Star Wars, Star Trek and other Sci-Fi

edwest2

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The glorious future of AI, whatever that may be, cannot replace humans - not too many humans. Otherwise, who would buy books, especially at a discount, from Amazon? No income = no sales. That will never change.

The current problem with books - especially ebooks - is that no one, and I mean no one could read more than a certain amount. Since the end user is a human limited by the need to eat, sleep and have a job in order to purchase them.

Just because you multiply book choices by a factor of 10 or more does not mean anybody can read more. They are still limited by there being 24 hours in a day, just like before.
 

sferrin

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Lets try to stick to scifi we think is good for a while, rather than complaining about culture wars stuff.
View attachment 668183
I guess in this future, thermonuclear weapons have been banned or something...
You mean like. . .today?
It's a bit different when it's one rock orbiting a distant star out of many rocks to choose from. Bugs on the planet and they're vicious? Slag the planet with nuclear weapons until they're all dead or mutated into peaceful plants or something. If it's mineral ores or whatever, bust the planet up into convenient sized airless asteroids that are easily processed into useful materials. The minor organic "surface nuisance" is taken care of along the way...
If you read the book you'd know why. (They're not simply dumb bugs.)
 

sferrin

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Would anyone here buy a book that's not written well?

*Lots* of badly written books sell like hotcakes. "Mein Kampf" springs to mind, along with virtually every religious text you care to mention. And I understand Mr. Chuck Tingle's works are both badly written and sell like mad, despite being totally whacko. And then there are your cheapo "romance" novels.
And let's not forget the political hit piece/ tell-alls. Then there's this:

 

Graham1973

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An Ed Emishwiller cover for a reprint of a 1930s Jack Williamson Story
 

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shin_getter

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Star Trek is kind of a schizo-tech setting. There is so much powerful technology that can instantly flip the setting on top of itself. Exponential growth of deep post-human capability is almost a bored teenager's project. The technologies make the universe very small place relative to time scale to, say development times on earth. It also isn't that super power capabilities are actually prevented from being discovered and adapted, as such capabilities are regularly shown in use by active participants. This is not a remotely stable situation from a naturalistic "life expands to available resources" perspective, as normally a few expansionists would quickly take control of everything.

Now, given that practically omnipotent beings exists, it can explained: the galaxy is practically a zoo in which upcoming participants are prevented from adapting overpowering developments and taking over the place completely. As the presence of god like powers are known to the federation and the state of the universe basically demands meddling as a explanation, the real problem of everything is about how to live under all powerful gods.
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Things like people on wheelchairs doesn't make it significantly more silly than the age of sail in space fantasy it has been (though it does hurt the fantasy). On a trivial level, if given replicators and transporter technology, logical application would have body swap at will. Add wings to fly, add skin to survive environments, add radiation resistance, gender is whatever, merge crew members for missions, blah blah.
 

Foo Fighter

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Personally, the only way Doctor Which can get back on the rails is with some sort of "Star Trek" reboot. David Tenant wakes up in the shower with Victoria Principle and has a flashback which means everything after he left, a nightmare. Poor ol' Doctor might just need a slops bucket though, or a sedative.

A question for Trek fans like myself. Crew get beamed to an alien planet and killed, reboot to the version in the 'pattern buffers' and redo from start. I know but it's how I process stuff.
 

robunos

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Crew get beamed to an alien planet and killed, reboot to the version in the 'pattern buffers' and redo from start. I know but it's how I process stuff.

Exactly. Likewise, Ensign Redshirt gets a horrible disease. All McCoy needs in sickbay is a transporter/replicator, hooked up to said 'pattern buffers'. Diseased Ensign Redshirt is painlessly erased and replaced with a fresh, healthy copy . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

Orionblamblam

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Crew get beamed to an alien planet and killed, reboot to the version in the 'pattern buffers' and redo from start. I know but it's how I process stuff.

Exactly. Likewise, Ensign Redshirt gets a horrible disease. All McCoy needs in sickbay is a transporter/replicator, hooked up to said 'pattern buffers'. Diseased Ensign Redshirt is painlessly erased and replaced with a fresh, healthy copy . . .

cheers,
Robin.
I believe the explanation is that the transporter doesn't actually *record* the full pattern of someone in the way V'Ger recorded and stored the full *everything* that it scanned. When a human body is going through the transporter, the full 100 kilograms (or whatever) of the human is transformed into energy and then sent on; once the transport cycle is complete, the mass/energy of the person is no longer in the system. The transporter would seem to record only some (comparatively) basic info about the subject... bulk structure, general DNA, etc.

Where this falls down is when the transporter malfunctions and spits out two copies. The added 100 kilos of mass/energy came from... the writer. Shrug.


My own space opera stories don't have transporters, but they have *effectively* replicators. Replicators that can scan a human and produce an exact living, thinking replica in whatever number you might like. This is, of course, a problem. So there is a reason why this capability *isn't* used except in very specific situations. And none of those situations are "he died, make a new one."
 
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Foo Fighter

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Tut, Tut. Very poor planning at Starfleet then. No worse than any other large organisation though. I had a thought that a micro black hole/worm hole might solve the whole new person on planet but controling a piece of kit like that may take a tad more power than a double A battery can provide. I like the idea and it is so very Stargate.
 

Justo Miranda

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Justo Miranda

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Justo Miranda

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zen

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I think it was Verner Vinge's Fire Uppon the Deep that raised the consequences of superintelligence and it's likely lifespan.
Essentially such beings don't last very long, they either die/ascend to some other existence or turn into a hegemonising swarm chew up the rest of their galaxy and then die off leaving the galaxy fallow until life reemerges.

Personally I sometimes muse on a Klingon centered version of Star Trek. As the Federation seems so bland and goody twoshoes to really be interesting.

As for heros.....like ideals and principles, we rather need them. Even if we cannot always achieve them or be like them.
 

Orionblamblam

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The glorious future of AI, whatever that may be, cannot replace humans - not too many humans. Otherwise, who would buy books, especially at a discount, from Amazon? No income = no sales. That will never change.

Indeed. Who would buy books in a world where an infinite supply of books - and music, and video entertainment - can be dreamed up by an app on your phone, tailor-made to exactly fit your needs and desires?

Who would need Hollywood when an AI program can be told "give me a book-accurate 30-hour presentation of 'The Silmarillion' starring a cast of overweight bald midgets" and after a seconds computation the opening scene begins to play? Who would need publishing houses when that app, after studying your reading habit and/or directly scanning your brain, can throw together novels that are so precisely perfect for you that the serotonin levels become dangerously addictive?

Forget about "yeah, but how can that possibly be profitable" because it won't need to be. Modern publishing needs to be, because there are people involved. AI-based writing doesn't have any humans in the loop. Someone could well create that AI as a *lark.* Someone could create it as a university project. Someone could create it as a way to torpedo the publishing business that constantly rejected his own garbage novels. Someone could create it as a pay-per-book service that spends a few years making the creator bank, but which then finally gets cracked by hackers and modified into a freeware system.

There's nothing special or sacred about fiction writing or writers. If they can be replaced with automation, they will be. And unlike plumbers who need to physically show up and turn a wrench, this could in principle all be done on your phone. *Any* job that today can be done remotely will be doable by AI soon enough. Writing, acting, accounting, teaching, therapy, preaching... no reason why these can't be done by machines on a screen.
 

Graham1973

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Chris Foss's Triptich for the 'Foundation' Trilogy and one of the images he did for the action novels of author Geoffrey Jenkins...
 

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Graham1973

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Gino d'Achille, an artist who's work can also be found in the List of Fictional Warships with a pair of images clearly taking ideas from '2001: A Space Odyssey' & 'Silent Running'
 

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jeffb

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Who would need Hollywood when an AI program can be told "give me a book-accurate 30-hour presentation of 'The Silmarillion' starring a cast of overweight bald midgets" and after a seconds computation the opening scene begins to play?
More likely you'll get a message saying that the global computational heat budget is currently oversubscribed, please try later.
Forget about "yeah, but how can that possibly be profitable" because it won't need to be. Modern publishing needs to be, because there are people involved.
What are the impacts on capitalism generally once replicators become commonplace? Are the impacts on publishing arising from the widespread access to the internet any sort of guide?
 

Justo Miranda

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Photography killed painting and they had to invent modern art, cinema killed the theater and they had to give it state aid, television killed cinema and now we have two different types of interconnected garbage, recorders killed music and had to invent rap. I wonder where art, culture and imagination will survive for the next decade.
 

Orionblamblam

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What are the impacts on capitalism generally once replicators become commonplace? Are the impacts on publishing arising from the widespread access to the internet any sort of guide?

Star Trek is often accused of displaying a socialist or even Marxist future, what with money no longer being a thing. That arose because it's a post scarcity society... replicators can make food and meds and clean water and toys, all they need are power and raw materials. But power and raw materials still need to be provided. One can assume Mr. Fusion desktop reactors that provide power from tap water or rain, so power is essentially free. Raw materials could be an issue, depending on whether or not the replicator is magical. If you want it to make you a gold chain, do you need to provide it with gold, or can it miracle silicon into elemental gold? If the former, there is still going to be a market for raw materials.

And then there will be "who owns the land." In a Marxist Federation, the feds tell you where you can - and will - live. But that doesn't seem to be the case in Trek. So there will still be a market to buy and sell land. The question will be, how will the average Joe actually make money with which to buy gold and land and services?
 
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shin_getter

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You need "precursor civilizations" to die to maintain space opera type setting. I think the vision of space being a source of "frontier" stories is pretty fringe within its own context given the nature evolution of the environment. What is likely to happen short time span of colonialization followed by populations and processing power that is orders of magnitude beyond anything in history. An alternative would be the first civ systematically killing potential life bearing areas to prevent future rivals.

Someone really need to think about that world....(and find an angle that is appealing to read) Quadrillions living in a system for (b)million years. What would "people" even do? What is the culture, what is the kind of thing that is thought about and what are the stories within that context.

AI-based writing doesn't have any humans in the loop. Someone could well create that AI as a *lark.* Someone could create it as a university project. Someone could create it as a way to torpedo the publishing business that constantly rejected his own garbage novels. Someone could create it as a pay-per-book service that spends a few years making the creator bank, but which then finally gets cracked by hackers and modified into a freeware system.
Computer systems isn't free (GPT-3 costed millions in computing, millions in engineer time, novel length model with good quality will take significantly more), and corporate can provide a better service than the average dude on the street fiddling with compute. A freemium version will likely exist based on user data collection and marketing tie in (product placement and more) though. A run at home system is likely to run into government opposition for generating the wrong kind of narratives, please think of the BIPOC queer children~ in any case.

Now good text generation for novel length stories runnable on "low cost" hardware will eventually happen, but when it does society is probably blown up by changes across the whole economy and writers is the last of normal people's concerns. Who remember novels during the third skynet war~

No need for hypotheticals, all eyes on AI Dungeon monetarization results~

There's nothing special or sacred about fiction writing or writers. If they can be replaced with automation, they will be.
There is always a market for authentic handcrafted ethical writings from (((insert class)))

LOL at (((neuroatypical))) people that buy books to read them as opposed to show off taste~ see:
....I can just see it now, the drama when some intern in 2050s+ mindlessly breaks kayfabe and lists books as furniture.

Some people are special and sacred, and as such association with them have positive signaling value:

The existing YA market is amusing because it is based on having sacred status to sell the product. That is why there is "drama" due to theological issues that no evil "nihilist" can comprehend.

What are the impacts on capitalism generally once replicators become commonplace? Are the impacts on publishing arising from the widespread access to the internet any sort of guide?
Production does not fulfill the entire Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Labor would logically shift toward sectors that can not be fulfilled by production technology.

This is not too new, as material needs for humans actually hits diminishing returns relative to everything else after health and comfort can be fulfilled, and elites in complex society generally have gotten to this point. The elites are not idle and work damned hard at other things though.

Which is to say, the future is the entire population becoming activists-lawyers suing each other to get into good school districts, forever~

The future is already here, just not evenly distributed~
--------
The study of economy is just not very relevant as people move beyond material deprivation. What the era needs is study of social status.
 

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Will intellectual property laws need to be reviewed/updated? (God I hope so).
If you want it to make you a gold chain, do you need to provide it with gold, or can it miracle silicon into elemental gold?
Better hope not because some idiot is bound to order up a bunch of plutonium.
 

Orionblamblam

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There is always a market for authentic handcrafted ethical writings from (((insert class)))

Sure, but... anyone with the software can tinker with the settings tabs to make it read like it originated with whatever type of person you care to imagine. And by that point it will probably be impossible to determine whether an author is a real person or not. Sure, you might think "but I saw him give a TED talk," but then the whole Deep Fake thing rears its head, and you don't know if that speaker was himself invented from whole cloth.
 

Orionblamblam

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Will intellectual property laws need to be reviewed/updated? (God I hope so).
If you want it to make you a gold chain, do you need to provide it with gold, or can it miracle silicon into elemental gold?
Better hope not because some idiot is bound to order up a bunch of plutonium.

Indeed. But here's the fun part: a technology that can turn dirt into plutonium is essentially magic, at least from current understanding of physics. How far is that technology from turning dirt into antimatter... or strange matter? In the former case, your replicator is an instant multi-megaton bomb. In the latter case, it's an instant planet destroyer... or star destroyer.
 

jeffb

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Will intellectual property laws need to be reviewed/updated? (God I hope so).
If you want it to make you a gold chain, do you need to provide it with gold, or can it miracle silicon into elemental gold?
Better hope not because some idiot is bound to order up a bunch of plutonium.

Indeed. But here's the fun part: a technology that can turn dirt into plutonium is essentially magic, at least from current understanding of physics. How far is that technology from turning dirt into antimatter... or strange matter? In the former case, your replicator is an instant multi-megaton bomb. In the latter case, it's an instant planet destroyer... or star destroyer.
Lol. Well I guess that sort of rules the technology out otherwise we'd be seeing star systems blowing up all over the place. :D
 

shin_getter

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There is always a market for authentic handcrafted ethical writings from (((insert class)))
Sure, but... anyone with the software can tinker with the settings tabs to make it read like it originated with whatever type of person you care to imagine. And by that point it will probably be impossible to determine whether an author is a real person or not. Sure, you might think "but I saw him give a TED talk," but then the whole Deep Fake thing rears its head, and you don't know if that speaker was himself invented from whole cloth.
There will be organizations springing up left and right to certify the process of production fits standards, using varied method from cypto to physical interaction. Government regulatory agencies will also be created after voter demand, with the attending bureaucrats, lobbyists, lawyers, and activists. Analysis of textual source become the a large source of employment for language majors, all highly trained on artifacts of known computer generators to be unleashed on suspected texts. Enterprising celeb authors will livestream the creative process to form a market via parasocial bonds. Text will finally reach high post modern development, with meta-reflexive temporal transcendental convergence coherence semantic transmission that puts it beyond machine generation. Finally, novel forms of transaction and transfer will be created to ensure everything is both kosher and properly entitles the owner with righteous value.

Governments and markets will look at a growing sector of the economy that employs a good number of college graduates and consider it totally good. Just look at Muh GDP~

Ultimately this is a conceptually solved problem since the early days of high end art~ The details can change according to fashions and technology, but life finds a way.

For a taste of the future of the industry: (imagine a 10^6 growth in sophistication once resources are available)

Lol. Well I guess that sort of rules the technology out otherwise we'd be seeing star systems blowing up all over the place. :D
Imagine a Trek where genesis device tier systems gets utilized left and right by everyone........ yes imagine what kind of setting it would be~
 
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Kat Tsun

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On a Marxist Federation, the feds tell you where you can - and will - live. But that doesn't seem to be the case in Trek. So there will still be a market to buy and sell land. The question will be, how will the average Joe actually make money with which to buy gold and land and services?

You only need energy to make things, really. Photons can be converted to matter (and vice versa) so there's probably no "feedstock" industry in any practical sense. Replicators probably just make stuff out of thin air without any stock material to begin with.

They don't make anything. There's no currency. It's probably a barter or service exchange economy. You replicate me a rowboat boat and use your replicator time and I'll make you grand piano or something and teach you how to play it sometime. Your replicator time would be measured in the amount of joules it's required to make something, which would be handed out via scrip by the Central Power Bureau of the colony or something based on the amount of work-hours you successfully completed that day I guess. That's about the only thing you can gleam what an "energy credit" is anyway.

The Federation also has gulags, which isn't very congruent with the idea of a "free" nor "Marxist", which might as well be described as "libertarianism without banks" (but it is absolutely congruent with Leninism I suppose) society. Considering it's plausible that the Tantalus Gulag houses political prisoners who question whether or not the Federation has anything to learn from the Klingons or Romulans. It's certainly big enough to have more than a few off color politicos like Solzhenitsyns or something,

I don't think it's fair to describe the Federation as anything resembling any modern economy except maybe the DPRK, since it's probably the closest. A Central Bureau presumably plans everything and distributes energy and manufactured resources based on "need" rather than demand, and probably has a bunch of basic tables and assumptions built in about what colonies get what, because that requires the least amount of information transfer and they seem to have a lot of experience in building planets up from nothing in highly toxic environments (Elba II).

In TNG the existence of money was fully retconned, but I suppose it was true in TOS as well, since no one is ever seen investing in markets or anything of the sort. What the actual difference between a "credit" and a unit of fiat currency is is not really explained at the end of the day, though.

All we know is that you buy wormhole rights, houses, tribbles, and a rowboat, and market investments and banks don't seem to exist. Perhaps the Federation just uses literal battery banks as fiscal banks to power the replicators? That would probably fit with what Gene was thinking about, and would fit with the technocratic themes in Star Trek in general, since joule economies were really popular in American technocrat circles in the early 20th century.
 

Orionblamblam

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Lol. Well I guess that sort of rules the technology out otherwise we'd be seeing star systems blowing up all over the place. :D

Alternative explanation: the technology is not juat plausible, but virtually inevitable. Eventually any technological civilization that approaches "replicator" level will create a "strange matter bomb," and someone will inevitably set one off. The question is whether it happens before the civilization is multiplanetary or not. If before, then the civilization eats itself; a single planet gets turned into a blob of strange matter. But if they are multiplanetary, someone might get the bright idea of destroying their sun. Which would not just turn the sun into a blob of strange matter... the star will likely explode during the process, scattering a strange matter dust cloud out into the interstellar medium. Since a single particle of free strange matter will cause any regular matter it comes into contact with to collapse into strange matter, an exploding strange matter star could easily set off a Kessler Syndrome effect that eventually will consume the entire galaxy.

And therefor: the reason why we don't see stars getting consumed left and right is because someone figured this out long ago and seeded every solar system in the galaxy with sensor systems. They watch life bearing planets, keeping an eye out for technological development. The question then becomes... if they detect replicator tech being developed, do the aliens warn the primitives what not to do and why... or do they just step in and blow the crap out of the civilization before they trash their own sun?
 

Orionblamblam

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There is always a market for authentic handcrafted ethical writings from (((insert class)))
Sure, but... anyone with the software can tinker with the settings tabs to make it read like it originated with whatever type of person you care to imagine. And by that point it will probably be impossible to determine whether an author is a real person or not. Sure, you might think "but I saw him give a TED talk," but then the whole Deep Fake thing rears its head, and you don't know if that speaker was himself invented from whole cloth.
There will be organizations springing up left and right to certify the process of production fits standards, using varied method from cypto to physical interaction. Government regulatory agencies will also be created after voter demand, with the attending bureaucrats, lobbyists, lawyers, and activists.

Yeah, but... a large fraction of the public won't believe *anything* the government tells them; a large fraction will believe every conspiracy theory that comes down the pike. You'll have people believing that those few things actually written by humans were actually created by AI; and they'll believe that secret humans created the things said to be the products of AI.

Enterprising celeb authors will livestream the creative process to form a market via parasocial bonds.

And others will live stream wholly CG rendered "creative processes." Nobody will have any certainty about what's real anymore. Belief that we're all living in a simulation will rise to prominence.
 

jeffb

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Lol. Well I guess that sort of rules the technology out otherwise we'd be seeing star systems blowing up all over the place. :D

Alternative explanation: the technology is not juat plausible, but virtually inevitable. Eventually any technological civilization that approaches "replicator" level will create a "strange matter bomb," and someone will inevitably set one off. The question is whether it happens before the civilization is multiplanetary or not. If before, then the civilization eats itself; a single planet gets turned into a blob of strange matter. But if they are multiplanetary, someone might get the bright idea of destroying their sun. Which would not just turn the sun into a blob of strange matter... the star will likely explode during the process, scattering a strange matter dust cloud out into the interstellar medium. Since a single particle of free strange matter will cause any regular matter it comes into contact with to collapse into strange matter, an exploding strange matter star could easily set off a Kessler Syndrome effect that eventually will consume the entire galaxy.

And therefor: the reason why we don't see stars getting consumed left and right is because someone figured this out long ago and seeded every solar system in the galaxy with sensor systems. They watch life bearing planets, keeping an eye out for technological development. The question then becomes... if they detect replicator tech being developed, do the aliens warn the primitives what not to do and why... or do they just step in and blow the crap out of the civilization before they trash their own sun?
....seems legit.
 

Dilandu

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Raw materials could be an issue, depending on whether or not the replicator is magical. If you want it to make you a gold chain, do you need to provide it with gold, or can it miracle silicon into elemental gold? If the former, there is still going to be a market for raw materials.
According to canon, the replicator could transmute elements into others. That's why the societies that still used monetary system - Ferengi, as most classic example - were forced to seek for materials that could not be replicated as a medium of exchange. Some liquid substance named "lanitum" was essentially found; for simplification of use its usually mixed with molten gold (which is worthless) into "gold-pressed latinum" chips and bars. If I recall correctly, there was an episode in DS9 when somebody found the way to replicate latinum, and all Ferengi freaked out, because it would meant immediate collapse of their trading empire..
 

Graham1973

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A Jim Burns image that graced the cover of a pre-Warhammer issue of White Dwarf... and is that a Junkers Jumo I spy...
 

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