Joy's Reviews > Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek

Trekonomics by Manu Saadia
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it was amazing
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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 he wanted to read about the future economics of the world set up in Star Trek, and I think he succeeded well with an interesting and informative book that not only covers several aspects of economics and sociopolitical norms in Star Trek but also relates them back to our own real world. He closes the book with some speculation as to how the seeds of Trekonomics already exist in our own world, and while I disagree with his final conclusion, it's still well put and interesting.

Various chapters of the book deal with different aspects of Trekonomics, from how replicators symbolize the post-scarcity economy of the Federation to how Ferengis exemplify not only a wealth/consumer based society that yet could still change. The topic of "what is valuable when things no longer have real value" is explored from many angles, and generally boils down to "your reputation and your abilities" as the answer. In a post-scarcity world, where you no longer need to toil to make rent and buy groceries, people can instead choose to work on what interests them and where their talents lie, not just at what they can do to survive. In general, this will lead to people being able to explore their abilities to the furthest extent possible, even if the product of those talents isn't immediately commercially viable, leading to even more improvements and discoveries that can further push the post-scarcity economy into even more wealth for all. Given the current political climate, the economic changes leading to loss of jobs and more unequal distribution of wealth, this idea of a basic income for all is starting to be talked about in public more and more, and this book not only touches on that idea but extrapolates it out to the most positive outcome.

The author writes clearly and well, with entertaining and applicable quotes and illustrations from the full panoply of the Star Trek universe. He doesn't shy away from the negative possibilities of some of the economic ideas discussed, but does point out that there's a lot more to humans than we often give ourselves credit for. While I don't necessarily agree with his conclusion that star travel will never happen, I see and agree with his point that we are on Earth for quite some time to come, and space exploration will not happen until the entire planet is wealthy enough to support it as a whole.

Overall, this is an excellent book, and I learned a lot about economic theory and how it applies to our world now and how it could apply to us in the future. I highly recommend this book and have already sent the link to it to several people that I know.
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Reading Progress

June 5, 2016 – Started Reading
June 5, 2016 – Shelved
June 12, 2016 – Shelved as: favorites
June 12, 2016 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Nancy (new)

Nancy This sounds like so much fun!

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