Would you rather have a Legion flight ring or a Starfleet food replicator?

I’d write a justifying setup if I weren’t so lazy. But I am, so I won’t.

The flight ring will let you fly about as fast as a 747–say a maximum of 600 miles an hour, though lower speeds and even simple hovering are allowed. It also protects you against dangers of altitude, acceleration, and so forth, but only while you’re flying. It has communications circuitry built in, but since Shadow Lass and Cosmic Boy are not available to be chatted up, let’s just say it can double as a voice-activated cell phone both while flying and on the ground. It has enough of whatever exotic fuel powers it to get to about 1 million miles if used at an average speed of 200 mph. You can command it remotely from no more than ten feet away. The ring will have 1000 miles on it when you get it (safety checks and what not); the next scheduled maintenance check is at 10 million miles.

The food replicator is about the size of an commercial microwave oven. The actual mechanism is much smaller; most of that space is just for the chamber where the replicated material appears. It only does food, beverages, and the appropriate plates, bowls, glasses, & cups, by the way. The replicator is self-contained, with enough of its exotic fuel to create about 5 years worth of meals for a family of four. It has an extensive pre-programmed menu, and in addition you can scan items and add them to its memory, after which it will be able to make an exact duplicate (down to the molecular level). I am including a picture of Dax & Sisko in TOS uniforms mainly because Terry Farrell was v. pretty.

Only one item to a Doper; pick the ring and you can’t get a replicator, and vice versa. Which do you choose, and why?

Food replicator in a heartbeat. No question.

The flight ring is a toy/plot device. It gets the Legion to where Superboy, Mon-El, Supergirl and all the other flyers are without needing a taxi. As an actual tool, however, it is sorely lacking. So you can fly to London. Exactly how is your luggage going to get there?

Whereas the food replicator is both practical and wonderful. I’d take it with me to Las Vegas and Yountville and go nuts. Thomas Keller, Joel Robuchon, Bobby Flay and Mario Batali would find their menus promptly installed into the device. The wife and I both enjoy cooking and eating out, so the device wouldn’t get used every day, or even every week. That means we should have the fuel to feed us the odd world-class meal for the rest of our lives. Not to mention the ability to throw some amazing dinner parties. :smiley:

I am way too chicken to use the flight ring for a transoceanic flight. It takes about seven hours to fly from New York to London, I think; that’s a long time to keep concentrating without being able to pull over to the side of the road. And what if something happens to *me *-- heart attack, kidney stone, whatever --three and a half hours into the flight?

Flight ring, please.

Sure, I like food, but you can get food anywhere.
The power of flight? Too awesome to pass up, indeed. Sign me up.

whoa. Really tough.

I could fly to see my family in India. Yeah, I know you said you don’t trust it with an international flight, but that’s like a 20 hour flight in a cramped airplane, man. I’d love to be able to fly it. Once I got to Europe I could take shorter tri-ps…but yes, the luggage is a problem.

I guess I’ll take the food thing. As much as I like food, if I didn’t have to eat I probably honestly wouldn’t, at least not proper meals. I hate stopping whatever I am doing to go through the onerous task of prepping a meal and eating it…I’d love to have food just arrive with the minimum of preperation.

That’s a really tough choice. I would probably find a Doper to marry so that we could get both. With a flight ring AND a food replicator, married life would have to be pretty awesome.

I choose the flight ring:

  1. A life of crime enabled by technology has always been my dream, and the ability to fly suggests all sorts of delicious scenarios. Of course, the goddamn police would probably have flight rings, too.

  2. If the life of crime doesn’t pan out, I can think of all sorts of ways to make money with the ring. For instance, an express mail service that would blow FedEx out of the water.

  3. I could catch, cook, and eat birds in midflight.

  4. The Starfleet replicator seems to produce food that is perfectly edible but nonetheless not quite the same as the real thing. I recall this being mentioned pretty much across the Trek pantheon (and no, I’m not going to cite specific episodes). I would rather use the revenue generated by my use of the ring to pay for a talented chef.

I’ve calculated that the replicator, with its given constraints, could net me $120million in profit if I programmed it for white truffles. That’s enough money to buy all the charter flights you’d realistically use, and plenty of fun money left over.

Also it was said that the thing would duplicate the plates, so I could buy some antique china and put that in there and scan it. Mega bucks. If it’s thrills you’re after you can buy a ride into space with all your money.

So I’ll take the replicator. Maybe there’s no substitute for the thrill of flying, but the replicator has the flight ring beat in every other aspect you could think of.

If I claim to be a cannibal, does Deanna Troi count as duplicate-able food?

Flight ring. Too danged much fun.

It’s even in Trek canon:
http://www.trektoday.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/TroiCake101810.gif

Wow that was kind of disturbing when I first saw it. I was expecting something else altogether!

Speaking as poster not OP:

I always took it that the problem with replicated meals was that a lot of it was programmed by people who didn’t quite agree with the eater as to how a given item should taste in the first place, and that dishes inputted simply as recipes rather than complete samples were missing subtle things that the programmer overlooked. That’s why I’d spend my first several weeks with the replicator just manually cooking (or buying) dishes that were precisely to my taste and storing the pattern; I’d be more confident of those than the pre-programmed menu.

As to the crime issue: granted the flight ring will help you escape the police when you’ve robbed a bank, but how will it help you with the crime?

As to the express mail: you can only carry so much in a duffle bag, dude. FedEx will kill you on volume.

Speaking as OP not poster:

:smack: re the antique china issue. I tried to write around ways to use the replicator to make money (hence it only being a food replicator), but yeah, that might well work. Except there might be issues of demonstrating provenance that you won’t be able to work around. I don’t know enough about antiques to be sure, but perhaps someonen else does.

Speaking as both poster & OP:

It’s firmly established in canon that replicators can’t create living beings; Troi will not fit inside the containment chamber as described anyway; and you don’t have a her to scan anyway.

I assume the link above is for Data eating Troi in his dreams. I refuse to look at that again. Once is enough.

The replicator only has enough fuel for 20 years’ worth of fuel (assuming only one person). The flight ring, however, will last for a million miles- which, realistically, could last me the rest of my life.

Flight ring, please.

Flight ring for me, because flight is more awesome than twenty person-years worth of food. First stop would be to go pick up a million bucks from the James Randi institute.

Yup, Deanna as “cellular peptide cake”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wouldn’t that be cheating? The flight ring isn’t supernatural, just insanely advanced tech. I predict that if Chronos comes into the thread, he’ll want to try to take apart and reverse-engineer whichever he picks.

I’m too lazy to do the math, but if you’re using the flight ring for both everyday commutes and transoceanic flights, you might run out of fuel in your lifetime.

Don’t make me hit you.

Yeah, for me this isn’t even close. I’ll take the ability to fly in a heartbeat.

I’m going for flight but I seriously need to get my husband to sign up before these distributions start happening :smiley:

Hell half the time I fly with carry on luggage only and I’m assuming I could wear a backpack while ring flying so I’m not terribly concerned about the luggage issue although I would be more likely to use it for local commuting than long flights. Imagine the aerial shots you could take with such precise control over your flight and no annoying window reflections in the way.

Flight ring. I can see myself bulking up to 600 lbs. very quickly with the replicator.

Wouldn’t it be easier to eat healthier with the replicator? A day at the farmer’s market and an evening spent scanning samples, and you’ve got endless fresh fruits & veggies at your disposal.

This is looking to be another of those threads in which I was completely wrong as to how the voting would go. I thought the replicator would win by a landslide.