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Manu Saadia Õ 1 SUMMARY

Rekonomics looks at the morals values and hard economics that underpin the series’ ideal society and its sources of inspiration both inside and outside the science fiction canon After reading this book you’ll be able to answer the uestion If you could live in Star Trek’s economic utopia would you want. 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 acknowledging its debt to the master 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 wars 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 just crush the Federation Is Trekonomics really a dominant strategy against antlike communism or do our heroes just 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 kind 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 Winds of Enchantment looks at the morals values and hard economics that underpin the series’ ideal society and its sources of inspiration both inside and outside the science fiction canon After reading this book you’ll be able to answer the uestion If you could The Odds Against live in Star Trek’s economic utopia would you want. As a Tokyo Kill 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 Unbroken The Reaper Diaries 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 Bhishma an Enigma like a mixture of enthusiastic episode recaps and rants about contemporary political issues among some brief discussion of how the TNG warp speed The Art of Loving limit reflects intro Jack Kerouac level economic concepts Reputation 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 Alfablot 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 acknowledging its debt to the master but it was famously Wild Gypsy Rose (Royals of Cardenas Book 4) less rigorous about exploring how future society actually worked sometimes characters act Heads of the Colored People 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 The Syrian Rebellion 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 Lovers Destined 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 wars 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 just crush the Federation Is Trekonomics really a dominant strategy against antlike communism or do our heroes just 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 Sweeter Than Wine like to Lady Ariana 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 Milk And Honey lot of fun debate material

REVIEW ☆ SABLEYES.CO.UK Õ Manu Saadia

Trekonomics

Star Trek is set in an amazing utopian universe of faster than light travel of “beam me up Scotty” and Vulcan salutes It’s also a universe where war and poverty have been eradicated money doesn’t exist and work is indistinguishable from leisure In this ground breaking book timed to coincide with the. 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

CHARACTERS Trekonomics

Fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek’s first episode Manu Saadia takes a deep dive into the show’s most radical and provocative aspect its detailed and consistent economic vision Could we create such a utopia here on Earth And why has Star Trek’s future had such staying power in our cultural imagination T. 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


10 thoughts on “Trekonomics

  1. says:

    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 a

  2. says:

    This is an excellent book but for a niche audience You need to have watched Star Trek I mean all of it And you nee

  3. says:

    Money is one of humanity’s most clever and enduring technologies It is a brilliant way of transferring value

  4. says:

    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

  5. says:

    The author uses Star Trek Next Generation as an example of society without 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 d

  6. says:

    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 an

  7. says:

    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 edit

  8. says:

    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

  9. says:

    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 h

  10. says:

    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 imperat

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