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Old 09-02-2015, 02:34 PM   #541
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If they don't like Count Duku they can spend the day torturing him in effigy and party while they do that.
Any excuse for a party...
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:09 PM   #542
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Any excuse for a party...
Michael Wood once visited Iran where they held a festival parading the greatest folkvillains of history. Iskander the Accursed, the Two-horned one was prominent among the list.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:44 PM   #543
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Michael Wood once visited Iran where they held a festival parading the greatest folkvillains of history. Iskander the Accursed, the Two-horned one was prominent among the list.
Well Alex did knock down their Empire. One Iranian film critic lambasted a recent film about Thermopylae because the Greeks were heroes and the Persians were not treated as lovable superheroes.
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:01 PM   #544
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Well Alex did knock down their Empire. One Iranian film critic lambasted a recent film about Thermopylae because the Greeks were heroes and the Persians were treated as lovable superheroes.
I actually rather thought it was a more accurate depiction then "the Great" myself.
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Old 09-05-2015, 01:08 PM   #545
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I actually rather thought it was a more accurate depiction then "the Great" myself.
As a modern given a choice between the Ancient Persians and Greeks, I'd probably want to machine gun them both.

Conquest is conquest, a nasty business to be on the receiving end of. The Iranians want the West to see Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian conquests (they've had some) as beautiful heroic acts. Meanwhile they label all aspects of the European expansion of the 1400 through 1950 period as "The Whitemare!" They, like everybody else, including us, want their actions seen as noble and everybody else in a lesser light. We regard this kind of thing as immoral now. They still see it as noble.

These kind of mismatches lead to violent quarrels.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:06 AM   #546
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As a modern given a choice between the Ancient Persians and Greeks, I'd probably want to machine gun them both.

Conquest is conquest, a nasty business to be on the receiving end of. The Iranians want the West to see Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian conquests (they've had some) as beautiful heroic acts. Meanwhile they label all aspects of the European expansion of the 1400 through 1950 period as "The Whitemare!" They, like everybody else, including us, want their actions seen as noble and everybody else in a lesser light. We regard this kind of thing as immoral now. They still see it as noble.

These kind of mismatches lead to violent quarrels.

Of course they had some conquests. I was speaking specifically of Al and what I don't really like about him is not so much that he conquered which most rulers did, but that that is pretty much all he did. Ancient Persian conquests were not any more beautiful or heroic then Alexander's unless you count the fact that Cyrus was more rational and had some idea of a purpose in what he was doing. Ancient Persian concepts of administration were however a great thing and certainly an advancement over what had come before.

And not all the things done through the period of the "whitemare" are really the same as Alexander's. That talks about a whole cluster of cultures. There was trade, development, scientific discovery, carrying of the best as well as the worst elements of the west. The same applies to the spread of Hellenism which was also spread by an entire culture. Insulting Alexander is not insulting Greece. Alexander killed thousands of Greeks as he did thousands of Persians-and incidently helped destroy democracy. Alexander was one man who had little goal other then to show off to everyone what a badass he was just because daddy left him a magnificient army whose achievements he claimed for himself. I dislike him not because he was a King, or Macedonian, or White, or even an Imperialist but frankly because he was a royal brat whose idea of kingship was to go on a useless dungeon crawl through half the world. I can say "Hellenism was a great period in civilization" and "Alexander was an evil man" without contradiction. Just as during the "Whitemare" I say freely that "The Victorian Era brought great things for civilization" and "King Leopald was an evil man." They are not contradictory.

As for Persians getting sensitive about Thermopylae, well tough luck on them. That is one of the most cherished tales in Western folklore, and if it is so because of propaganda at the time, well that just proves that great storytellers last as long as great conquerors and are a better service to mankind. Or longer. If they wish to read about Rustam and his bull-headed mace there is no reason I can't read about Leonidas. I hope they enjoy it. Just so they don't bug me by an undo display of sensitivity. In any case if you wish to make a point about that sort of thing it is kind of cheeky for Shia to be sensitive on account of insults to Ancient Persia considering how they arrived in the area.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:06 PM   #547
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Glisten Museum of Commerce and Navigation:

A noted museum dedicated to history of Interstellar Trade. Contains specs of ships as far back as the Zira Sirka, preserved logs, as well as various works of folk-art such as world-gem necklaces and carvings in artificial scrimshaw. Other exhibits include spacer folktales and superstitions, stories about famous discoveries and what not. Among the prizes are the record of the First Contact between the Vilani and Zhodani. Also included is a collection of the works composed by Matthew McHarkin the famous Free Trader Poet and Philosopher, during spare time along his voyages.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:05 PM   #548
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The Ministry of Culture

While these guys are often seen as flakes or a trash can to dump the weirder aristocrats into, The M of C is actually an important tool of imperial power. They have several important jobs.

A) They work to create a unified Imperial culture and to include the Aristocracy and the political elites in it. This gives the Imperium a common language and metaphors. It makes it easier for people from deferent worlds and species to talk to each other and be understood. As such it is a powerful tool.

B) They are memetic engineers, in fact they keep the study of memetics to themselves as much as possible. They subtlely shape the high and popular culture of the imperium to make the imperium seem like the best possible choice. This is generally low key. Example: TV shows with friendly "Wizard" characters never seem to get good syndication deals off-world. The M of C making sure that the idea of a "good/honorable" psion isn't commonplace.

C) The M of C provides cover most of the 3I's psionic agents. They're so famously weird, odd behavior means nothing.

More later.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:23 PM   #549
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The Ministry of Culture: Part II


D) The MofC is also a marriage mart, or rather a manipulator of marriage marts. As part of their goal of a unified galactic culture for the 3I, they work to use marriage alliances to make sure that powerful people and their allies have family connections broadly spread across the Imperium. This means that the fate of the Imperium is the fate of their family, so they'll have motives to promote the Imperium.

E) Another aspect of being a Marriage Mart is that the MofC is running a breeding program. They are attempting to breed mentally stable, healthy nobles. If you think about it, that sort of nobility would have the greatest stake in the long term stability of society. They'd have the best chance to have families and close emotional relationships, and thus a personal stake in the society they live in.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:56 PM   #550
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E) Another aspect of being a Marriage Mart is that the MofC is running a breeding program. They are attempting to breed mentally stable, healthy nobles. If you think about it, that sort of nobility would have the greatest stake in the long term stability of society. They'd have the best chance to have families and close emotional relationships, and thus a personal stake in the society they live in.
Close emotional relationships would be the antithesis of such a breeding program, and the dispersal of an Imperial wide culture, as such ties would tend to keep families together. Such familial bonding would lead to the rise of regional family powers, concentrating power at the expense of wider, Imperial goals.

I won't say that such regional power groups are unknown, or not part of a possible Traveller universe. I don't see a breeding program with the (side effect?) of emotionally stable, family oriented people leading to those people giving their overall efforts to the government/society rather than their own family.

I see a breeding program more along the lines of the one in Dune. Whatever the goal might be in a TU, such a program would likely be accomplished as in that book, with concubines, illicit trysts, and emotional manipulation in order to get the right parents to produce the right children.

A program to breed stable people (and presumably stable families) would be self defeating. Once you achieved a family that cared about the well being of its children, probably the first thing they would do is protect them from the manipulation of a breeding program. Even one that doesn't resort to Dunesque shenanigans.

And just a minor quibble but I don't see a Ministry of Culture in anything close to the OTU. Of course anything is possible in your own setting, but the 3I that I know promotes local power, especially culturally, rather than a centralized model. Remember that Dulinor was upset that Strephron's support of local culture was not going fast or far enough, implying that it was a somewhat recent phenomenon that an Imperium-standard culture was arising/promoted. The Solomani certainly promoted their own culture, and we know how the 3I reacted to that. I'm sure the Vilani would love a 3I-wide ministry of culture, promoting their culture and supressing that of Sylea and the Solomani, not to mention local or alien culture.
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