A look at life in Star Trek's Federation in the "Next Generation" and "DS9" series, based on the American Culture website.

If you're a human in the United Federation of Planets (at the time of "Next Generation" and "DS9")

* You believe deep down in the Freedom of Speech, guaranteed by the government, or rather Starfleet as you're much more familiar with them than your government.

* You're familiar with classical Earth music and literature. You're probably also familiar with a number of 20th century works such as detective novels and "Warner Brothers" cartoons. Though you are hard-pressed to name anything recent and original.

* You're familiar with traditional Earth sports, and may have played them recently in a holodeck.

* If you're a diplomat or a scientist, you can't remember when you've had a vacation.

If you died tonight ...

*You may or may not believe in God, and even if you do you're not likely to be very religious. You think it's bad manners to talk (or think) very much about religion, at least in public. You consider people who do misguided and a nuisance, unless they're nonhumans trying to spread their creed, which you feel quiant about.

* Food comes from a restaraunt or replicators if you live or work in a government facility. Although the nourishment from the latter is supposed to be the same as the former, you may prefer eating "real" food.

* You don't consider insects, dogs, cats, monkeys, or guinea pigs to be food, although you may be familiar with someone from a world that does.

* A bathroom may or may not have a sonic shower, but it certainly has a toilet. You're familiar with the jokes about starship bathrooms, as toilets are never seen in media brodcasts.

* You own a video screen and some kind of point-to-point communication device. Your place is heated in the winter, cooled in the summer, and has its own bathroom. You don't have a dirt floor. You typically wear disposable clothes, so you don't need a washer. You don't kill your own food, though you're probably familiar with someone from a world that does.

* Communications, transportation, vehicle manufacturers, and power companies are owned by the government. You consider this perfectly natural, "Several competing organizations delivering the same product to the same population? How Ferrengi."

* You hardly hear much about your government, except when there's some attack on an ambassador.

* Race is unimportant to you. In fact, "race" usually brings to mind another sapient species.

* You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their predjuces and worked together.

* You take a strong court system for granted, even if you don't use it, at least in matters concerning disputes with other individuals. Any dispute you have with the government might be brought to trial, you have fewer rights and in fact Starfleet officials can pass judgement on civilians. But unless this happens to you, you don't really care.

* You'd be surprised to find someone who can speak French, German, or Japanese, as all humans know English. For everyone else, there's always the "Universal Translator," though chances are you have no idea at all how it works.

* Taxes? Why should the government tax you when it pays your allowance of credits in the first place?

* School is free, and no one considers it odd if your kids learn at home.

* College is normaly four years long, excluding graduate study.

Love and marriage, or just love

* Although the old Earth dating system is still in use, official and Starfleet files put down the "stardate." You have a hard time figuring it out and have no idea how it's calculated. But since everyone else uses it, you say nothing.

* The decimal point is a dot, certainly not a comma.

* A billion is a thousand times a million.

* You expect marriages to be made for love, not by third parties. A man gets one wife at a time. You marry at a civil facility. You think religious weddings are either for archaic-minded humans, unless one partner is nonhuman, in which case a wedding under their religious principles is just fine. Homosexual relations are recognized, and no one gives a second thought to them having the same rights as male-female couples.You may have lived together for a while before marriage, though usually do before having kids. You might not marry at all as marriages have fewer benefits than in the past, and few if any seem to care if you don't bother to.

* If a man has sex with another man, he's a homosexual. But it's considered more-or-less normal and acceptable. If you're not, you don't embrace men outside your family, and consider old media scenes of "pals" freely hugging each other a little odd.

* Once you're introduced to someone (Besides Starfleet admirals, ambassadors, and other lofty figures), you can call them by their first name.

* If you're a woman, going topless at the beach is an option in places, but it's generally taken by only those with small bosoms. There are nude beaches, and even if you don't visit you don't consider it unusual for people to take their children to one.

* A hotel room has a private bath.

* You seriously expect to be able to transact business, or deal with the government, without paying bribes. Unless it's with a Ferrengi, in which case it's normal.

* If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you would consider this bad form, but no reason for him to resign.

* Any store will take your credits.

* It's practically impossible to fire anybody.

* You like your bacon crisp.

Sick? What's that?

* You count on excelent medical treatment. You know you're not going to die from cholera or some other long-forgotten disease. There are even treatments for exotic alien germs, sometimes within days or even hours of discovery. Still, occasional outbreaks happen, although invariably small and generally away from populated places.

* You went over Earth history, and some history of other Federation worlds, in school.

* You expect Starfleet to explore space, police the space lanes, and fight wars. They sometimes take charge of a planet or starbase in emergency situations or pass jugement in civilian criminal cases. Although you may know of expectional captains, you may not know the head of Starfleet.

* Your civilization has never been conquered by another power, although in recent years it's come uncomfortably close to being so by the Borg and Dominion.

* You find the Vulcans a bit odd and standoffish, but polite. You find Bajorians a tad zelous about religious matters. You consider Ferrengi greedy and lecherious.

* You find other powers dificult to understand. The Klingons are savage but honorable. The Romulians say one thing and do another. The Borg are the stuff of nightmares. Although individual planets out there are sometimes republics, It appears the only major state under democratic rule is your own.

* You still meantaly measure things in feet, pounds, and gallons. Though the Federation has made the metric system mandatory. Very long distances are measured in "parsecs," whatever those are.

* You are not a farmer.

* The police are not necessarily armed. Whenever there's real trouble, someone from Starfleet is there to step in.

* If a woman is plumper, it doesn't improve her looks.

* The biggest meal of the day is in the evening.

Someone else to make fun of their ears.

* The race everyone makes the most jokes about are the Ferrengi.

* There may be a place in the city you walk through carefully at night.

* You don't care very much what family someone comes from.

* The normal thing when a couple dies is for their major possessions to be turned back over to the state. Children may request to hold onto items they deem to have sentimental value.

* If you have an appointment, you'll mutter an excuse if you're five minutes late.

* You can drink synthehol as a teenager. IDs are seldom asked for.

* You're likely to have seen a play, but in the holodeck.

* You do not own a firearm. Why would any private person want to have one? That's what Starfleet is for.

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