It is said, that GO has nearby infinite numbers of game combinations. It is often compared to the number of atoms in the universe (around 10^80), but it is in fact much much larger (Source: SL – Sensei’s Library)
What better we can do to take a look into the future and learn from extra terrestrial cultures and species living on planets which have pefectioned the Go rules, e.g. the Ferengi.
Let’s learn from the best, the well known Ferengi Quark. He is the member of this extraterrestrial race, a stereotypically capitalist and motivated only by profit . A shrewd businessman, Quark often quotes the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.
Before opening a bar, known as Quark’s on the station Deep Space 9 (DS9), Quark served as a cook aboard a Ferengi freighter for eight years. Quark came to DS9 while it was named Terok Nor during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.
Originally, Quark admired the Cardassian race for their version of morality, but later he seemed to take pity on the downtrodden Bajoran people, selling them food and equipment just above cost, which could have gotten him into serious trouble if the Cardassians had found out. When the station changed hands at the end of the occupation, Quark decided to leave the station. Commander Sisko, feeling that Quark’s presence would encourage commercial tourism to boost the station’s economy, extorted Quark to stay, using Quark’s nephew Nog as a bargaining chip, in the Deep Space Nine pilot episode, “Emissary“.
Quark nevertheless continued to conduct a variety of shady deals while on the station, but neither Sisko nor the Bajoran authorities took many punitive actions against him, partially because Quark’s position in the station’s business community and contribution to station tourism outweighed the trouble caused by his activities, which were legal under Ferengi law and, for the most part, harmed no one. This was also largely because of the Federation’s policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other races, which (barring any overt threat to the station and/or anyone on board) extended even to the Ferengi and their business dealings (their lack of Federation membership notwithstanding) and which caused Sisko’s hands to be tied in many such cases, much to his chagrin (Source: Wikipedia.org).
The Rules of Acquisition provided the foundation of business philosophy in Ferengi culture. They were first written ten thousand years ago by Gint, the first Grand Nagus. In the mid-22nd century there were 173 rules, and by the 24th century there were 285. In theory, every Ferengi business transaction strictly followed all 285 rules.
There was also a short-lived revised edition of the Rules written by Grand Nagus Zek after having his state of mind changed by the Bajoran Prophets. These rules were almost complete opposites of the original rules and promoted honesty and charity. After Zek recovered, he ordered all copies of the new rules to be destroyed (Source: Memory Alpha Wikia – Ferengi).
… and here they are: The (official) 29 Ferengi Rules for GO.
Tks to Antonio L.S.C. for sharing this Galaxian wisdom.
Official (Standard) rules
|1||Once you have their money, you never give it back.||DS9: “The Nagus“, “Heart of Stone“|
|3||Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to.||DS9: “The Maquis, Part II“|
|6||Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.||DS9: “The Nagus“; ENT: “Acquisition“|
|7||Keep your ears open and your eyes on the mark.||DS9: “In the Hands of the Prophets“|
|9||Opportunity plus instinct equals profit.||DS9: “The Storyteller“|
|10||Greed is eternal.||DS9: “Prophet Motive“; VOY: “False Profits“|
|16||A deal is a deal.||DS9: “Melora“|
|17||A contract is a contract is a contract… but only between Ferengi.||DS9: “Body Parts“|
|18||A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all.||DS9: “Heart of Stone“; DS9: “Ferengi Love Songs“|
|21||Never place friendship above profit.||DS9: “Rules of Acquisition“|
|22||A wise man can hear profit in the wind.||DS9: “Rules of Acquisition“; VOY: “False Profits“|
|23||Nothing is more important than your health… except for your money.||ENT: “Acquisition“|
|31||Never make fun of a Ferengi’s mother.||DS9: “The Siege“|
|33||It never hurts to suck up to the boss.||DS9: “Rules of Acquisition“, “The Dogs of War“|
|34||War is good for business||DS9: “Destiny“, “The Siege of AR-558“|
|35||Peace is good for business.||TNG: “The Perfect Mate“; DS9: “Destiny“|
|45||Expand or die.||ENT: “Acquisition“; VOY: “False Profits“|
|47||Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own.||DS9: “Rivals“|
|48||The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.||DS9: “Rules of Acquisition“|
|57||Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them.||DS9: “Armageddon Game“|
|59||Free advice is seldom cheap.||DS9: “Rules of Acquisition“|
|62||Profit is its own reward.||DS9: “Rules of Acquisition“, “Little Green Men“, “Business as Usual“, “Starship Down”|
|74||Knowledge equals profit.||VOY: “Inside Man“|
|75||Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum.||DS9: “Civil Defense“|
|76||Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies.||DS9: “The Homecoming“|
|94||Females and finances don’t mix.||DS9: “Ferengi Love Songs“, “Profit and Lace“|
|95||Expand or die.||VOY: “False Profits“; ENT: “Acquisition“|
|98||Every man has his price.||DS9: “In the Pale Moonlight“|
|102||Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever.||DS9: “The Jem’Hadar“|
|103||Sleep can interfere with…||DS9: “Rules of Acquisition“|
|109||Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack.||DS9: “Rivals“|
|111||Treat people in your debt like family… exploit them.||DS9: “Past Tense, Part I“, “The Darkness and the Light“|
|112||Never have sex with the boss’s sister.||DS9: “Playing God“|
|125||You can’t make a deal if you’re dead.||DS9: “The Siege of AR-558“|
|139||Wives serve, brothers inherit.||DS9: “Necessary Evil“|
|168||Whisper your way to success.||DS9: “Treachery, Faith and the Great River“|
|190||Hear all, trust nothing.||DS9: “Call to Arms“|
|194||It’s always good to know about new customers before they walk in your door.||DS9: “Whispers“|
|203||New customers are like razor-toothed gree-worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back.||DS9: “Little Green Men“|
|208||Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer.||DS9: “Ferengi Love Songs“|
|211||Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don’t hesitate to step on them.||DS9: “Bar Association“|
|214||Never begin a business negotiation on an empty stomach.||DS9: “The Maquis, Part I“|
|217||You can’t free a fish from water.||DS9: “Past Tense, Part I“|
|223||(incomplete, but presumably concerned the relationship between “keeping busy” and “being successful”)||DS9: “Profit and Loss“|
|229||Latinum lasts longer than lust.||DS9: “Ferengi Love Songs“|
|239||Never be afraid to mislabel a product.||DS9: “Body Parts“|
|263||Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum.||DS9: “Bar Association“|
|285||No good deed ever goes unpunished.||DS9: “The Collaborator“, “The Sound of Her Voice“|
|Unknown||A man is only worth the sum of his possessions.||ENT: “Acquisition“|
- As late as 2151, the rule was quoted as being slightly different. “Never allow family to stand in the way of profit” (where profit replaces opportunity). (ENT: “Acquisition“)
- Legends of the Ferengi concludes Rule #16 with “…until a better one comes along.”
- In the first draft script of “Body Parts”, the seventeenth rule was said to simply be, “A contract is a contract is a contract,” without the added clause involving species.
- Legends of the Ferengi concludes Rule #31 with “…insult something he cares about instead.”
- Brunt stated a variation of this rule (without referring to it by number) with: “It’s never too early to suck up to the boss”.
- Quark stated a corollary: “only from a distance, the closer to the front lines, the less profitable it gets”
- Although spoken before the production staff’s creation of the Rules of Acquisition, Par Lenor stated something quite similar to this rule: “Peace is good for trade … unless you happen to be an arms merchant!”
- Rule of Acquisition #95 was quoted as Rule #45 in ENT: “Acquisition“. It might be possible though, that in the roughly two hundred years between the two episodes, the arrangement of the Rules of Acquisition slightly changed. Alternatively, it may have been decided that the rule bears repeating. Indeed, this may be self-referential.
- This rule was interrupted before it could be finished.
- This rule was actually only called “one of the high numbers” by Quark; he only thought it was rule 194.
- In DS9: “Body Parts“, it is suggested in a dream of Quark’s, that the Rules of Acquisition themselves are merely guidelines, and the book was mislabeled by Gint so as to sell more copies than the “Suggestions of Acquisition.” However, this may be no more than Quark trying to justify breaking rule #17, since this rule is obviously higher than ENT‘s “original” 173 rules. It could also be noted that the Grand Nagus has the power to change the Rules of Acquisition, so it is still possible this rule changed position over time (DS9: “Prophet Motive“).
- Though not given a number, this rule was clearly official, among the first 173, and considered “the most important one” by Krem.