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2 min read

I’d love to read about the early days of the Star Trek replicator. It’s a sometimes-useful macguffin in the context of Star Trek: The Next Generation and later shows: a device that can recreate virtually any object on command, from food to electronics.

By the time ST:TNG was set, it had become a major engine that transformed Star Trek into a post-scarcity, post-money society. But there had to have been an earlier, more transitional state, which is more interesting to me: a time when replicators could recreate virtually anything but society hadn’t quite transitioned to post-money rules.

An artist, musician, or artisan during those times might have found that their work could suddenly be replicated infinitely, but they still needed money to survive. How did Federation culture adapt? Were these people taken care of? Or were they seen as necessary collateral? Did they themselves support the idea of a post-scarcity, post-money society (which I agree would be a good thing!) or did they protest?

And if they did protest, how would we feel about that, knowing their immediate context and where the technology led to?

Were there riots? Should there have been?

Captain Janeway uses a replicator

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