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Old 07-16-2007, 08:10 PM
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This crossed my mind a while ago, and I've just now remembered it again, so I'm going to share it.

Throughout the run of DS9, much is made of how good a businessman Quark is, especially compared to Rom. Yet...is he really that great a businessman? Consider the economics of his bar. First off, he's got a sweet deal going with the management. In one episode, Sisko or Kira threaten to make him pay back rent, implying that up until this point he hadn't been paying rent. I imagine the same agreement applies to the power consumption of his replicators, from where most of his stock and probably all of his furnishings and glassware come from as well. For the first part of the series, he pays his employees the standard Ferengi wages of Practically Nothing, so labour costs aren't that high. Add to all that, his bar sits comfortably at the mouth of the wormhole, the busiest port of call on the Federation's most important trade route (until the war, at least), having all sorts of sidelines and private deals thrown at him. Under those circumstances, he should be making money hand over grubby little fist, but he's usually depicted as up to his lobes in debt. I could probably turn a profit with that bar, and I have no business acumen whatsoever.

Thoughts, corrections, alternate viewpoints?
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:06 PM
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Uh, I have a problem with the "most of his stock" point. Scotty, Picard, Guinan, and others have insinuated that although synthehol and other replicator drinks pretend to be quantifiably identical to the real thing, there is a distinct differance for those who consider themselves to be true connoseurs (totally muffed that spelling, I know). Hence, Quark must have a certain part of his stock be honest-to-goodness REAL alcoholic beverages. These things don't come from nowhere.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:29 PM
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OK, some quantity of his stock is non-replicated - there were always bottles on the shelves. However, being a Ferengi, he probably charged more for a glass than he paid for a bottle. Is it even possible to lose money selling high-quality booze?
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:53 AM
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Probably Ferengi tax laws are so complicated that they deliberately gouge the citizens.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:39 PM
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I think it's all the Ferengi Tax laws keeping him poor. Just think, every time you pray, or use the elevators, or even have a seat in a chair you need to pay a small fee.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:51 PM
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I'm suddenly reminded of that old Ferengi custom that I admire so much.

Host: This is my house...
Guest: As are all the things in it.

Or words to that effect.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:55 AM
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Interesting point, and one that applies to many other characters. There's more drama when someone fails at what he's supposed to be good at than when he succeeds. Rene Auberjonois once said in an interview that being the security chief was the least important part of Odo's character -- "horrible things happen on his watch."
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:25 AM
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I hate to point it out, but Ferengi don't have taxes until about season 7 - can't remember which episode, but Quark is talking to Brunt: "there are Tees on Ferenginar?[/i]. Clearly, he is shocked by the idea.

I think Quark loses money due to payouts on high-risk smuggling etc, which Odo usually catches him out in the middle of.
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Old 07-21-2007, 04:01 PM
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What I was saying in my post earlier aren't really considered Taxes. I used the wrong word. I just meant that Ferengi have to pay to "go to the bathroom." They're burdened with the phrase "if you want this, it'll cost extra." All those extra fees add up.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:24 AM
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Regarding Odo...

He's really got quite a sweet little deal going, doesn't he? He's the security chief for the most important outpost in the Federation. The Federation likes him (at least until the war), and trusts him with security on that outpost. The Bajorans like him and continually ensure that he's in charge instead of some Starfleet peon. The Cardassians like him and he still has a Cardassian security rating and clearance. The Founders see him as the Prodigal Son, and the Jem'Hadar see him as a god. Quite a journey for someone named Unknown Sample, huh?
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:12 AM
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Actually, he was named Nothing. But yes, I'd agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sa'ar Chasm View Post
However, being a Ferengi, he probably charged more for a glass than he paid for a bottle.
You don't need to be a Ferengi for that. They do that here as well.
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:13 PM
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No, "Nothing" is shorthand. I don't recall the episode name offhand, but his full name is Odo Ital, which is Cardassian for "unknown sample." It was the Bajorans who turned the designation into a family name/given name-style proper name of its own.

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Odo

Okay, we both have points, but I'm still a little confused on why the creators would say, "we can't translate this fictional language that WE OURSELVES invented perfectly." Come on, any language of a technologically advanced society would HAVE to have words for both "unknown" and "sample."
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:39 PM
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Alright, so you were right after all. My bad. Well so was I, perhaps, but not about correcting you. Am I still making sense?

Do you know any languages other that English? If you do, you should know that some things just don't have a different word for it. It's mostly cultural, and partly, I suppose, it depends on the imagination of the people who set up the language. And I'm just talking about differences between English and Dutch. How different, then, would you presume English and Cardassian would be?
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:46 PM
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Um, well, I did take two years of Spanish in high school (as an aside, the only reason I took the second one was to get out of doing any in college), but I'm nowhere near fluent, and I'm still miffed that I wasted so much time on lists of colors and household items instead of real conversations. These days I'm amazed that I recall more Spanish from Sesame Street than high school, similar to how I recall more American History from Schoolhouse Rock than high school.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:04 PM
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Yay for educational television. :P

Well let me give you a simple example then. Off the top of my head, since I don't have a dictionary right now.

Voor: For, in front of, in favor of...

I'm sure this would fill at least half a page in the dictionary with a lot of different translations for this one simple word, including proverbs.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:44 PM
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Yes. No Terran language apart from English, for example, contains the concept of 'slood', and the concepts of 'akh', 'ka', 'ib', 'sheut' etc are almost equally rare.
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:17 PM
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Ah but that's a completely different notion, though.
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:20 PM
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Yes. I think.

Is that the right kind of question?
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:03 PM
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Same topic, different series.

I've been watching a lot of Stargate lately. If the Ancients were so smart, why don't the Stargates have Call Display? Or an option to send an incoming wormhole straight to voicemail? Are even supergenius ascended beings plagued by stifling, choiceless phone plans?

Also, what are the odds of me getting a Science Consultant gig on Stargate: Atlantis?
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sa'ar Chasm View Post
Same topic, different series.

I've been watching a lot of Stargate lately. If the Ancients were so smart, why don't the Stargates have Call Display? Or an option to send an incoming wormhole straight to voicemail? Are even supergenius ascended beings plagued by stifling, choiceless phone plans?
Seems as if that'd be something which might well be addressed by the Law of Parallel Planetary Development (diversions from plan.)

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Quote:
Also, what are the odds of me getting a Science Consultant gig on Stargate: Atlantis?
Dunno. Have you tried sending them an e-mail or CV?
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