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Old 09-26-2017, 09:26 PM   #31
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Our dwarves are different

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Has anyone made a eusocial species without one or more groups being cannon fodder property?
Well, in my version of dwarves, the worker dwarves definitely aren't cannon fodder. In fact they're mostly kept safe inside the mine, doing everything from cleanup chores to delicate crafts.

The ones who are expected to face danger are the adult males. Often this is simply being on guard at the mine entrance (with a genetically male worker dwarf at hand to run messages). But if someone needs to go on a trade journey, or take part in a war, or engage in diplomatic negotiations, that's male work. Of course, if you think about it, that's also largely male work in humans, and human males aren't quite thought of as cannon fodder, at least not in their relationship to their families, even though biologically we're the expendable ones.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:59 PM   #32
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Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Trust you to subvert the cliche.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:01 AM   #33
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Default Re: Our dwarves are different

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Trust you to subvert the cliche.
You know my methods, Watson.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:04 PM   #34
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Default Re: Our dwarves are different

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Well, in my version of dwarves, the worker dwarves definitely aren't cannon fodder. In fact they're mostly kept safe inside the mine, doing everything from cleanup chores to delicate crafts.

The ones who are expected to face danger are the adult males. Often this is simply being on guard at the mine entrance (with a genetically male worker dwarf at hand to run messages). But if someone needs to go on a trade journey, or take part in a war, or engage in diplomatic negotiations, that's male work. Of course, if you think about it, that's also largely male work in humans, and human males aren't quite thought of as cannon fodder, at least not in their relationship to their families, even though biologically we're the expendable ones.
It's more like males tend to think of themselves as part of a Universal Warrior Cult of Masculinity(and the first rule about it is that you don't talk about it of course). Being "cannon fodder" kind of adds to the mystique.

Among Dwarves it is a good reason why females are so seldom seen. Besides the fact that they are slow breeders. And the fact that Dwarves are fanatically protective of their patrimony. And the fact that if Dwarves venerate ancestry maybe they want to have a posterity to venerate them.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:13 PM   #35
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I think that most human cultures romanticize and idealize violent self sacrifice ala the 300 fiction. But that when push comes to shove, it's really almost unnatural mentality for anything other than moment's action for important enough reasons or emotion. Our species wouldn't have lasted this long if half of us were so prone to dying at a moment's notice.
Self preservation and preservation of relatives is paramount to species that take 20 years of heavy resource investment to mature.
Eusocial dwarves could change that assumption realistically, but I personally consider that a too obvious direction to take.

They're eusocial like ants... okay, this is the worker caste, warrior caste, and royal. That's not quite how naked mole rats live and they're arguable a eusocial mammal.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:31 PM   #36
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I think that most human cultures romanticize and idealize violent self sacrifice ala the 300 fiction. But that when push comes to shove, it's really almost unnatural mentality for anything other than moment's action for important enough reasons or emotion. Our species wouldn't have lasted this long if half of us were so prone to dying at a moment's notice.
Self preservation and preservation of relatives is paramount to species that take 20 years of heavy resource investment to mature.
Eusocial dwarves could change that assumption realistically, but I personally consider that a too obvious direction to take.

They're eusocial like ants... okay, this is the worker caste, warrior caste, and royal. That's not quite how naked mole rats live and they're arguable a eusocial mammal.
It serves a purpose as every society has to get people to risk their lives for it. And often the difference between the victor and vanquished(which can mean the slaver and enslaved) is whether someone will take such risks. Even in peacetime emergency services can be perilous. Something must motivate people to take actions which they would otherwise only take for close relations. If the only reward is economic then people will weigh their lives against it and find it wanting. The romanticism is a mechanism to in effect allow humans to temporarily behave eusocially. That is not all it is; assuming things are "all it is" is fallacious logically and pernicious to human morale. Or to put it another way, romanticism is part of people's pay.

Among Dwarves the same dynamic could apply of course.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:16 PM   #37
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It's more like males tend to think of themselves as part of a Universal Warrior Cult of Masculinity(and the first rule about it is that you don't talk about it of course). Being "cannon fodder" kind of adds to the mystique.
In parallel, in humans, at least, there is something of a universal cult of motherhood, which goes with the fact that women are risking their lives to bear children. Indeed from a traditional point of view it could be said to be unfair to ask women to face death in battle since they were already facing death to bear the next generation of soldiers. There is also the old saying that "Greater love hath no man than a mother cat dying to save her kittens," which applies more broadly than to our species.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:59 PM   #38
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In parallel, in humans, at least, there is something of a universal cult of motherhood, which goes with the fact that women are risking their lives to bear children. Indeed from a traditional point of view it could be said to be unfair to ask women to face death in battle since they were already facing death to bear the next generation of soldiers. There is also the old saying that "Greater love hath no man than a mother cat dying to save her kittens," which applies more broadly than to our species.
Actually to my mind the parallel in humans is aesthetics. It can be pitiful to see women including quite goodlooking ones get as nervous about their looks as men about their prowess. But there is something of that too.

For Dwarves, if Dwarves have an intense ancestral veneration that includes desire to be venerated by posterity. As well as an intense parental protectiveness that both includes and is separate from this desire this can add to that. As well, their family feeling can be clannish and not just individual, so that a maiden aunt or bachelor uncle can hope to be remembered by posterity. That can encourage them to sacrifice in a way they wouldn't otherwise.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:15 PM   #39
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For Dwarves, if Dwarves have an intense ancestral veneration that includes desire to be venerated by posterity. As well as an intense parental protectiveness that both includes and is separate from this desire this can add to that. As well, their family feeling can be clannish and not just individual, so that a maiden aunt or bachelor uncle can hope to be remembered by posterity. That can encourage them to sacrifice in a way they wouldn't otherwise.
In fact, you kind of have to have that to have anything approaching eusociality. Worker bees are all sacrificing their entire lives in that way.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:54 PM   #40
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In fact, you kind of have to have that to have anything approaching eusociality. Worker bees are all sacrificing their entire lives in that way.
In point of fact I got the idea from the Niezcheans in Andromeda except their flightiness and amorality did not seem to have much survival value, and more to the point was not what I would expect from Dwarves.
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