13

In DS9: Progress the Noh-Jay Consortium goes through some deals and at some point they get ownership of some land on Bajor.

When Nog learns about this he is he is very dismissive and says that land is

"dirt".

Why would Nog think that way about land? We see that Jake considers land to be a solid investment. So this may be a Ferengi specific thing or just Nog thinking that way.

  • 5
    I think it's a Nog thing. I would be very surprised if Zek, for instance, dismissed the value of land. – zwol Oct 14 '15 at 23:33
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    Nog is very quick to copy the mode of speech of elder Ferengi and to project an aura of overwhelming self-confidence as he's seen them do, even when he has no idea what he's talking about. Then again, adult Ferengi do that as well, so... – Wolfie Inu Oct 15 '15 at 4:45
  • @zwol did he own a moon? – user46509 Oct 15 '15 at 5:20
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    I haven’t seen the episode recently, but I wonder if Nog’s dialogue allows for the possibility that he’s not against owning any land, but he doesn’t think land on Bajor is particularly valuable at that time — and given that it’s just starting to recover from 60 years of occupation, that might be a reasonable assessment. – Paul D. Waite Oct 15 '15 at 12:18
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    @PaulD.Waite: Buy low. – ThePopMachine Feb 14 '18 at 19:30
30

Nog's prejudice against "dirt" as a suitable investment would seem to be quite a normal response from someone who has spent the majority of their formative years living in space. Note that none of his close relatives seem to have any major ambitions to own holdings of land. Quark's long-term goal is to buy a ship of his own (although he does dream of one day having his own moon, like his cousin) and his father's goal seems to be to outlive his brother and inherit Quark's bar.

Based on a combination of factors; his lack of adult role-models who want to own planetary land, his young age (what good is a plot of land to a 12 year old?) and a lack of experience of the value of land as a long-term investment, it's not hard to see why he'd much rather have the latinum which he can spend immediately.

Jake, by comparison has some experience of the worth of land, having spent much of his last few years studying the ecology of Bajor and fishing with his father on Earth. When he and Nog discuss what they could do with the land, Jake offers two options to Nog's zero:

JAKE: How many times do I have to tell you... It's not dirt; it's land.

NOG: And what're we supposed to do with this land?

Good question. Jake has to think about that one. Finally:

JAKE: Sell it, I guess.

...

JAKE: Land is better than bolts.

NOG: How do you know?

JAKE: You can build things on land.

9

In many present-day Earth cultures, land is a good investment because nobody's making more of it. In many ways, it's a limited or depending on the location, a rare commodity. But for advanced space-faring species, new colonies, and even terraforming, are always possible.

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    For the record, they're making loads of new land: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reclamation – Valorum Oct 14 '15 at 21:11
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    A good one, but tell that to the Serbians, Ugandans, Swiss and the rest of half a billion humans living in close to 50 landlocked countries! I think that qualifies as "many present-day Earth cultures". – AtheD Oct 14 '15 at 21:20
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    This doesn't appear to try to answer the question of why specifically Nog has a low opinion of owning land. – Xantec Oct 14 '15 at 21:24
0

I have a (very vague) recollection that it's stated in one of the Rules of Acquisition that land isn't a good investment because if your creditors come looking for you it's very hard to pick up the land and run with it...or words to that effect.

  • 1
    I'm at a loss to identify that rule. Can you be more specific? – Valorum Oct 15 '15 at 9:26
  • I know that quote, but I'm not sure it was a "Rule of Acquisition". Not even sure it ever appeared in Star Trek at all. Memory Alpha doesn't list it. – Tonny Oct 15 '15 at 9:49
  • Silk makes a comment to this effect in The Malloreon, and there's something of the Ferenghi about him, so that might be what's being remembered... – AakashM Oct 15 '15 at 14:25
  • Bother @AakashM, you're right. Still, it might provide some insight into Nog's attitude. – Jon B Oct 16 '15 at 1:31

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