel otherwise I dust be a Star Wars fan Sure those things are cool In fact it s in the encounters with other worlds that the characters in Star Trek are able to reconsider their highly held precepts and examine their history and their current ways of doings things and how they should act in the world Instead I love Star Trek because of its optimistic view on what the future of humanity could look like That we could rise above our difference and actually seek out new life and new civilizations so that we might delight in differences and new ways of doing things that we might delight in having our assumptions critiued That we might work together to create a world where national borders have no meaning and no matter where you are born you have access to the same resources so that poverty and hate and suffering are only something you read about in books Where we might live beyond money where we explore what it truly means to be human where we don t live our lives in the drudgery of trying to pay bills to meet our basic needs or be shackled to accumulating goods to feel like we are doing well in life Where education is freely shared and desperately striven for where improving our lives together is the highest occupation That s what I love about Star Trek That s what I want to explore in looking at the economics of Star "Trek Someone Please "Will someone please THAT book The author uses Star Trek Next Generation as an example of society money people can work or not work as they wish because the replicator creates any and all things that people would want Through a lively discussion the author brings us to today well worth the The Gold's Gym Training Encyclopedia journey The replicator is fiction however technology and robotics are essential doing the same thing there will not be enoughobs in the future for our world population Do we have and people who are unable to work due to less and less obs or recognize it is the age of the Replicator A less obs or recognize it is the age of the Replicator A read Money is one of humanity s most clever and enduring technologies It is a brilliant way of transferring value across vast distances and decentralizing our economy Barter makes sense on a hyperlocal neighbourly scale but you can t run a vast industrial economy on it As Niall Ferguson chronicles in his excellent The Ascent of Mon Tea Earl Grey hotSo spoke Sir Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc Picard on many episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation But economist and consummate Trekkie Manu Saadia explains how getting the Captain his tea was both simpler and complicated than would be expectedExploring how the Star Trek universe existed in a post scarcity society where people no longer had to work to survive Saadia shares his exceptional knowledge of both economic theory and all versions of the Star Trek story from the Shatner Nemoy origins The Next Generation the films Voyager and Deep Space NineMost compelling was Star Trek s introduction of the replicator a machine that could produce and recycle virtually anything from meals to simple objects By transferring matter form one form to another this effectively did away with Malthusian philosophy and crafted a utopian societySo why work at all Saadia gets into that and a lot in this fun but sometimes tedious discourse He sometimes got off track and strayed into the economy 101 classroom but always returned to his theme of examining economics through the lens of the cool SF showMakes me want to go back and watch all the episodes. Nto the details and intricacies of 24th century society Trekonomics explores post scarcity and whether we as humans are euipped for it What are the prospects of automation and artificial intelligence Is there really no money in Star Trek Is Trekonomics at all possibl. Ind of society you d like to live in and Star Trek presents the kind of hopeful vision of the future that will still prove powerfully attractive many years into the future Saadia doesn t answer every uestion but he presents a lot of fun debate material Long time fans of Asimov Star Trek and related s f will appreciate this rumination on Roddenberry s utopia How improbable is the Trek scenario Well we have communicators and talking computers now don t we So why not a society that has eliminated war poverty and other problems and where work is optional because replicators make anything and everything for free How do I vote for this agenda Shall we call it the Landing Party As a long time Star Trek fan who has a bit of interest in economics I thought this was an interesting read I wish that the author had spent a bit time developing how a society would actually get to the point of not using money for anything The part about the replicator making the cost of most goods drop to zero makes sense but what about everything else There are only so many seats at fancy restaurants or music concerts only so many penthouse apartments etc These are things that we currently use money to allocate and I didn t think the book did a good enough ob fleshing out what the alternative would be Do people ust voluntarily limit their demand for these things or is there some sort of rationing system involved Money seems like a useful tool to use for trade in luxury goods even in a post scarcity economy and the book didn t seem to put forward an alternative that seems convenientThat issue aside I really enjoyed the book Taking a look at various aspects of Star Trek from the angle of economics was uite neat This is an excellent book but for a niche audience You need to have watched Star Trek I mean all of it And you need to be interested in economics Satisfy that and you ll have a fun time with this I heard about this book via Scalzi s Big Idea feature and it sounded awesome so I picked it up right away The author set out to write the book he wanted to read about the future economics of the world set up in Star Trek and I think he succeeded well with an interesting and informative book that not only covers several aspects of economics and sociopolitical norms in Star Trek but also relates them back to our own real world He closes the book with some speculation as to how the seeds of Trekonomics already exist in our own world and while I disagree with his final conclusion it s still well put and interestingVarious chapters of the book deal with different aspects of Trekonomics from how replicators symbolize the post scarcity economy of the Federation to how Ferengis exemplify not only a wealthconsumer based society that yet could still change The topic of what is valuable when things no longer have real value is explored from many angles and generally boils down to your reputation and your abilities as the answer In a post scarcity world where you no longer need to toil to make rent and buy groceries people can instead choose to work on what interests them and where their talents lie not ust at what they can do to survive In general this will lead to people being able to explore their abilities to the furthest extent possible even if the product of those talents isn t immediately commercially viable leading to even improvements and discoveries that further push the post scarcity economy into even wealth all Given the current political climate the economic changes leading to loss of obs and uneual distribution of wealth this idea of a basic income for all is starting to be talked about in public and and this book not only touches on that idea but extrapolates it out to the most positive outcomeThe author writes clearly and well with entertaining and applicable uotes and illustrations from the full panoply of the Star Trek universe He doesn t shy away from the negative possibilities of some of the economic ideas discussed but does point out "That There S A Lot To Humans "there s a lot to humans we often give ourselves credit for While I don t necessarily agree with his conclusion that star travel will never happen I see and agree with his point that we are on Earth for uite some time to come and space exploration will not happen until the entire planet is wealthy enough to support it as a wholeOverall this is an excellent book and I learned a lot about economic theory and how it applies to our world now and how it could apply to us in the future I highly recommend this book and have already sent the link to it to several people that I know This is a rather hard book to review because I wanted so so much to love it The second I saw an internet article about the idea I was on Inkshares to support throw money at the endeavor and asking my friends to do the same My partner and I ended up pre ordering two copies because we were worried that it wouldn t make its goal and be published Well this book was not successful Perhaps the reason is that this book not only needed a good editor and perhaps something akin to a phd mentoradvisor but also perhaps the author was not the right person to write it Take for example this uote from the last chapter of the book when discussing the Great voyages of discovery in the world s historyPersonally I find it very reassuring even heartwarming that great explorers and inventors should be so typically human They were strivers small minded low rent busy bees I like that That means they were Plato and Parmenides: Parmenides' Way of Truth and Plato's Parmenides just like you and meust a tiny bit crazier or luckier 216 Regardless of his thoughts on the kinds of Christopher Columbus I think this is really indicative of Il metodo dell'ovulazione. Atlante just how he feels about Star Trek and the world it inhabits He dismisses space travel and other space ventures because they cost too must He disparages the characters on TNG for no learning no growing 166 despite evidence to the contrary on its seven seasons that the author ignores and constantly discusses DS9 for its depiction of flawed individuals and life beyond the Federation the very thing he s supposedly writing a book about If he dislikes utopia and a world with much of the strife of our current century noticeably absent what is it exactly that he likes about Star Trek He devotes an entire chapter to the Ferengi and after a well recognized parallel in 20th21st century capitalists he all but praises how great they are and how admirable their culture Of course some discussion is obviously necessary but his tone changes rather dramatically hereUltimately this book doesn t cover much economics at all Erybody had everything they wanted or needed Trekonomics the premier book in financialournalist Felix Salmon's imprint PiperText approaches scarcity economics by coming at it backwards through thinking about a universe where scarcity does not exist Delving deep ,
Nice choice Mom Thank you for the recommendation Live long and prosper thus alludes to another kind of prosperity the kind that arises from the cultivation of the mind rather than from greed that antiuated and vulgar practice It is an active sentence Instead of long life and prosperity it is a grammatical imperative directed at the recipient Long life and prosperity do not befall you out of the heavens they are not random outcomes from the lotteries of birth or of life You must live long and that is the condition It does not mean that you will prosper the and is not a logical conjunction You may or may not succeed Further the phrase points to the unfinished nature of the imperative Spock s father Ambassador Sarek who has arguably lived very long and prospered beyond many of his Vulcan peers is still served the greeting The work and the challenge to go on living and to prosper are never concluded p 241 free riding on public goods is much of a threat to our continued welfare than the physical scarcity of raw materials Public goods are always at risk of exhaustion because of their nonexcludable nonrival nature It would seem that in the absence of some form of regulation or contract or any other agreed upon system of pricing or rewards and penalties free riding on public goods will inevitably occur Designing and implementing regulation on such a scale is itself a very involved process whose ultimate success is far from guaranteed In many ways depressing as it may sound in our world free riding is a feature not a bug p129 I do not understand the motives of those who advocate space exploration as a way to unite the world as a sort of cultural crusade for peace through engineering They are noble So what if we first used our resources to lift a billion people out of poverty How many Einsteins or von Neumanns could we get out of that Heck we don t even need Einsteins we ust need thirty or forty million engineers and programmers and medical scientists out of this one billion That is 4 percent tops There is no telling what could be achieved with such an increase in raw human capital The returns of knowledge grow and accumulate incommensurably fast p218 219 As a lifelong Star Trek fan who has been reading economists Brad DeLong who provided the Introduction and Paul Krugman who provided technical commentary for years and years this was so well targeted at me it might as well have been a photon torpedo sorry I couldn t have been interested in an explanation of the economic logic of the post scarcity paradise depicted in the best televised science fiction franchise of all time While the commendably enthusiastic fandom is not matched by comparably rigorous economics freuently coming off like a mixture of enthusiastic episode recaps and rants about contemporary political issues among some brief discussion of how the TNG warp speed limit reflects intro level economic concepts like negative externalities this book is a lot of fun Overall Saadia provides as Krugman once wrote in his paper The Theory of Interstellar Trade about the proper method of calculating interest rates at near light speeds a serious analysis of a ridiculous subject which is of course the opposite of what is usual in economicsIf modern philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato then modern science fiction is a series of footnotes to Asimov "Star Trek Has Never Been Shy About never been shy about its debt to the "Trek has never been shy about acknowledging its debt to the but it was famously less rigorous about exploring how future society actually worked sometimes characters act like they ve never heard of money sometimes they treat it as a necessary evil sometimes they re as impeccably capitalist as you could ask for How does society work with an absence of currency Do other forms of statushierarchy become important without money What s the status of human labor How does copyright work when everyone s working for free Is the replicator all that s necessary to enable post scarcity Are there natural limits to economic growth How would one resolve collective action problems with truly alien species These are explored narratively in the episodes but I m not only curious if the Federation is truly in a stable euilibrium but about how humanity got to that point in the first place After all human beings in 2016 are vastly richer than our ancestors of 300 years ago Saadia discusses John Maynard Keynes excellent 1931 essay Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren which addresses many of these same issues yet we ve hardly eliminated many of the traits that are inconsistent with the Star Trek life How did that phase transition occurThat s a tall order and honestly I didn t expect the euivalent of the economic development history of the United Federation of Planets There are many uestions about how the Federation functions internally what about externally Saadia is at his best when he s comparing the Federation to its neighbors most interesting are the comparisons between the economies of the Federation and the Borg similar post scarcity economics vastly different social structures and the Federation and the Ferengi polar opposite economies gradually similar social structures It raises the uestion of why if the Federation s model is so great then all the other spacefaring species at roughly similar levels of development aren t following it Despite being peaceful the Federation is forced to go to war with other belligerent powers uite often and in the kind of winner take all total go to war with other belligerent powers uite often and in the kind of winner take all total that define a civilization even small inefficiencies can doom an otherwise perfectly capable society We see the Federation win all kinds of battles against the Borg thanks to the power of the main characters but honestly it seems that if they really wanted to the Borg could ust crush the Federation Is Trekonomics really a dominant strategy against antlike communism or do our heroes ust have plot armor Similarly given the information aggregation superiority of the price system over the unpriced barter system of socialism what really prevents the Ferengi from bribing or buying people and resources out from under the FederationOne could go on in this vein Taking the economics of a TV show seriously is silly but if you re a fan of the show and even importantly the kind of future the show represents you can have a lot of great conversations about its treatment of utilitarianism artisanship distribution personal fulfillment and everything else that becomes possible when instead of chasing full employment you pursue full unemployment There s no shame in thinking about the Manu Saadia has managed to show us one reason perhaps the most compelling one of all why we all need the world of Star Trek to one day become the world we live in Chris Black Writer and Co Executive Producer Star Trek Enterprise What would the world look like if ev. ,
Trekonomics