How Star Trek's Replicators May or May Not Work
One of the great games the internet gives us are deep discussions of hypotheticals, in which every point of view adds a new dimension to something that doesn't matter at all. The future envisioned by Star Trek includes amazing technologies, some that have been developed in real life since the franchise first aired in 1966. But we also know that most Star Trek technology was designed to make filming or storytelling easier. The transporter, the universal translator, the holodeck, the tricorder, and the replicator were all shortcuts that we nevertheless became fascinated with.
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