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  #1  
Old 12-03-2009, 03:12 AM
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Default Honor Amongst Thieves

Just watched Honor Amongst Thieves last night, a good episode, always like the O'Brien ones and its quite sad at the end with Bilby going off to his inevitable death.

Watching it though there's a few things I don't get. Is Orion in the Federation by the 24th century? If it is why on earth do they have paper money and why didn't Bilby just have a happy life on utopic earth rather than living in the slums of Orion having to send all his money to his family...
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:49 AM
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No, Orion is not a Federation member in that episode (or at all, I think) and I would have to rewatch the episode to see of it gave any clues about Bilby's reasons for becoming part of the Syndicate.

Wasn't there something to do with being offered money?

Anyway, DS9 made it clear that while Earth could be construed as a Utopia, the galaxy as a whole certainly was not. There could be a variety of things that could lead people away from it into another kind of life.

Not everyone wants to live in a Utopia.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:09 AM
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The core worlds of the Federation are fairly safe whereas the border worlds are more like the Wild West, so it is more likely that you get drawn into criminal activities. So perhaps Bilby lived on a Federation colony, got into business with the Syndicate, then became a member and later had to move to the planet he lived on in this episode.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:46 AM
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It's also important to remember that not every human is born on Earth, raised on Earth or will ever spend much time there.

Given the huge number of other planets, colonies, etc to live on Earth may actually just be a kind of distant land of fable compared to their daily lives and existences. Colonists who have to toil and graft for years to carve their bit of space in the Galaxy may have little care about Earth.

Whereas someone born and raised on Earth, who lives there their whole lives, may have no comprehension of how some humans on these distant places actually make their living.

Even in the Federation there are still likely social divisions, despite the greater number of basics that can be provided.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:56 AM
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The crucial word is colonies. That's implied by the very word Trek, a wagon train to the stars. Colonizing worlds is always hard work and you get into conflict with other folks in the galaxy who want to expand their territory as well.
That's the other side of the Federation, it is not just a friendly, democratic institution but also a soft empire that wants to expand. Would they have so much trouble with the Romulans, Klingons and other powers if they just explored and returned home after their missions?

By the way, colonization also implies that there is no land of milk and honey, either overpopulation or natural resource scarcity have to be the key economic motives.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:14 AM
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Well that's not really where I was going. I'm not interested in territorial expansion and what it means with other powers. I'm meaning humans themselves.

Coming back to the initial question of why wouldn't a human want to live on Utopic Earth, is not the possible question - should we assume every human in the 24th Century actually cares about Earth?

Be it a Utopia or not.

Because man has spread far and wide - many humans will never set foot on it in their lifetime perhaps. Is it their home? Do they 'feel' for it? Do they have a connection to it? Does the idea of Earth have a meaning for them if they don't really know it?

For us, we are dependant on the Earth to support us. Take that dependency away from human and would it have the same lure?
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:36 AM
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In the light of an easy live on Earth and a harsh live on border worlds, I only wanted to speculate a bit about reasons for colonization.

You are absolutely right, why should colonists they care about Earth, why should North Americans care about Old Europe.
It is pretty straightforward that the culture on colonies differs from the ones on Earth, after all we have encountered human populations who were out of contact with Earth for quite some time. As live is always harsh and sometimes even dangerous if Orions or Klingons are nearby, the resulting culture might be not the most humanistic one. Hence the Mudds, the Bilbys and the Eddingtons.
This relates again to Europe and North America, at least during the expansion period it was pretty violent in the US. Not just because the Native Americans were slaughtered but because it took some time to build up decent institutions on new soil.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:41 AM
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And it's likely that if the episode had provided a detailed life story of Bilby, his background may not have been too dissimilar.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:20 PM
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You guys have come up with some good points, a lot of stuff I've not considered. Is quite interesting to think that there are possibly millions of humans who don't have any particular attachment or the Federation, guess we saw it in TNGs' Journeys End where the Indians decide to leave the Federation to stay on their colony.
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