It is my assumption that the development of Star-Trek style replicators would cause enormous problems for paper or other physical money/currency or any form of physical object of assigned value. In short, replication would be the ultimate form of counterfeiting.
Question: How would a post office preserve profit-based package delivery in a world with replicators? Asked another way: how would the post office avoid counterfeit stamps?
- Technology is near-future (no later than 2050).
- Delivery for profit is required.
- Circumventing any solution to avoid paying the post office its due is a violation of written law.
- Pointing out that Aunt Lou's famously "charming" hand-knitted sweater could be replicated and its electronic pattern emailed to the recipient is considered a game foul and cause for mental stress and dire unhappiness on the part of the OP. Although it might be the basis of an interesting question along the lines of, "in a world with replicators, can McDonald's still make a profit?" it's out of bounds here. In other words, package delivery is still required for items that cannot or should not1 be replicated.
Having created one new tag, I didn't want to create two. So, rather than create a "post office" tag, I'm using "government." If you feel there is a better tag, or that an existing tag could be usefully applied, you are welcome to do so. Thanks!
1 Like McDonald's Big-Mac, which in some social strata is considered bio-hazardous and capable of inflicting virus-style problems on the Internet if ever converted to digital code and emailed to someone else. It would simply be the most dangerous "don't click this or you'll get a virus" link ever created in the dark heart of man.2
2 I like Big-Macs, so I know what I'm talking about.