How NOT to Conworld.

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
почка
rupestrian
rupestrian
Posts: 3
Joined: 10 Aug 2018 18:50

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by почка » 01 Feb 2019 06:44

one thing more:

- no countries or societies without symbolism - all societies use symbolism extensively, and all countries have symbols representing the country, either it is a national flag, national anthem, national flower, etc. Symbolism always exists in all societies, and even societies that are against idolatry, like Islamic countries, have symbols representing organizations and the country.

In collaborative worlds where a national flag, coat of arms, a national anthem, etc. is used for concountries, all countries will have them, and no reasons to reject their existence, and people taking parts in such collaborations need to take times figuring out the flag, the national anthem, etc. for their concountries.

User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 3313
Joined: 22 Nov 2014 04:48

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by elemtilas » 01 Feb 2019 14:39

почка wrote:
01 Feb 2019 06:30
Some don'ts for a realistic conworld:
Really?

Anyone who isn't making a setting literally on the actual Earth ought to take these points with multiple grains of salt!!

By that I mean there are differing meanings of "realistic". And therefore different ways of how NOT to worldbuild. If I want a world that is "Earth-realistic", i.e., having realism that concurs with the experience we have in the primary world, then I agree with you almost entirely. This is the especial province of romance, historical fiction, mystery and so forth --- non-fantastic fictional(ised) settings. But if I have a fantasy or soft-sci-fi world with a number of these factors in play, I can still (and might ought try to) strive for realism, even though I may rightfully throw all of your points out the window. I'd be striving for a realism that is appropriate for the setting. Every single one of your points exists, to some degree or other, in very many works of fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, horror and other kinds of settings and I dare say in most of the worlds folks around here come up with (myself included).

While I don't see the need to counter them one by one, I dó see rather too much of perhaps your own particular opinion on the matter. Nearly every bullet point contains how one "should" do something or how a "serious" worldbuilder goes about it!
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera

Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 1586
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 18:37

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Salmoneus » 01 Feb 2019 17:42

почка wrote:
01 Feb 2019 06:30
Some don'ts for a realistic conworld:

- no gender imbalance that is too high - even China, a place where artificial sex selection is performed, does not have a sex ratio of 1:200,000, 1:1000, 1:10 or even 1:2, any long-existing gender imbalance with a sex ratio surpassing something like 1:1.2 should always be avoided, at least if your conpeople are human.
Maybe my conpeople aren't human.

- no population large than 200 people with a disproportionally high rate of developmental disorders like autism, ADHD, or any disease that would kill a person prematurely. - even Finnish people, Amish communities and pre-modern Jewish communities, which are known for the high prevalence of certain inherited congenital disorders, do not have a high proportion of their populations killed by congenital disorders prematurely.
Autism and ADHD need not be correlated with premature death, at least outside of the most extreme manifestations.

- no peoples that are immortal or peoples that always look young before death - in real world, except for few non-sentient animals which are very unlikely to even evolve a human-level intelligence in the foreseeable future like lighthouse jellyfish, clams and lobsters, all animals get old and will die of an old age if they are not killed prematurely, and all animals that reach an old age show significant and even apparent signs of aging that can set them apart from younger individuals, therefore, if someone of your sentient species can die old age, older individuals will look old in a way obvious to your sentient species, that is, they will always know who Is old and who is young among them.

The nonexistence of universal immortality and agelessness among sentient beings should be extended to all worlds with magics, even in worlds with magics that enable immortality, immortality and agelessness should always be the privilege of a small minority of people e.g. deities or renowned wizards or alchemists. Anyone who tries to avoid aging and death in their creation simply has some forms of age discrimination, especially discrimination against old females.
Now you're not even pretending to talk about 'realism', but just your personal taste. If you can have magic agelessness, there's nothing more or less "realistic" about giving it to 90% of the population than in giving it to 1% of the population.
Wherever there are humans and humanoids, there should be old people, including old men and old women, even magic exists.
*rolls eyes*
- no shapeshifting that is hard to be explained with known biological mechanisms - if you can't find a simple or at least known mechanism to explain your conspecies, then don't even bother to try unless you are willing to have magic.
This is just a tautology. Sure, every shapeshifter will either use biological mechanisms or won't. The point being?
- no peoples that are physically attractive on average - while there are objective standards for beauty, there are also subjective standards for beauty, and as a result, beauty is subjective; also, anything like this only reflects the mentality of lookism of the author, and discriminations are one of the ugliest things of the world barring more serious things like crimes, lying for personal gains and direct aggression; besides, even using only objective standards for beauty, this is still utterly unrealistic, as plain looking people are always the majority of any given ethnic group.
You condemn "lookism", and then concoct the 'rule' that "plain looking people are always the majority" - something that says more about how you value people than about "realism"...
As for your moralisms, they seem to have no value, since they're just statements of your own personal tastes, and have nothing to do with the value of art. Many great works of art have addressed immoral themes.
- no pacifist civilizations that have never invaded their neighbors actively - all cultures has a dark side, and all societies invade, period. Except for aboriginals that has always been hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years, all cultures has replaced some other cultures, and the replacement can't always be peaceful. Civilization is forged on the anvil of death with the hammer of war and the fires of disease.
Fantasy need not be historically accurate. Again, this is just your own personal tastes masquerading as advice on 'realism', but really nothing more than boorishness.
Like the nonexistence of universal immortality and agelessness, the universality of aggression among all societies should be extended to all worlds with magic, and to all societies of non-human sentient beings. Pacifist societies and sentient beings simply won't survive long enough to even have civilizations.
Clearly nonsense. In a world in which all societies are pacifist, there's no reason why pacifists would spontaneously die off.

- no societies without crimes and discriminations - ethnocentrism is a human universal; crimes also exist in all human societies, but the creator should try not to discriminate against any people themselves.
Maybe my conpeople are not humans. In any case, my conpeople are fictional, and so I can't "discriminate" against them. In any case, that instruction seems like nonsense - all fiction is discriminatory. If the Ababians are more populous than the Babacians, and the Babacians inhabit the desert whereas the Ababians get to live on fertile grasslands, aren't you discriminating against the poor Babacians?

Like the nonexistence of universal immortality and agelessness and the universality of aggression, the existence of crimes and discriminations among all societies should be extended to all worlds with magic, and to all societies of non-human sentient beings.
Or, alternatively, bollocks to that.
- no challenges on proposed human universals or near universals unless you really know how they work - while some of the proposed human universals, or the existence of human universals, is controversial, it is not a good idea to challenge them, For example, you can't have a country where most people are regularly killed at a certain age
*looks around, checks whether the police are coming*
Yeah, actually, turns out I can if I want to.

, this is simply too uneconomical even ethics are not a consideration, it is not even a good idea to kill slaves just for fun or for their meat for slaveowners with a lot of slaves, having slaves work until they can't work anymore and die naturally would always be a better choice for slaveowners
You don't understand the nature of slavery, which is rarely purely economic in function. Societies in which (at least certain classes of) slaves were killed for fun are amply attested on Earth.

; besides, governing such societies will doomed to be a nightmare for any political leader, even managing death rows, who are minorities even among criminals, has been proven more risky for guards than managing other criminals, and the cost for keeping death rows in order so that an executions will occur is high, thus governing a society where most people will regularly be killed at a certain age will be way much more difficult than managing death rows; therefore these kinds of rules will simply be ignored by the most or soon be abolished, and the killing of non-criminals would only occur in extreme circumstances.
The killing of non-criminals never happens - if they're executed, they must have been criminals. But you can declare anyone you want to be a criminal. At one time in much of Europe, for example, being genetically Jewish was considered a crime against the state punishable by death.

- no societies where most people don't need to work hard to make a living - in all societies, most people if not everyone need to work hard to literally make a living, technological progression never changes this.
*rolls eyes*
Your religious dogmas are not reality; they're certainly not binding on fiction.
The fact that most people must work hard to make a living in all societies should be extended to all worlds with magic, and to all societies of non-human sentient beings.
Or, and bear with me hear, perhaps fuck off.

- no countries without a change of its border throughout the history, except for newly-formed countries - ever country has ever had a change of its territory in the last 1,000 years, the territory of a country always changes from time to time, having an ultra-stable territory is simply unrealistic and ridiculous.
Many countries have not changed their territories - chiefly, island states. If I have twenty people living on an island, each with a life-span of 12,000 years, there's no reason why they would periodically redefine this peninsular or that beach as not being in their territory.

What is ridiculous is concocting these absurd, arbitrary rules for everyone else to follow, with no firm basis in reason, but only in personal tastes.

- no larger countries without a standing army - if a country has a population that surpasses that of Costa Rica, or is an inland country that is not a city state like San Marino, it will always have a standing army to defend the border, even the military regularly involves in politics and causes political instability. Foreign invasion is always a bigger concern than political instability and civil wars, and unless there are no known foreign threats and maintaining the military is too expensive, all countries will always have a standing army, and only very small countries will find the military too expensive to maintain.
"Absurd" and "ridiculous" are not strong enough terms with which to reject this lunacy. Most European countries did not have standing armies for most of their history. Standing armies are a historical abnormality.

For those who don't see the trick he's trying to pull here: 'Costa Rica' isn't a random pick, it's an attempt to finesse a "rule" that's patently nonsense - because, as he knows, Costa Rica, like dozens of other modern countries, has no standing army. For what it's worth, 5 million people is pretty big by historical standards anyway.
- no "land of mediocre" - every country or society has its heroes and contributions to the world, your countries' contribution to the world in science, technology and culture will be in proportion to the total population and the development level. Even Canada, a country jokingly known as the "land of mediocre", has Nobel Prize winners.
Nobody thinks of Canada like that except obnoxious American imperialists. Everyone else knows that Canada has an excellent educational system. Most countries, however, do NOT have Nobel Prize winners.
- no illiterate people near a place that invented writing system - if your people lived near a center of early literate civilizations and had their own country, they would sooner or later adopt writing before modern times, peoples that are against writing down their own languages, like the Jemez people, don't normally have complex societies like countries, and it is high questionable whether any belief against writing will continually be held once peoples against writing their own language have their own countries.
SURE, there are no illiterate people in the Middle East, I'll have to remember that...
- no bloodsucking flies that disable animal husbandry - human beings keep a variety of animals, no known diseases can completely deter animal husbandry from an area. Bantu peoples that had migrated to the south of the areas of tsetse flies, i.e. the Nguni people, still keep cattles.
Lot of cattle in Darien, are there?

- no underrepresentation of peoples that resemble any real-world ethnic group in human-based conworlds, for example, having no East Asian looking peoples in your conworld - this is unrealistic, considering human genetics, you will simply get peoples that look broadly similar to any known ethnic groups. The avoidance or prohibition of peoples that resemble any real-world ethnic group should always be avoided in a collaborative conworld.
This is UTTER BOLLOCKS. The specific phenotypical combinations that characterise notable real world populations are A TOTAL COINCIDENCE. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why, for example, there has to be one population with straight hair and a lack of epicanthal folds - this is just a coincidence. Likewise, the fact that there are no black-skinned, blue-eyed people on Earth is purely a coincidence (given that such a population used to exist).
- no a priori organisms far away from their relatives, unless their real-life relatives are cosmopolitan - having a priori organisms exist in an area far away from the areas of their relatives is very unlikely to happen, and thus is unrealistic, and doing so in order to make a con-society look like whatever you want can be seen as a form of godmodding, especially in collaborative conworlds.
Not unlikely in the slightest - see, for example, the presence of animals in the americas whose nearest relatives live in australia...
- no fantasies in serious worldbuilding - trying to make a world or a society that completely fulfills your own fantasies, including sexual or non-sexual ones, or trying to make a world or a society that is a totally dystopic to you, will always fail. All elements for a serious world-building, including those for all realistic conworlds and all reasonable fantastic worlds, will always be double-sided, and all societies in those worlds will always be in somewhere between an utopia and a dystopia, they will always have goods and bads, no matter how you define an utopia and a dystopia, and what kinds of fantasies the you have.
If people want to fantasise, it seems to me that Fantasy is an entirely appropriate place to do it. Why are you even here? I'm sure you can find some no-fun-allowed alternative home on the internet where you won't be disturbed by people incorporating fantasy in their make-believe...
- no refusal of direct loanwords if they are in-world reasonable - this has nothing to do directly with realism, but it is still worth mentioning, all languages borrow, including Chinese, refusing to add reasonable loanwords in your own conlang is not only unrealistic, but is also against collaboration.
MY conworld is not collaborative, so that seems like a plus point...
- no refusal of changes - this has nothing to do directly with realism, but it is still worth mentioning, as it is a part of all serious worldbuilding. If you do a collaborative conworld, or you want to sell your things to the public, you can't place your personal preferences above realism or consensus at all, always put your personal preferences aside and learn to compromise when you collaborate, and never take anything in-world personal.
Ironic, after a thread composed of nothign but your own personal preferences. But no, actually, *looks around* it turns out I CAN put my personal preferences above "realism" and "consensus", because it's none of your fucking business. I conworld by myself, for myself, and being in "consensus" with you is actively LESS than worthless to me. Indeed, this thread has made me want to incorporate all sorts of things into conworlds, simply to ensure I avoid the degrading humiliation of being found to be in "consensus" with you on anything.


Your post is not, as you label it, "some don'ts for a realistic conworld"; it's "uncalled for insulting of everyone who isn't me because I'm the God of Conworlding and only my opinion matters apparently". It's not just irritating, it's actively disgusting.

User avatar
alynnidalar
roman
roman
Posts: 1047
Joined: 17 Aug 2014 02:22
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by alynnidalar » 01 Feb 2019 18:36

Sal spent a great deal of time rebutting each point quite well, so I'll just say that I thoroughly agree with him--and with elemtilas. You seem very concerned with "realism", or at least a form of realism that happens to place a lot of value on things you find important, but you've missed that "realism" can mean many different things. You seem very interested in what we might call "biological realism" (e.g. evolutionary history, human immune systems, etc.), but personally, I value what you might call "social realism"--I put a lot of emphasis on culture, political systems, etc. in my worlds. And even there, it's less about "is this exactly the same way as it works in the real world", and more "do these things logically follow from the premises I have established".

We've had the same debate over conlangs before, and I think it all comes down to three different camps:
- Earthlike realism (that is, only things that are actually attested in the real world)
- naturalism (that is, things that are plausible or are a logical progression from certain premises, even if they aren't directly attested)
- not caring about realism or naturalism at all (that is, things that don't make any attempt to be "explainable"; they simply are)

There's nothing wrong with falling into any of these camps, which are a continuum anyway. But there is a great deal wrong with acting like any individual position is the One True Way To Conlang/Conworld. (and there is also a great deal wrong with assuming that your particular set of preferences is the One True Way to have Earthlike realism, as Sal has demonstrated several of your points do not actually reflect the real world)

Frankly, it seems like you have a bunch of beefs with someone or something specific--perhaps people in a collaborative conworld you're a part of?--and haven't realized that these are not broadly applicable to all conworlds, not even all "realistic" ones.

User avatar
WeepingElf
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 167
Joined: 23 Feb 2016 18:42
Location: Braunschweig, Germany
Contact:

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by WeepingElf » 01 Feb 2019 20:01

As for Elves - my main conpeople are Elves, but then they really aren't. They are neither Tolkien nor D&D-style Elves, let alone Christmas elves, Harry Potter house-elves or fairies. They are perfectly ordinary humans. Huh? Why then call them "Elves"? Because I fancy them to have been the people who inspired the Germanic and Celtic traditions of Elves. (Also, they serve to narrate my personal feelings about the human condition and the meaning of life.)
... brought to you by the Weeping Elf

Salmoneus
MVP
MVP
Posts: 1586
Joined: 19 Sep 2011 18:37

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Salmoneus » 02 Feb 2019 01:22

I'd like to go into a bit more detail on one point: the idea that most people, in any possible society, must work in order to eat.


Why does almost everybody work?

It's not some sort of fundamental requirement to make sufficient resources. It's a reflection of our economic system, which is, as it were, a sort of bargain...

Most tradable goods have two requirements: the possession of 'capital' (the stuff you need for making stuff - in most of history, primarily land; later, also machines); and the application of 'labour'.

In our system, we have two classes: the labouring class, and the capital-owning class. As good require both labour and capital, neither class can produce anything by itself. A deal is thus worked out: the labouring class provide labour, the capital-owning class provide capital, all the goods are given to the capital-owning class, and in return the capital-owning class supply adequate food and entertainment to the labouring class.

But there are some issues with this.

Firstly, the required ratio of labour to capital is not fixed. Instead, the productivity ratio is a reflection of the availability of resources and technology. In crude terms, you need fewer labourers to get grain out of each acre once you've invented the combine harvester. As the "multiplier" increases, the economic value of labour decreases. As a result, a higher and higher percentage of the profits is able to be acquired by the capital-owning class.

Secondly, as the multiplier increases, the number of labourers required to support the needs of one consumer decreases. In other words, the number of non-labourers each labourer can support increases. In our system, we have three types of people: capital-owners; necessary labourers; and the unneeded. The first and third categories are sustained by the second; the bigger the multiplier, the more of the first and the third can be sustained.

The function of labour in modern society is not actually primarily to make enough goods - in the developed world, we have large surpluses of goods. Instead, the function of labour is moral/political: following the deal that the capital-owning class give away goods to those who have laboured, everyone must labour in order to obtain goods. Not because the labour is necessary to create the goods - because most of the workforce is ultimately surplus to requirements in that sense - but because labour is necessary, under the terms of the Deal, to prove worthiness to receive goods.


------------

But this deal is not economically necessary - only politically. It's possible to conceive of other societies working differently.

First, a SF society - even a near future one - can use mechanisation and digitalisation to reduce the number of genuinely necessary labourers to a tiny fraction of the population. Indeed, this has already happened - agriculture in the UK, for instance, requires under 2% of the working population, while manufacturing requires 8%. The remaining 90% are engaged in "services" that are a) largely make-work creating goods of little ultimate value, and b) largely replaceable by machines. This employment is politically driven. [people need wages to eat, so they are willing to work for low wages, so service companies are able to spend little on wages, so their goods are cheap, and since most of the population still have wages high enough that they have a big surplus after eating enough, they buy these cheap service goods because why not]. This doesn't even consider the huge segments of the population who don't have to work (in the economy) at all (the young, the old, students, housewives and the rich).


Once the necessary workforce is small, the real question stops being how we make enough to survive, and instead becomes how we redistribute goods away from the capital-owning class who would otherwise own everything. Several political options spring to mind:

- decentralised ownership (bourgeois society): everyone owns capital, more or less equally. Only a relatively small number of people must then labour, while everyone else lives off the interest from their capital-ownership.

- collective ownership (communist society): the state owns the capital. Only a relatively small number of people must then labour, while everyone else lives off basic income payments from the state.

- regulated ownership (socialist society): there is a capital-owning class, but dominated by the state, who take most of the profits for redistribution. Only a relatively small number of people must then labour, while everyone else lives off basic income payments from the state.

- monopsonist bargaining (syndicalist society): there is a capital-owning class who trade goods for labour as at present. However, unionisation of labour to create a single voice in negotiations, combined with monopoly-busting that prevents the capital-owning class from doing the same, radically renegotiates the terms of this bargain, so that almost all the profits are redistributed to labour. Only a relatively small number of people must then actually labour while everyone else lives off dividens paid by their union.

- non-labour value (feudalist society): the capital-owning class gives goods to the rest of society, not for their labour in the traditional sense, but for some other exchange - such as debt (potential obligations), voting rights, etc. An example of this is the way that in modern society, the workers are given money in exchange for the workers taking on increasing debt and transferring the value of their own capital (houses, etc) to the capital-owning class. This essentially is the capitalists paying the workers to put themselves in a position of subservience to the capitalists, and to forego the possibility of aquiring their own capital.


In each of these cases, a small working population and a large non-working population could alternatively be replaced by a large population that works at very low intensity.


But the point is: a capitalist society (in which the capitalist-owning class only transfer goods when workers can prove they have performed acts of labour) is not the only way a society can structure itself, particularly in a SF scenario. It's absurd to demand that all fiction only ever discuss capitalism.

User avatar
Ser
hieroglyphic
hieroglyphic
Posts: 48
Joined: 30 Jun 2012 05:13
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia / Colombie Britannique, Canada

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Ser » 03 Feb 2019 01:37

Salmoneus wrote:
02 Feb 2019 01:22
[...]
Salmoneus, I find these posts you've been writing in this thread extremely interesting. Do you recommend any particular books or authors where I could read more about the interaction of economics and birthrates, economics and the value of people (men or women, capital-owners or labourers), and speculation on the future of our societies where hardly anyone has anything meaningful to do (due to enormous technological development)?

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2174
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 08:36
Location: California über alles

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Khemehekis » 06 Feb 2019 06:03

почка wrote:
01 Feb 2019 06:30
Some don'ts for a realistic conworld:

- no peoples that are physically attractive on average - while there are objective standards for beauty, there are also subjective standards for beauty, and as a result, beauty is subjective; also, anything like this only reflects the mentality of lookism of the author, and discriminations are one of the ugliest things of the world barring more serious things like crimes, lying for personal gains and direct aggression; besides, even using only objective standards for beauty, this is still utterly unrealistic, as plain looking people are always the majority of any given ethnic group.
I think the vast majority of (young) Korean people look beautiful . . . does that disprove your statement?
- no societies where most people don't need to work hard to make a living - in all societies, most people if not everyone need to work hard to literally make a living, technological progression never changes this.

The fact that most people must work hard to make a living in all societies should be extended to all worlds with magic, and to all societies of non-human sentient beings.
I doubt it. In his essay at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... J8D263mPH4 , Ryk E. Spoor says that it's having people need a job in distant-future SF that's unrealistic:
Automation and intelligent systems have an even greater impact in other areas; in Grand Central Arena I follow some of the current research to logical conclusions that result in what amounts to a post-scarcity society where few people have anything resembling a "job" and people are mostly independent entities from almost everything (very little significant government, etc.); what "work" people do is something that
they WANT to do, that's FUN for them.

This unfortunately makes for a difficult-to-grasp environment; many people either have a hard time understanding it, or simply don't believe
it could work. And in the latter case they may be completely right, for various reasons.

Such advances, however, also can be very bad for maintaining drama. The modern reader understands the idea of needing a job, of working at some
particular task or in some specific category, and keeping at least some of that element present provides a good anchor for the reader as they encounter more outré elements of the story.

Moreover, with super-AIs to do everything for you, and replicator-type technology to give you all the "stuff" you want, the setting is kinda
boring, potentially. So in the Arenaverse I make it so that a lot of that stuff DOESN'T WORK because the Arena's rules are set up to force
*people* -- of all species -- to do the work.
: no refusal of direct loanwords if they are in-world reasonable - this has nothing to do directly with realism, but it is still worth mentioning, all languages borrow, including Chinese, refusing to add reasonable loanwords in your own conlang is not only unrealistic, but is also against collaboration.
What about Navajo?
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 58,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2174
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 08:36
Location: California über alles

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Khemehekis » 06 Feb 2019 06:16

LinguistCat wrote:
02 Jan 2019 17:33
Also, what would it mean for other areas of interaction if women (or the equivalent) traveled more than men? Or if adults and young were seen as the same socially?
How young is young?

In the Lehola Galaxy, they have developed a technology called lifespeeding for most sapient species. After a baby is born, it is placed in a "bubble" called a speeder to take the child from birth to young adulthood in a matter of months. While in the speeder, the "speedling" (as the child is called) is constantly fed and generally has its development in height, weight, knowledge, self-control, physical control and coo:rdination, etc. sped up. The speedling's brain is bombarded with knowledge about the world, everyday physics (like "You can't walk through objects"), basic biological knowledge ("Ladies have high voices and guys have deep voices"), core cultural knowledge from her/his country/planet/ethnic group, etc., fluency in the language s/he is raised speaking, and more. The speedling comes out of the speeder at the beginning of young adulthood (about 14 in Earth years).

When children are as a matter of course lifesped, everyone outside of a speeder (except for fetuses and babies who have just been born and are about to go into a speeder, of course) is usually a full-functioning adult, equal to all the other adults socially and legally. (Yes, most of the futuristic societies of Lehola have done away with treating adolescents like chattel.)
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 58,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 3313
Joined: 22 Nov 2014 04:48

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by elemtilas » 06 Feb 2019 06:30

Khemehekis wrote:
06 Feb 2019 06:16
Spoiler:
LinguistCat wrote:
02 Jan 2019 17:33
Also, what would it mean for other areas of interaction if women (or the equivalent) traveled more than men? Or if adults and young were seen as the same socially?
How young is young?

In the Lehola Galaxy, they have developed a technology called lifespeeding for most sapient species. After a baby is born, it is placed in a "bubble" called a speeder to take the child from birth to young adulthood in a matter of months. While in the speeder, the "speedling" (as the child is called) is constantly fed and generally has its development in height, weight, knowledge, self-control, physical control and coo:rdination, etc. sped up. The speedling's brain is bombarded with knowledge about the world, everyday physics (like "You can't walk through objects"), basic biological knowledge ("Ladies have high voices and guys have deep voices"), core cultural knowledge from her/his country/planet/ethnic group, etc., fluency in the language s/he is raised speaking, and more. The speedling comes out of the speeder at the beginning of young adulthood (about 14 in Earth years).

When children are as a matter of course lifesped, everyone outside of a speeder (except for fetuses and babies who have just been born and are about to go into a speeder, of course) is usually a full-functioning adult, equal to all the other adults socially and legally. (Yes, most of the futuristic societies of Lehola have done away with treating adolescents like chattel.)


Coo, interestante that! [<3] [<3] [<3]

How well does it work? Any intriguing side effects? What about acceptable fail rates?

Not something that would work in The World (or leastways the bits I'm familiar with).
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera

Khemehekis
mayan
mayan
Posts: 2174
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 08:36
Location: California über alles

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Khemehekis » 06 Feb 2019 08:54

Coo, interestante that! [<3] [<3] [<3]
Thanks!
How well does it work? Any intriguing side effects?
First, something I forgot to mention. The cultural knowledge, vocabulary and grammar for each culture's speeder program is updated every few years to keep up with changes in history, changes in laws, technological innovations, and language change.

I should mention that most societies that are advanced enough to have lifespeeding developed for their species have gotten beyond the stage of following and enforcing arbitrary/antiquated social rules like (to use Western examples) "Take your hat off inside a classroom", "When a lady and gentleman are walking together, the gentleman walks on the outside of the curb", "Certain clothes are appropriate only for men to wear, certain clothes only for women", "Don't go naked in public", "Don't talk about lower bodily functions", "A man can't meet a woman alone on a social outing onless they're husband & wife or boyfriend & girlfriend", etc. However, many traditions, past norms, and past laws are considered core cultural knowledge. A Chinese speedling would be taught about mooncakes, about how the Chinese New Year is celebrated, or that this is the Year of the Pig, while a Nigerian speedling being taught to speak Yoruba would be taught how a traditional Yoruba wedding goes. In an American speeder, "Prior to the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's, most places in the U.S. South required Blacks to drink from 'Colored' fountains that were separate from the fountains White people used" would be a fact Americans would be expected to know.

One effect of this is that a speedee's political leanings come almost exclusively from a combination of genetic predisposition and experiences that happen after speedbirth ("speedbirth" meaning the moment a person comes out of the speeder and becomes a full-fledged member of society). Your parents will not have a deep formative influence on your political ideology. (Also, some kids never learn who their parents were -- not too different from adoptees on Earth.)

In some ways, political views are largely formed through experiences that happen after one's fourteenth birthday on Earth. I recently attended my high school reunion with 80+ other 38- and 39-year-olds. Our lot forged bonds and expressed our political views during our years at Campolindo High in Moraga, California.

A minority of my classmates were authoritarian (socially conservative, fiscally liberal, pro-corporate) because they formed their political/social views around the time they began school. American K-12 school is an authoritarian environment based in the nineteenth century on the Prussian model, to raise good factory workers who keep their heads down and have a common core of world knowledge. These kids were forged through learning to follow the rules, respect authority figures and the system, and have loyalty. As a result of staying for life with the ideology they developed at that crucial point in their development, they were socially conservative (deferential to social conventions, against gay marriage or legalizing pot, etc.), and trusted the government and businesses.

A small minority were libertarian. These were generally people who, in the eighth grade, read Ayn Rand and became enamored of libertarianism, Objectivism, and their ilk.

A minority were true liberals -- socially, fiscally, and corporately liberal, like the Green Party or Socialist Party USA, although those who vote usually vote Democrat. Some of these were immigrants or foreign exchange students from countries much more liberal than the U.S., some were transplants from very liberal places in the U.S. (Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, etc.). a few were simply raised by very liberal and very influential parents, and some just had significant experiences that caused them to be liberal. Of course, older generations often had the "I went to college with liberal professors and students from different backgrounds, and it totally 'opened my eyes' and opened my mind! I became a liberal!" experience, but I didn't meet any students with that experience at my reunion.

A minority were socially conservative AND fiscally conservative AND pro-corporate AND militaristic. Many people turn this way when they're middle-aged and raising children and concerned about "them Syrian refugees trying to hurt my child!" and concerned about "that government taking my hard-earned money!". My classmates aren't there yet, and certainly weren't in high school, but we did have some across-the-board conservatives, even in high school. Most of the teens we referred to as "the conservative kids" were actually authoritarians, who were socially conservative and pro-corporate but trusted the government, but we did have some true-blue true-red Republican conservatives. Many of these were jocks, who professed hard-core right-wing views but didn't seem to treat politics seriously (considering that at parties they'd have premarital sex and use controlled substances that Republican politicians wanted to keep illegal). Others were rednecks (some of whom were actually paleo-conservative). Some of these were raised by very stridently conservative parents or in very right-wing religious backgrounds. A few just happened upon pop culture like the Rush Limbaugh show. There are probably more of these types of teens at high schools in solid-Red parts of the country where almost everyone in the town and adjacent towns is a conservative than there are in Moraga.

But the majority were of a countercultural political persuasion that would probably fall into the anterior bottom left of a Vosem Chart (antithetical to authoritarian). We started thinking independently, and forging our ideology, during high school. We witnessed the authority figures in the adult world around us suspend students for things they didn't do, fail students with whom they had a personal vendetta, enforce stifling social rules (like the hat rule) in the classroom, judgmentally appraise every action as either "appropriate" or "inappropriate", observe rigid rules as to how to carry themselves, accuse students crying in class of being "disruptive", and refuse to sign ISP's for students who had to take trips elsewhere during the school year. We were becoming explorers naturally at this point of our life, starting to really comprehend politics beyond a junior-high level, and expressing ourselves with clothes and music. In short, the system failed us, and we became against The System.

This had some interesting effects. As of 1997, Moraga had 6,217 registered Republicans to 4,286 registered Democrats. Two thirds of us students wanted to be Democrats when our government class did a Congress simulation and required students to choose between Republican and Democrat. In a survey in the student newspaper during my stay at Campolindo, 55% of students said they identified with the Democratic party, a mere 11% said they identified with the Republican party, and the remaining 34% were independent. This is how generational gaps between teens and the parents of teens are formed.

Generally in lifespeeding societies, 14-to-18-year olds (or strictly speaking, people whose speedage (that's pronounced /ˈspidˌeidʒ/, not /ˈspidɨdʒ/) is 1 day to 4.5 years) don't have to attend authoritarian schools, so they wouldn't have that kind of experience, but the point is, none of their ideology would have come from formative parenting during childhood. It comes more from experiences like looking for a job, or dealing with a certain kind of immigrants, or getting fired or arrested, or even finding love.

This brings up another point. What knowledge a speedling gets bombarded with can disputably have subtle effects on her/his adult ideology, and there can even be accusations of bias. To use the White vs. Colored fountains example, if an American speedling learns in the speeder about segregation, it might cause her to oppose bigotry or even influence her to vote Democrat (or at least be unable to stand Trump), because she'd reason that the liberals of the 1950's were right and the conservatives of the 1950's wrong about racism. If we tried lifespeeding in the U.S. today, there would be yuuuge debates over what kind of knowledge would be taught to our children when they are speedlings, and if it fell into the wrong hands we could have a dystopia on our hands once a critical mass are out of the speeder and old enough to vote.

There would even be uncertainty and debates as to in which direction the inclusion of a certain bit of knowledge would influence a speedee's views. Take, for example, a U.S. speeder bombarding a speedling with the knowledge that the death penalty became illegal in the United States in 1972, but the U.S. reintroduced it in 1976. Would that tilt speedees in the direction of opposition to the death penalty, because of the U.S. already having a ban on executions that was taken away when the country started to lean more conservative, or would it tilt speedees in the direction of support for the death penalty, because they'd figure that if they tried banning executions and then brought them back, they must have had a good reason for rejecting the "failed" experiment of banning the death penalty? And should a speedling be taught which countries and U.S. states as of 2019 allow the death penalty and which don't? Should they learn that in Malaysia, you can be executed for drunk driving?

Another interesting effect of lifespeeding is knowledge of pop culture. Although speedlings are taught the melodies and lyrics to many well-known songs, they don't actually have the *real* experience of *really* listening to the songs until after speedbirth. Also . . . in a contemporary American, English-speaking speeder's knowledge-base, speedlings would be taught that Casablanca has the "hill of beans" quote, that in The Graduate they say, "Plastics!", that The Princess Bride has Rodents of Unusual Size, and that the metaphor of the Red Pill and Blue Pill comes from Matrix, but they would not see the movies, nor even know how the movies go, scene-by-scene, until they're speedborn and take time to sit down and watch said movies.
What about acceptable fail rates?
Haven't worked that out yet.
Not something that would work in The World (or leastways the bits I'm familiar with).
I know you're wanting to go into a lengthy exposition on why it wouldn't work in The World, so I say go for it!
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 58,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 3313
Joined: 22 Nov 2014 04:48

Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by elemtilas » 13 Feb 2019 20:56

Khemehekis wrote:
06 Feb 2019 08:54
First, something I forgot to mention. The cultural knowledge, vocabulary and grammar for each culture's speeder program is updated every few years to keep up with changes in history, changes in laws, technological innovations, and language change.
First I'd like to say that your thoughtful reply is quite the education in and of itself! I have enjoyed reading about your experience thoroughly, alien though it is to me!
I should mention that most societies that are advanced enough to have lifespeeding developed for their species have gotten beyond the stage of following and enforcing arbitrary/antiquated social rules like (to use Western examples) "Take your hat off inside a classroom", "When a lady and gentleman are walking together, the gentleman walks on the outside of the curb", "Certain clothes are appropriate only for men to wear, certain clothes only for women", "Don't go naked in public", "Don't talk about lower bodily functions", "A man can't meet a woman alone on a social outing onless they're husband & wife or boyfriend & girlfriend", etc. However, many traditions, past norms, and past laws are considered core cultural knowledge. A Chinese speedling would be taught about mooncakes, about how the Chinese New Year is celebrated, or that this is the Year of the Pig, while a Nigerian speedling being taught to speak Yoruba would be taught how a traditional Yoruba wedding goes. In an American speeder, "Prior to the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's, most places in the U.S. South required Blacks to drink from 'Colored' fountains that were separate from the fountains White people used" would be a fact Americans would be expected to know.
What arbitrary social rules do they instill in place of?

So it sounds like speeducation involves instillation of one (or more) languages, pertinent local facts (how deep and how broad, I wonder?) and whatever passes for the arbitrary social rules of behaviour of the time and place, quite different as those may be from what folks (21st cen. Americans e.g.) are used to.

That's a lot of facts --- how do they impart experience, understanding and wisdom into the mix? Even young children are granted some measure of these; but they don't mature until experience teaches them. Or are those things speedlings aren't expected to be born with, but rather gain after speedbirth?
One effect of this is that a speedee's political leanings come almost exclusively from a combination of genetic predisposition and experiences that happen after speedbirth ("speedbirth" meaning the moment a person comes out of the speeder and becomes a full-fledged member of society). Your parents will not have a deep formative influence on your political ideology. (Also, some kids never learn who their parents were -- not too different from adoptees on Earth.)
Question: how does one determine political leaning from genetics? I should think that would be more a matter of environment and education. It makes considerable sense, though, that one's experience post speedbirth would be what leads to some kind of political leaning or other.
In some ways, political views are largely formed through experiences that happen after one's fourteenth birthday on Earth. I recently attended my high school reunion with 80+ other 38- and 39-year-olds. Our lot forged bonds and expressed our political views during our years at Campolindo High in Moraga, California.
Hm. I have no interest whatever in attending any kind of school reunion.
A minority of my classmates were authoritarian (socially conservative, fiscally liberal, pro-corporate) because they formed their political/social views around the time they began school. American K-12 school is an authoritarian environment based in the nineteenth century on the Prussian model, to raise good factory workers who keep their heads down and have a common core of world knowledge. These kids were forged through learning to follow the rules, respect authority figures and the system, and have loyalty. As a result of staying for life with the ideology they developed at that crucial point in their development, they were socially conservative (deferential to social conventions, against gay marriage or legalizing pot, etc.), and trusted the government and businesses.
[O.O]
Wow. So, we were right! What you relate here serves to validate what we intuited as children. While walking to school, we'd see the big yellow monsters (we called em "Street Sweedies") scoop up all the unfortunates and cart them off to public school. We instinctively ran from the school busses, and though we didn't know why at the time, it makes rather a lot of sense now I read this!

I honestly don't know what to make of your definition of "authoritarian", as there are plenty of folks who are socially conservative but not what I would understand as "authoritarian". Perhaps we have differing concepts of "authoritarian" and "socially conservative" and "liberal" and so forth.

I blink in astonishment! And am truly blessed that my experience in Catholic schools was non-Prussian, non-authoritarian. I don't think I would have made a good Prussian factory worker! We were just taught those foolish things like love in action and respect for life and compassion and gentleness and respect for others. All those outmoded ideas!

Re legalising pot, I'm just going to say that in theory it's wonderful for the "rights crowd", but in practice the legalisation is just stupid. I was so happy when, here in ultra-hyper-super-duper liberal Maryland / DC / NOVA they finally outlawed public smoking. (This was a number of years ago, now.) The air is so fucking clean now, you can actually breathe it! And what do they do, at least in DC they legalised pot. Bad move. The place literally stinks now. I'm all for medicinal THC, but go about it the fucking right way. Make it into a pill or something that doesn't stink up the environment or turn users into zombies. Controlled substances are controlled for good reason.

But back to your description of public schools. Just wow. I've long thought public schools were screwy, but now I can see why!
A small minority were libertarian. These were generally people who, in the eighth grade, read Ayn Rand and became enamored of libertarianism, Objectivism, and their ilk.

A minority were true liberals -- socially, fiscally, and corporately liberal, like the Green Party or Socialist Party USA, although those who vote usually vote Democrat. Some of these were immigrants or foreign exchange students from countries much more liberal than the U.S., some were transplants from very liberal places in the U.S. (Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, etc.). a few were simply raised by very liberal and very influential parents, and some just had significant experiences that caused them to be liberal. Of course, older generations often had the "I went to college with liberal professors and students from different backgrounds, and it totally 'opened my eyes' and opened my mind! I became a liberal!" experience, but I didn't meet any students with that experience at my reunion.
I'm beginning to think that parents should be compelled to disavow all political thought when their first child is born. It's like a brain eating amoeba or something. Politics. Smartest thing Old Scratch ever invented to get people to hate one another! And it's only gotten so much worse.
A minority were socially conservative AND fiscally conservative AND pro-corporate AND militaristic. Many people turn this way when they're middle-aged and raising children and concerned about "them Syrian refugees trying to hurt my child!" and concerned about "that government taking my hard-earned money!". My classmates aren't there yet, and certainly weren't in high school, but we did have some across-the-board conservatives, even in high school. Most of the teens we referred to as "the conservative kids" were actually authoritarians, who were socially conservative and pro-corporate but trusted the government, but we did have some true-blue true-red Republican conservatives. Many of these were jocks, who professed hard-core right-wing views but didn't seem to treat politics seriously (considering that at parties they'd have premarital sex and use controlled substances that Republican politicians wanted to keep illegal). Others were rednecks (some of whom were actually paleo-conservative). Some of these were raised by very stridently conservative parents or in very right-wing religious backgrounds. A few just happened upon pop culture like the Rush Limbaugh show. There are probably more of these types of teens at high schools in solid-Red parts of the country where almost everyone in the town and adjacent towns is a conservative than there are in Moraga.
Gosh. I don't even know what to say. This is such an utterly alien experience!

I don't know if it's a "public school thing" or a generational thing. But all I can say is sòmeone stole your whole childhood from you guys and turned you into little mind numbed political robots (or either persuasion!).

My high school experience probably will seem every bit as culturally alien to you as yours does to me. All things considered, I think the worst travails of HS (apart from dealing with attention issues and general inaptitude as regards maths and science) were the training in morals, ethics and critical thinking. Good stuff, and looking back, I think those could have been focused on even more broadly throughout the curriculum. Other than that, I'd already been working on exploring The World for like five or six years and at that time had not figured out quite how to write a story. (I like to think I've gotten a little better at that!) Our concerns largely revolved around simple things like just béing. Hanging with friends. How to avoid actually having to dance during one of those horrific band fund raisers. For me, where to find a good book on Old English, if not Old Entish.

Politics was of zero interest. Not just to me, but I think generally speaking. It wasn't shoved down our throats; we weren't taught all the fake values of secular society. Of course, there was no social media, no unfiltered data dumps and no ideological saturation either. We did learn how to research and sift the wheat and chaff of ideas, and to be honest, life was "slower" then, just before your generation. In grammar school, we wrote our papers and assignments in long hand (oh, what a happy day when we finally got to use an honest to God pen to write with!); we went to the library to look in actual books to discover actual & juried facts. In HS we graduated to typewriters (and, happy me, had a choice of the electric Smith-Corona (with correction ribbon!) or an L.C. Smith No. 2 (the wonderful clacky-clack as steel smacked paper!). We had the time to digest ideas, to think and consider. Anymore, I can click on the old googlematic and uncover seventeen billion hits for any obscure arcana you care to name. Half those hits are useless shopping links, half are conspiracy theories, hate-mongers or regurgitants of the same and the other half are just plain wrong.
But the majority were of a countercultural political persuasion that would probably fall into the anterior bottom left of a Vosem Chart (antithetical to authoritarian). We started thinking independently, and forging our ideology, during high school. We witnessed the authority figures in the adult world around us suspend students for things they didn't do, fail students with whom they had a personal vendetta, enforce stifling social rules (like the hat rule) in the classroom, judgmentally appraise every action as either "appropriate" or "inappropriate", observe rigid rules as to how to carry themselves, accuse students crying in class of being "disruptive", and refuse to sign ISP's for students who had to take trips elsewhere during the school year. We were becoming explorers naturally at this point of our life, starting to really comprehend politics beyond a junior-high level, and expressing ourselves with clothes and music. In short, the system failed us, and we became against The System.
I can empathise. I was visiting with a friend recently whose young son swore up and down he was victim of exactly such injustice! Kind of had to chuckle at the immature perspective. I at least chuckled because I too thought that way when I was a teen ager. Moi!!?? I couldn't have done anything wrong! While there are, I'm sure, instances of teachers who do not comport themselves well, I'm also under no illusion that students are all lily white.

This same dad is, in fact, a HS teacher (oo, the delicious irony, ferrous and ferric on so many levels!), and we both know very well that, 99 44/100% of the time, students get exactly what they deserve. Sure, you got a detention but you weren't involved in the fight, right? Did you ever think to break the fight up? No, of course not! Was too exciting. Well, there you go. Personal vendettas, no that's wrong on every level. Anyway, most HS students will offer plenty of opportunities to fail themselves without involving personal feelings. That's just stupid teaching. "Stifling social rules"? Puhleese! Your house, your rules. If the teacher says take your hat off, take you damn hat off. If the teacher doesn't care, leave it on. In your own house, when you make The Rules, you can make whatever rules you want! Though frankly, if I were your teacher, I'd enforce every little stifling social rule I could come up with, just because you were being an impertinent ass. [;)]

We came along before the nonsense of "appropriate" and "inappropriate" were introduced into the lexicon as the new moral standards. I don't know what an ISP is or why anyone crying in class would be accused of being disruptive. That seems kind of bizarre to me.

Of course, everyone expresses themselves in music and clothing and so forth. I think at that time, a lot of kids were into metal. I've no idea any band names, but I do recall Depeche Mode was popular among my friends, even though they quite antedated us by a number of years! I went in for folk music (nòt 60s phake pholk), medieval and renaissance, hung out with the satanists and played bootleg video games. I'm sure he had not the first clue what Satanism was all about. I did, because I plunked $2.95 down and bought a copy of their Bible. I read it, scratched my head and thought, well this is about the stupidest thing ever and ended up selling it at the local used book shop. And what happy times I found in that shop! The wonder of books: knowledge deep and arcane; tales both ancient and new; every interesting topic you could possibly think of. Except for the horrors of the "romance" section, I could wander the stacks for hours! And still consider it a blessing we have so many and so big used book shops in the area!
This had some interesting effects. As of 1997, Moraga had 6,217 registered Republicans to 4,286 registered Democrats. Two thirds of us students wanted to be Democrats when our government class did a Congress simulation and required students to choose between Republican and Democrat. In a survey in the student newspaper during my stay at Campolindo, 55% of students said they identified with the Democratic party, a mere 11% said they identified with the Republican party, and the remaining 34% were independent. This is how generational gaps between teens and the parents of teens are formed.
I notice they pigeonholed you guys into a choice of only two parties. I'm sure I'd've been booted from that Congress. A rebel with a cause, or none at all!
Generally in lifespeeding societies, 14-to-18-year olds (or strictly speaking, people whose speedage (that's pronounced /ˈspidˌeidʒ/, not /ˈspidɨdʒ/) is 1 day to 4.5 years) don't have to attend authoritarian schools, so they wouldn't have that kind of experience, but the point is, none of their ideology would have come from formative parenting during childhood. It comes more from experiences like looking for a job, or dealing with a certain kind of immigrants, or getting fired or arrested, or even finding love.
It wonders me though: how do they even understand what love is? That's something that comes of a nurturing family environment. And develops from the time in the womb and through infancy. Even the most secular of psychologists recognises that most basic of human needs. How can they even turn out remotely "human" if they never experienced human contact or form critical attachments? It's one thing to cram facts and knowledge into a brain; but I wonder what the true cost in such a society will be! Hopefully these things will be well thought out and churned up into a story! I'd read it for sure, especially if it turns out as horrifically dystopic as I fear it must...
This brings up another point. What knowledge a speedling gets bombarded with can disputably have subtle effects on her/his adult ideology, and there can even be accusations of bias. To use the White vs. Colored fountains example, if an American speedling learns in the speeder about segregation, it might cause her to oppose bigotry or even influence her to vote Democrat (or at least be unable to stand Trump), because she'd reason that the liberals of the 1950's were right and the conservatives of the 1950's wrong about racism. If we tried lifespeeding in the U.S. today, there would be yuuuge debates over what kind of knowledge would be taught to our children when they are speedlings, and if it fell into the wrong hands we could have a dystopia on our hands once a critical mass are out of the speeder and old enough to vote.
Which is rather humorous, given that it was liberal Democrats who staunchly defended segregation, Jim Crow, the KKK and so forth and who vehemently opposed integration and Civil Rights. Your speedling might end up suffering a bit of an existential crisis there.

I do concur: if speeducation were a thing in early 21st century America, if the wrong things get taught to the exclusion of the right things, we would end up even more dystopic than the public schools are making us now! You and I would probably disagree, at least to some extent, what ought to be taught via speeducation. But I think we could probably agree on basics (literacy, numeracy, languages and possibly certain factual aspects of other disciplines -- I'm all for cramming a lot of facts into young skulls full of mush: let em memorise as many basic facts as they can early on). I would be very resistant to teaching history, literature, theology, philosophy or any social / soft science via speeducation. While there are factual aspects of each, they also require far too much interpretation of fact in light of wisdom and reason. Your devices must be truly magical if they can do that! I would be entirely against inflicting this system wholesale onto children. I think it makes for great sci-fi (if entirely dystopic!) but I think such a system would make for absolutely terrible way to form a functional human person in the primary world. The experimentation required to get such a system up and running is simply beyond the pale. Even though we are, at present, moving into terribly dangerous waters (medically ethically speaking), I somehow doubt that even the most left-leaning among us would seriously consider doing this kind of thing to children.

But even as I write this, I am confronted with the simple fact that the American left is quite satisfied with killing children, to the point of celebrating the fact in a most obnoxiously Molochian fashion imaginable. I think I may yet have to abandon hope for the present generation of leftists. They've made it so that I can't even blame their evil on the most utterly radical among them.

There would even be uncertainty and debates as to in which direction the inclusion of a certain bit of knowledge would influence a speedee's views. Take, for example, a U.S. speeder bombarding a speedling with the knowledge that the death penalty became illegal in the United States in 1972, but the U.S. reintroduced it in 1976. Would that tilt speedees in the direction of opposition to the death penalty, because of the U.S. already having a ban on executions that was taken away when the country started to lean more conservative, or would it tilt speedees in the direction of support for the death penalty, because they'd figure that if they tried banning executions and then brought them back, they must have had a good reason for rejecting the "failed" experiment of banning the death penalty? And should a speedling be taught which countries and U.S. states as of 2019 allow the death penalty and which don't? Should they learn that in Malaysia, you can be executed for drunk driving?
This I think is where such a system breaks down. The speedling is really only learning a few pertinent factoids. He has no concept of the history of the death penalty or jurisprudence or the law or morality or ethics let alone how it all fits together. One thing I have noticed is that you never mention moral or ethical or theological formation. I won't draw (probably false) conclusions about your own upbringing and experience in school as it has tilted you one way or another or how it has led you to work out the details of this system! Though I know I'd be fascinated to learn!

I could say that a solid foundation in those three neglected sciences would solve most of the problems you've proposed for newly birthed speedees. The death penalty is a very interesting topic, historically, socially and theologically. Myself, I've never supported the idea of a death penalty. (Yeah, I know, many societies in The World do, and they enjoy a good execution, and I've written about several of the more deliciously gruesome ones.) The arguments for it (punishment, social retribution, deterrence) make no sense. The only justification for it is the satisfaction of primal, instinctual and ultimately inhuman desire for vengeance. Not a good enough reason anymore. The death penalty and infanticide (abortion) are the two most savage and inhuman practices we have going in the US at the present time.

I honestly don't know what a speedee would make of the death penalty. But as you hint at earlier, I think much will depend on who gets to programme the curriculum and what weight that curriculum will give to a topic. I fear that if the wrong side gets to make those choices, your speedees will probably end up totally fucked. (And, for what it's worth, I happen to think both sides are the wrong side.) Their factual education is not being balanced, as far as I can see (or as far as you've revealed) with any kind of moral balance. Nor with any kind of experience or ability to interact with wiser heads (and hearts!) until after their born. I think that learning the facts of history coupled with moral formation coupled with mature consideration applied with reason will lead a normal person to, at the very least, see the problems inherent in the pro-death penalty / pro-abortion arguments. With a little grace & understanding thrown into the mix, she may even come to the conclusion that killing other people is wrong and that killing other people who have committed crime does not make the killing any righter.
Another interesting effect of lifespeeding is knowledge of pop culture. Although speedlings are taught the melodies and lyrics to many well-known songs, they don't actually have the *real* experience of *really* listening to the songs until after speedbirth. Also . . . in a contemporary American, English-speaking speeder's knowledge-base, speedlings would be taught that Casablanca has the "hill of beans" quote, that in The Graduate they say, "Plastics!", that The Princess Bride has Rodents of Unusual Size, and that the metaphor of the Red Pill and Blue Pill comes from Matrix, but they would not see the movies, nor even know how the movies go, scene-by-scene, until they're speedborn and take time to sit down and watch said movies.
On to the lighter side!

Me, I think I'd sue the speeducation company that birthed me if they crammed my head full of the inanities of pop culture. Ugh! Yuck! I'd rather be smeared in pig shit and set down in a bucket full of flies than have to endure those poor speedlings' "education"! But, I think that reaction ought to come as no surprise to you! :mrgreen:

Hill of beans quote? Plastics? I don't think I'd be any better a speedling than I would a Prussian factory worker!

It does wonder me though, are there any speedlings that end up like me at all? Or is this a kind of one size fits all society?
Not something that would work in The World (or leastways the bits I'm familiar with).
I know you're wanting to go into a lengthy exposition on why it wouldn't work in The World, so I say go for it!
Actually, I wasn't... But I can say several things about this absolutely fascinating system vis a vis The World. I think that, had you introduced this in the Multiverse Inn, you would find that your Daine interlocutors at least would be wide-eyed, close-winged and shivering with horror. I just don't think they could even conceive of people --- not even Men! --- being produced in this way. You would have just blown their minds. Though, I think, probably not for the better. Their understanding of life and growth and even politics is so radically different from the speedees' world I don't think they could even connect.

But more fundamentally, the technology which I'm sure you have underlying the speedees' development is simply too far beyond anything even remotely conceivable by the best and brightest natural philosophers and artificers. The devices alone would be impossible to construct, even with very deep magic. The World just does not work that way. I don't even think there are near analogues to any of it. Sure, genetics and reproduction can be a bit weird in Yeola, but rapid incubators are just not possible. It is possible, though by no means an easy feat, to transfer or share memories. Some people (twins in particular) do this quite naturally, but I think not in a way that would be useful for general education.

Ah! I think the closest analogue would be a particular Daine "magic" called tale weaving. This is very deep dwimmery and will indeed impart memory into the minds and hearts of those that hear such tales. It is true that a tale weaver may enchant for several hours only, but those who awaken the next morning often recount that they have lived many lifetimes other than their own. It might be like long-term immersion in a 4D VR environment. Whatever the tale weaver enchanted, that becomes true memory for those who experience, though I guess, according to psychology, they would actually be implanted "false memories"! But what do psychologists know!

Daine will only admit those of the Elder Race to participate. They won't allow Men or Dwarrows or anyone else to a telling. They won't even bring their young children. The ensorcelment is just too powerful. I would imagine that a tale weaver còuld use her talents to instill courses in geometry or Cargi History or Fundamentals of Queritian Grammar into her hearers, and thus they could experience, at least in part, a little of what it must be like to be a speedling. But, you know, Daine being what they are, they'd find that particular use for talent an utter waste! Tale weaving ought to be used for noble and beautiful Narrative Purposes, not the dissemination of mere knowledge!
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera

Post Reply