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Old 10-05-2018, 08:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Urban Legends for THS

Given that Conspiracy Theories are always a backbone of Urban Legendary it occurs to me that in THS that a new wrinkle might be the idea that not all conspirators would know that they are in a conspiracy. Between AIs, doctored Ghosts, Bioroids made with twisted instructions in the cloning tank and the constant memetic cloud that surrounds everybody in the Fourth and Fith wave societies, anybody could be a dupe or slave of the conspiracy and never know it. The possibilities for paranoids are endless.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:27 AM   #12
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Pulling from recent history, conspiracy theories can drive history. Many people in Islamic nations sincerely believe that the USA has as much influence in the Islamic world as Britain had in Egypt between 1890 and 1950. Many terrorists see themselves as seeking the liberation of their nations and faith from America. The fact that we don't have anything like the power they think we have makes little difference or none.

This suggests that the popular conspiracy theories of other lands would have blowback in the Fifth Wave nations. If a person believes their nation is poor and wracked by civil war because your nation enforces both the poverty and the violence, then they are highly likely to strike out at you or seek power over you in other ways.

Thus Urban legends would be powerful motivators. And in a world of memetics, these motivators could be refined into weapons.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:06 AM   #13
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A whole category of urban legend occurred to me. That would be urban legends about nanotech that had powers and abilities that are actually only possible for things in vid shows. Such as "black clouds": that chase down large trucks moving at full highway speed and make them disappear in seconds.

There's a parallel category for A.I.s who can flaunt the laws of physics. That would be things like ones who can jump air gaps or fully download themselves from 20 ton Megaframes into a human's implanted computer.
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:23 PM   #14
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A whole category of urban legend occurred to me. That would be urban legends about nanotech that had powers and abilities that are actually only possible for things in vid shows. Such as "black clouds": that chase down large trucks moving at full highway speed and make them disappear in seconds.

There's a parallel category for A.I.s who can flaunt the laws of physics. That would be things like ones who can jump air gaps or fully download themselves from 20 ton Megaframes into a human's implanted computer.
You're obviously right about that. People believe that the CIA has lasers that can cause cancer. The whole "Fake Moon Landing" myth depends on believing that in 1969 that the presence of astronauts on the Moon could be faked well enough to fool the Russians and the East Germans. Good stories tend to trump science education.
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Old 10-07-2018, 02:52 AM   #15
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The whole "Fake Moon Landing" myth depends on believing that in 1969 that the presence of astronauts on the Moon could be faked well enough to fool the Russians and the East Germans. Good stories tend to trump science education.
"Of course you know about the suppressed transmission...?"

This line is from Richard Linklater's SLACKER, and the man who speaks it proceeds to explain that the moon landings were faked, not to fool the Commies that we had won the Space Race, but to hide from the rest of the world that we'd been on the moon since the 50's!

The is made even more fascinating when we see that the actor, Jerry Delony, shares my home town of Texarkana TX, from whence sprang the original urban legend of The Hook!
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:55 AM   #16
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"Of course you know about the suppressed transmission...?"

This line is from Richard Linklater's SLACKER, and the man who speaks it proceeds to explain that the moon landings were faked, not to fool the Commies that we had won the Space Race, but to hide from the rest of the world that we'd been on the moon since the 50's!
There's a whole mythology about early space settlements and "Breakaway Cultures." The books Secret Space Age, which I've read, and Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations which I haven't read, both propose Nazi Space colonies started in the 1950's. I could see a group looking for evidence of the secret Nazi bases of old Mars! The PCs could find themselves working with dangerous nutcases or stumbling onto real conspiracies like the Martian Triads.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:01 AM   #17
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The idea of Breakaway Civilizations could be more developed in THS. People are putting out stuff like this now. For those that need a definition of the term look here. Transhuman Space would make this meme more believable and scary.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:00 AM   #18
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... or stumbling onto real conspiracies like the Martian Triads.
Somewhere in a Triad drinking den...

"OK, so we ended up with a legitimately registered freighter and a whole pile of nanostais kit. I have a stupid idea for making money from those."

"First, we build a fake Noah's Ark on a mountain in one of the developing seas. That's not too hard. We give the mountain an extra name which, when you take the vowels out and transliterate it into Hebrew, comes out at the same consonantal Hebrew letters as the "Arrat" in the Bible. We hack Wikipedia so that name has been there for a few decades."

"We then advertise trips to Mars for seeing the truth of Noah's Ark, in the US religious lunatic fringe. We have a memeticist who knows that world, don't we? We sell our trips as protecting them from getting the brain implants that are normally done to everyone who goes to Mars, and take deposits. We'll get a load more deposits than people who can actually come up with full fare. We actually ship those people, in nanostais, and show them our Ark. They get a lot more memetics to reinforce their beliefs, and to start raising money for the Noah Foundation, whose money we collect. How about that?"

"Entertaining idea, but it's still your round."
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:00 AM   #19
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Somewhere in a Triad drinking den...

"OK, so we ended up with a legitimately registered freighter and a whole pile of nanostais kit. I have a stupid idea for making money from those."

"First, we build a fake Noah's Ark on a mountain in one of the developing seas. That's not too hard. We give the mountain an extra name which, when you take the vowels out and transliterate it into Hebrew, comes out at the same consonantal Hebrew letters as the "Arrat" in the Bible. We hack Wikipedia so that name has been there for a few decades."

"We then advertise trips to Mars for seeing the truth of Noah's Ark, in the US religious lunatic fringe. We have a memeticist who knows that world, don't we? We sell our trips as protecting them from getting the brain implants that are normally done to everyone who goes to Mars, and take deposits. We'll get a load more deposits than people who can actually come up with full fare. We actually ship those people, in nanostais, and show them our Ark. They get a lot more memetics to reinforce their beliefs, and to start raising money for the Noah Foundation, whose money we collect. How about that?"

"Entertaining idea, but it's still your round."
Beautifully fiendish!
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:56 PM   #20
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You're obviously right about that. People believe that the CIA has lasers that can cause cancer. The whole "Fake Moon Landing" myth depends on believing that in 1969 that the presence of astronauts on the Moon could be faked well enough to fool the Russians and the East Germans. Good stories tend to trump science education.
On the other hand, look at the way UFOs and Bigfoot and other legends where "I didn't have a camera with me" was a key part of the story have practically vanished since near-universal cellphone cameras, and the Bermuda Triangle doesn't stand up well when people can search actual flight records. I think that one of the challenges and rewards of writing material for TS is its differences from the present day, and it would be fun to play with old legends that "everybody knows" you'd have to be stupid or uneducated to believe.

Of course, everything you read in the world of TS is memetics from somebody, so it's also worth considering - who wants to discredit this idea by associating it with conspiracy theorists?
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