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QUACKCAST 517 - money in Scifi Utopia

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, Feb. 9, 2021

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Weird one this week! A monneyless system in a working Scifi utopia. This was based on an idea Banes came up with talking about Star Trek and how the federation has “evolved beyond money”, We discuss if this is possible, why it is and how it is. That means no need for money substitutes like credit or barter either. It's a really interesting topic and a brave choice for a world setting. The most common type of scifi world by FAR is a dystopia so the fact that Star Trek is a working utopia (at least in the original and 1990s series) is a very brave and unique choice and the idea that it functions without money is even more clever and interesting.

In this Quackcast we talk about how that's possible. And for those that want to do world building and SciFi futurism it's good to remember that dystopia isn't the only choice! It's quite possible to create a utopia for your action to happen in and for it not to be boring because conflict doesn't have to be based on the world falling apart, which is one of my pet peeves with modern Scifi: it's ALWAYS a dystopia with a messed up world or a spaceship where a mission has gone horribly wrong and the crew are fighting for their lives. There's more to SciFi than that and good old 90s Trek shows us how.

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to The Next Town Over - The train’s a’commin’! Hop on and go fer a ride. Get off at the next town over if you like, it’ll be rollin’ on though soon… Just like this energetic, highly rhythmic track that pounds and thrumbs along with great energy and momentum, with all the power of a fully laden steam strain!

Topics and shownotes


Banes' newspost on Treckenomics! -

Featured comic:
The Sparrow -

Featured music:
Next Town Over -, by Emehlos, rated M.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Tantz Aerine -
Ozoneocean -
Banes -

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Ozoneocean at 7:30PM, Feb. 15, 2021

@Bravo- they don't trade anything though units of assigned value. There's no money even in concept within the Federation. Trading one's time and energy doesn't count unless there are standards and agreed values.

Ozoneocean at 7:28PM, Feb. 15, 2021

@Mishi- the federation didn't use money within it, but outside societies surely did XD

Gunwallace at 4:24PM, Feb. 9, 2021

Dystopia and utopia are two sides of the same coin. For every posited utopian society there are always those that will find it their dystopian society. It's fun to consider the people who fall through the cracks of a system like The Federation. Harry Mudd, Vash, the Bejorians unable to stomach the 'peace at any cost' goals of Starfleet. Conversely, many dystopian scenarios are lauded by some, and seen as something to be aimed for. Klingon's clinging to the old ways. Romulans proud of their history and way of life. Freed Borg who want to go back to the collective.

mishi_hime at 3:22PM, Feb. 9, 2021

Quark is crying at the very thought of this podcast. 🙃

bravo1102 at 7:08AM, Feb. 9, 2021

The thing about a society without money is that it doesn't have dollars and cents, not that things don't have value. Things are still bought and sold just that money doesn't change hands and stock markets and money managers and lending at interest doesn't exist. Life, and self improvement in Star Trek are of greater value than cash. I had to think long and hard about this and research it for my world building. It's rarely mentioned but it's in my notes.

bravo1102 at 6:58AM, Feb. 9, 2021

Dystopia is easy to write. It's easy to imagine everything going wrong. It's hard to write happy endings and warm fuzzy sunshine bunnies. Everyone wants to be edgy and in, no one wants to be labeled the bright Pollyanna. Depression runs very high and strong among writers who always see the glass as half empty. But then I've spoken to too many mental health care professionals for my own good.

Furwerk studio at 6:17AM, Feb. 9, 2021

I honestly feel like the dystopia comes from two things, one is the misunderstanding of "conflict equals story", what I mean is that many think a perfect society or one near to it means nothing can happen ignoring personal conflicts like love, self improvement, risk of loss/pain, demotion, promotion, learning responsibilities, and more focused on an stereotypical teenager attitude of "grrr, everyone is against me!" that many dystopia settings have. The other is sci-fi kind of reflects the people's general feeling towards the future, the ray gun gothic of the 1950's, the bright and almost magic like fantasy of the 1970's, the dirty and corrupted but still functional 1980's vs right now.... Yeah....

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