Star Trek: Fate of the Federation
When an intelligent race of beings is encountered, a set of numbers (or letters) can be generated to describe the basic technological achievement level of their civilization in various areas. Similarly, an alphanumeric value can be stated to give a very general idea of the sociological/ political/economic structure of the society.
A series of six numbers or letters is used to represent the technological index of a civilization. The numbers cover a range from zero to nine, with nine arbitrarily representing the level of development of the Federation world ranking highest in that area at the time of the adoption of the system. In practical terms, all of the statistics are based on the development of the Federation world ranking highest in the area at the time of the adoption of the system.
A civilization ranking zero has attained no noticeable accomplishment in theory or practice of the area of knowledge in question. One ranking at 9 is as accomplished as any in the Federation. Levels between are proportionally set. (Examples for each area of knowledge are given later.) If a civilization is beyond that of the Federation in some respect, it is given an alphabetic value, beginning with “A” and continuing through the alphabet to “l” if necessary.
The indexes are stated in planetary/cultural designation as a six-place series of numbers and letters, in the following order: Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Psionics.
The Federation also uses a single digit SOCIOPOLITICAL INDEX to try and classify the social and cooperative development of a culture. Rather than indicating a specific form of government, the Sociopolitical Index denotes a culture’s basic cultural orientation toward cooperation between individuals that shapes its specific government forms.
The scale, which runs from zero (0) to nine (9), is more circular than linear, with no one division of the index considered inherently “superior”. Federation member cultures and associated cultures display a wide variety of index ratings, from anarchy to monarchy to unity and back again. The designation “tribal”, held by some early sociologists to be inferior, has been proved on many planets to be a viable and very stable approach to cooperative effort. Modern Federation sociologists point to Earth’s own Amerindian cultures as being an excellent example of a very healthy form of advanced tribal structure. Vulcan also possessed an early tribal structure of great stability.