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Delenn_of_Mir 04-18-2012 11:02 AM

Currency in the B5 universe
 
One thing I never really thought about was how did Delenn earn a living? In finally thinking to myself I realized that the Grey Council must have paid B5 for her to live there? But since they were so instrumental in building B5 maybe they already contributed enough financially that she and Lennier didn't have to pay for anything?

Has Minbari currency ever been discussed?

What about the other ambassadors? Did they have to pay to live on B5? Did every race have a credit only currency? I remember Londo running out when he was gambling, in the pilot.

I know that the humans used credits, so I guess earth had quit using cash and switched over to all credits. I think I saw them using their identi cards as their credit cards.

In the B5 universe though I wonder why they weren't using chips implanted under the skin, which would be both your identification and credit card, and could contain all your health info, etc. Was Earth simply not that advanced yet? or maybe there would be downsides to this type of thing that I'm not realizing.

And maybe since I've never really been a huge trek fan - maybe they made it lower tech to make it less like trek, which to me is a really good thing. I loved how realistic everything felt to me. Although sometimes it felt as if earth was a little behind where I feel we would be technologically by the 2200's. Not by a lot though.

I don't miss shrink rays, or teleport devices, or those machines that can create anything from matter. Soooo not a trekkie. :D

I thought it was really cool that they used data crystals to record everything. And I wonder are there advantages/disavantages to using crystals over microchips? And if B5 universe had chosen to use crystals cause maybe they record more and last longer - they definitely couldn't implant those under your skin probably.

*giggles* I just like the idea of never losing anything. But truthfully I know nothing about how science or technology really works, and so in the end I just trust that the Great Maker is smarter than me and that he knew what he was doing. :D

WorkerCaste 04-18-2012 11:43 AM

A lot of interesting thoughts. Here's a couple of quick responses. :)

I always assumed that the various governments had to pay for the ambassadors' expenses. That's like things are today. The various currencies would all have exchange rates and be handled as a matter of course. If a race had no internal currency (as is a possibility with Minbar) they would still need some means of paying for goods and services obtained from other races. While the need for this could be very minimal, one would have to assume it was non-zero, so a method would have to exist. Since the Minbari did back B5 financially in the begining, they may have gotten some or all of the expense waived.

As far as the tech goes, that is always the problem with SF entertainment. There are three basic issues: what can you think of, what will translate to the audience, and what can you afford?

We want our SF to be different, but not too different or we won't identify what's happening without a lot of exposition. You could have had someone wave an arm over a sensor, but if you didn't have any exposition, a lot of the audience would be left thinking about what just happened and what it means. If you try to explain, it can get awkward. "That'll be 10 credits. Just wave your embedded identichip over the sensor there..." You've got to figure, back when B5 first aired, an electronic card was very futuristic, but still immediately recognised for what it was. Now, of course, they're making credit cards with RF chips you can wave and it doesn't seem a very big leap at all.

Andrew_Swallow 04-19-2012 09:16 AM

The ambassadors had to pay for transmissions using the Gold Channels.

In the Pilot Lyta bought things with her card. The Vorlons paid for her rooms.

Marsden 04-19-2012 07:11 PM

There's credits, like when you use your debit card, and there's hard currency like Centauri Ducats. You don't need connection to a net with the hard currency but then the buyer may not value as much as you want. They looked like little gold bars.

KoshN 04-19-2012 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marsden (Post 70326)
There's credits, like when you use your debit card, and there's hard currency like Centauri Ducats. You don't need connection to a net with the hard currency but then the buyer may not value as much as you want. They looked like little gold bars.

I always thought of them as debit cards with a certain number of credits assigned, e.g. the ones Londo was always throwing down on casino tables after the card was exhausted.

David Panzer 04-19-2012 11:01 PM

I think there could have been both: one to draw from your account, and a "gift card" so you don't go broke while gambling.

Looney 04-20-2012 01:59 PM

And the other stuff...
 
I personally prefer B5 to Trek for some of the same reasons Delenn_of_Mir pointed out, chiefly the B5 Universe seems like a more believable future than that of Trek. I mean, on the one hand I think some of the 'Trek Tech' seems too advanced for it not taking place even further into the future. But from my point of view the more interesting angle is that of the human behavior and social structures. Let's be honest, sometimes the humans in Trek don't seem human enough. The Federation Social structure seems a little too ideal. Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part the world of Babylon 5 seems to me like a more believable view of the future of the society we live in now.

And as far as the money goes, it seems like G'Kar had to leave his quarters when Narn could no longer pay for them and he had to purchase quarters with his own funds. I also seem to remember someone mentioning at some point in the show that Narn currency had been devalued. I don't know, it could all be my imagination because it has been so long since I watched the show. Anyway, there were obviously different currency systems and governments paid for their ambassadors living arrangements and salaries. Although, it seems hard to imagine Kosh taking out his wallet and scanning a card or putting down hard currency. LOL :D

David Panzer 04-20-2012 10:58 PM

Vorlon currency is recognized by everyone. Whatever your world's precious metals/gemstones are, that's what it is.

Then you peek behind the encounter suit and it's just some rocks.

Delenn_of_Mir 04-21-2012 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillieStealAndHow (Post 70338)
Vorlon currency is recognized by everyone. Whatever your world's precious metals/gemstones are, that's what it is.

Then you peek behind the encounter suit and it's just some rocks.


*giggles* I definitely wouldn't put that past them.


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