June 19, 2013

Never Trust ANYONE Who Doesn't Believe in Money

This always bothered me about Star Trek...the whole "We have no money, we....ummm....uh....stuff" thing was always put out there but handwaived..

Of course there are all sorts of problems with this notion as it means that whoever is in charge decides what and who has value....and doesn't.  This may appeal to a certain type of control freak, academic or fanatic, but it is unlikely to work out for those not in favor with those who take it upon themselves to define value.

This is explored extensively in episode 11 of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet which holds forth in part on how NOT to set up ones economy and society.

In Gargantia, the fanatical new-age commies parroting received wisdom from their "betters" are the BAD GUYS....I LOVE this show!

There are a lot of things to like about this episode, in an admirably redemptive moment, Pinyon realizes how gravely he has screwed up and tries to make things right. Among those he encounters are some folks who made an appearance in episode 3 just long enough to get their butts handed to them...

The Dread Pirate Bosom...

...and Chekhov's Bridgebunnies...

...who may actually be important.

Eyecandy notwithstanding this is a grim episode visually, being the third episode taking place in the dreary sea of mists. The occasional scene shift to Gargantia with its spectacular color does a fine job of portraying the contrasts between the shows vision of darkness and light.

The icing on the cake of all this is Ledo's unenviable position.

Well, we now have a decent idea where this is going and why the Gargantia episodes were so important. The last two stories haven't been a derailment or a sharp change in the plot they've been adding dark threads to the tapestry of this story that are serving to accentuate the colors of this fascinating tale.

 I can definitely see where Madokka's Urobuchi has had a hand in this show. This could still go to worms, but it has the potential to be something very very good indeed.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:15 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Iain Banks, of blessed memory, was one of the few people who could put together a SF universe without money and with a convincing explanation for why there wasn't any.

But that only worked because, frankly, omg-what-super-science had ended scarcity completely, material goods being so easy to manufacture and so inexpensive that there's just not any point in keeping track to allocate things "fairly"; there's enough for everyone to massively overindulge to their wild fantasies. There's enough real estate (as the society busily churns out additional world-rings) for people to have whatever domicile they like. And everything is run by AIs with social incentives to keep everybody as happy as possible, and with the attention necessary to keep an eye on everyone and intervene in their lives exactly as much as they feel comfortable with, but anyway enough to keep them from dying in accidents or from stabbing or shooting each other.

Star Trek has a little of this going (replicators, dontcha know) but still hasn't quite got the omnipresent-benevolent AI down, and is way too busy being organized to get properly hedonistic. Also, without the AI, there's actually a point to having human labor for things like military applications...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Wed Jun 19 21:11:28 2013 (pWQz4)

2 Though a major theme of Look to Windward is, well, money.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Jun 20 08:41:42 2013 (PiXy!)

3 Manufacturing has already gone fairly far down the too-cheap-to-meter road; the majority of value is no longer manufactured in developed economies.  The US, for instance, has gone from over 400,000 autoworkers to 70,000 in the last generation and a half.  Money is money, and it follows scarcity.  If stuff ceases to be scarce, it will stop tracking stuff, and chase work, or ideas, or motive power, or sheer raw power itself. 

Have you read Wright's Count to a Trillion?  Some interesting stuff in there about how societies adapt to too-cheap-to-meter power at the Kardashev II level.  Which reminds me, I have to order the sequel...

I don't watch current-season anime anymore, but this show sounds like my sort of thing.  Looking forward to it in a year or two.

Posted by: Mitch H. at Thu Jun 20 09:17:51 2013 (jwKxK)

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