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Old 06-11-2020, 12:57 PM   #41
Andreas
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
You're assuming they work as hard as competent humans over long periods of time. Most people tend to slow down even for on the job training when they're "good enough". Elves could spend time doing or living rather than pushing hard to constantly improve themselves.

Though one could split the difference and say they have the ability to consciously forget. Thus they would save space/points not just in a computer/metagaming sense but in an emotional sense in order to adapt.
I have no idea how one would write that up in Gurps though.
Not really, that just matters for how much time is needed. As long as they behave in a roughly human maner they would accumulate new experieces, at least at some rate.

Maybe Photographic Memory(only for a set of x character points choosen by the character; only for y years of memories choosen by the character)?

Last edited by Andreas; 06-11-2020 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 06-11-2020, 03:08 PM   #42
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

I imagine that any sapient species that evolved immortality would be psychologically capable of dealing with the timeframe. If not, they should have Amnesia (Partial), representing the long years that they have forgotten.
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Old 06-11-2020, 03:39 PM   #43
Andreas
 
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Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

Characters in gurps do forget things without having Amnesia. You also don't generally give characters Amnesia just because humans rarely remember much from when they were young children.

As for evolutional adaption, that depends on whether it is even possible to store an unlimited amount of information for such a species (which it of course wouldn't be in the real world). Of course, such a species can still be psychologically adapted to deal with such long lives in other ways without remebering much of it.
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Old 06-11-2020, 04:01 PM   #44
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Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

Warhammer Fantasy Battle Elves - capable of living 1000s of years but few died of just old age - had system of editing their memories .

Can't recall the White Dwarf issue but article went into the psychological make up of the three main non human Races that lived within the Empire of that setting : Elves , Dwarves & Halflings .

Because they live such long lives , they have to edit their memories by meditating at daily , monthly & six monthly intervals .

When in a safe location , they do a low level 'clean' most days after a night sleep - removing trivial stuff from previous few days to weeks .
Mid Level cleaning after good nights sleep & relaxing day of more in depth stuff from over last few months .
And then evey six months or so do a deep level clean out of things going back perhaps over previous 10 years (?) . Certain memories like family details or a favorite poem by an ancient Elven Bard etc , would be stored in permanent memories , never to be changed .
It was speculated that the WFB Dark Elves were psychotic because they didn't perform the same meditations . But as average Dark Elf wouldn't reach 250 years old in their murderous society , perhaps didn't need to or didn't bother in a 'shorter' brutal life ?

Article was published a very long time ago but can't say when due to strange way my brain works .
Possibly late 1980's when original Warhammer Roleplaying hardback book came out ? Or perhaps early 1990s ! Fantastic read anyway .
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Last edited by Racer; 06-11-2020 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:30 PM   #45
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

This thread reminded me a lot of an article/book review by John Lanchester from the New Yorker back in 2017: "The Case Against Civilization."

According to research, hunter/gatherers were far healthier and more prosperous, individually, than later agricultural communities were, with much more free time and much greater abundance of food. Early in the essay: "The fossil record shows that life for agriculturalists was harder than it had been for hunter-gatherers. Their bones show evidence of dietary stress: they were shorter, they were sicker, their mortality rates were higher. Living in close proximity to domesticated animals led to diseases that crossed the species barrier, wreaking havoc in the densely settled communities. Scott calls them not towns but 'late-Neolithic multispecies resettlement camps.' Who would choose to live in one of those? Jared Diamond called the Neolithic Revolution 'the worst mistake in human history.' The startling thing about this claim is that, among historians of the era, it isn’t very controversial."

The essay (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...t-civilization) seems to me to be surprisingly relevant about how elves might live, especially near the end, with the long discussion of the Bushmen of southern Africa:

"It turns out that hunting and gathering is a good way to live. A study from 1966 found that it took a Ju/’hoansi only about seventeen hours a week, on average, to find an adequate supply of food; another nineteen hours were spent on domestic activities and chores. The average caloric intake of the hunter-gatherers was twenty-three hundred a day, close to the recommended amount. At the time these figures were first established, a comparable week in the United States involved forty hours of work and thirty-six of domestic labor. Ju/’hoansi do not accumulate surpluses; they get all the food they need, and then stop. They exhibit what Suzman calls 'an unyielding confidence' that their environment will provide for their needs.

"The web of food sources that the hunting-and-gathering Ju/’hoansi use is, exactly as Scott argues for Neolithic people, a complex one, with a wide range of animal protein, including porcupines, kudu, wildebeests, and elephants, and a hundred and twenty-five edible plant species, with different seasonal cycles, ecological niches, and responses to weather fluctuations. Hunter-gatherers need not only an unwritten almanac of dietary knowledge but what Scott calls a 'library of almanacs.' As he suggests, the step-down in complexity between hunting and gathering and domesticated agriculture is as big as the step-down between domesticated agriculture and routine assembly work on a production line.

"The news here is that the lives of most of our progenitors were better than we think. We’re flattering ourselves by believing that their existence was so grim and that our modern, civilized one is, by comparison, so great."

Maybe the elves live very well off the land - and it's because they have very highly-developed skills and a deep knowledge. Maybe all elves have Naturalist at 20+?
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:43 PM   #46
Dammann
 
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Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

I read somewhere, maybe in a Jared Diamond book, that oak trees are poor candidates for domestication because they have long growing cycles and high tannin content in the seeds. That’s less an issue for elves, if they live for a long time, and/or if they are more tannin tolerant.
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:03 PM   #47
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

Or it may be one reason why they may have lower populations in the temperate regions than they woukd in tropical regions. Imagine the 'standard' adventuring party, used to elves living in small bands of temperate forest gardeners, encountering a tropical civilization of 80 million elves within an area equal to 6,300,000 square kilometers (equivalent to the Amazon Basin). If they survive their encounter, they may be very glad that their temperate elves are incapable of sustaining such numbers.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:32 PM   #48
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianLW View Post
This thread reminded me a lot of an article/book review by John Lanchester from the New Yorker back in 2017: "The Case Against Civilization."

According to research, hunter/gatherers were far healthier and more prosperous, individually, than later agricultural communities were, with much more free time and much greater abundance of food. Early in the essay: "The fossil record shows that life for agriculturalists was harder than it had been for hunter-gatherers. Their bones show evidence of dietary stress: they were shorter, they were sicker, their mortality rates were higher. Living in close proximity to domesticated animals led to diseases that crossed the species barrier, wreaking havoc in the densely settled communities. Scott calls them not towns but 'late-Neolithic multispecies resettlement camps.' Who would choose to live in one of those? Jared Diamond called the Neolithic Revolution 'the worst mistake in human history.' The startling thing about this claim is that, among historians of the era, it isn’t very controversial."

The essay (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...t-civilization) seems to me to be surprisingly relevant about how elves might live, especially near the end, with the long discussion of the Bushmen of southern Africa:

"It turns out that hunting and gathering is a good way to live. A study from 1966 found that it took a Ju/’hoansi only about seventeen hours a week, on average, to find an adequate supply of food; another nineteen hours were spent on domestic activities and chores. The average caloric intake of the hunter-gatherers was twenty-three hundred a day, close to the recommended amount. At the time these figures were first established, a comparable week in the United States involved forty hours of work and thirty-six of domestic labor. Ju/’hoansi do not accumulate surpluses; they get all the food they need, and then stop. They exhibit what Suzman calls 'an unyielding confidence' that their environment will provide for their needs.

"The web of food sources that the hunting-and-gathering Ju/’hoansi use is, exactly as Scott argues for Neolithic people, a complex one, with a wide range of animal protein, including porcupines, kudu, wildebeests, and elephants, and a hundred and twenty-five edible plant species, with different seasonal cycles, ecological niches, and responses to weather fluctuations. Hunter-gatherers need not only an unwritten almanac of dietary knowledge but what Scott calls a 'library of almanacs.' As he suggests, the step-down in complexity between hunting and gathering and domesticated agriculture is as big as the step-down between domesticated agriculture and routine assembly work on a production line.

"The news here is that the lives of most of our progenitors were better than we think. We’re flattering ourselves by believing that their existence was so grim and that our modern, civilized one is, by comparison, so great."

Maybe the elves live very well off the land - and it's because they have very highly-developed skills and a deep knowledge. Maybe all elves have Naturalist at 20+?
There are a bunch of questionable assumptions in that theory. The biggest elephant in the room that gets ignored is, if hunter/gatherer life was so much superior, why change? Yet change the human race did, multiple times, in far different places and different circumstances.

I just don't trust or believe the 'lost hunter-gatherer leisure world' theory.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:41 PM   #49
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

Well, it's not my theory, but apparently it's somewhat common knowledge among anthropologists that study prehistoric culture.

Try reading the essay I linked. The reasons for the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture are complicated, and exactly what the essay is about.
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Old 06-12-2020, 11:41 PM   #50
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Assumptions about Elves

The climate changed. Large populations of people left the now submerged coastal shelves and found themselves in less ideal environments. Without the high productive environments of the coastal shelves, they had to make do. In a few places, like the Amazon Basin, they were able to create similar productivities, but the rest of the world ended up going a different route.

Old Wolrd cultures that domesticated animals gained resistance to novel diseases that their hunter-gatherer neighbors did not. When their hunter-gatherer neighbors died off, the domestication cultures absorbed the survivors and took the land. As the population of the domestication cultures increased, they were eventually able to conquer the hunter-gatherers between plagues, until they ran into another domestication culture. When they came to the New World, they simply followed a formula as old as civilization, though it had become more oppressive and violent since the beginning of civilization.
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