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Old 10-03-2020, 12:52 PM   #1
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default The Skills that define a TL

Our hypothetical situation is that a TL8 Earthperson has been time warped into the far future of TL12. The benevolent dwellers in that far future time wish to aid the poor shub but their standard method of teaching is InstaSkill nano (UT p.59) and they have a vast library of types of that for all skills of all TLs.

However, they have nothing specifically addressing how to help him buy off the Low TL Disad. They start at TL12 and work there way backwards to help them understand peoples of earlier TLs.

They decide that they will give him the instaSkill for the 5 crucial skills of TL9. After the first dose he will probably be trying to use those skils at -5 but after the second dose he'll have 2 pts in each of those skills and can trade 1 pt in to buy off that TL penalty. This is inspired by Social Engineering:Back to School and some learning procedures there.

Of course, this procedure would be repeated 3 more times. They might even ahve needed to start at TL8. :)

The first skill to pick is easy. It's Mathematics (Applied) TL9 and in addition to its' own intrinisic worth it's a prereq for Physics TL9. That leads you to Biology TL9.

After 3 skills it's getting harder. Chemstry TL9 certainly sounds important but on the hand there probably aren't going to be any new elements and you'll run out of novel molecular structures eventally.

Astronomy TL is another candidate. Specifically for the cosmology and it's easier to imagine it extending into the future.

After that there are a lot of things that would be useful but are they the archetypal skills that form a significant part of that TL's udnerstanding of all things Tl-ish? Generally the possible skills apppear to get more and more narrow.
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:19 PM   #2
isf
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post

After that there are a lot of things that would be useful but are they the archetypal skills that form a significant part of that TL's udnerstanding of all things Tl-ish? Generally the possible skills apppear to get more and more narrow.

What kind of TL skills does the character already possess? I think that cultural familiarity and the equivalent of electronic Ops (household electronics) and computer operation would be more useful for most people. Are there any supersciences that have been developed by TL 12?
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:51 PM   #3
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

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What kind of TL skills does the character already possess? ?
One of the things that makes this hypothetical is that there is no specific character involved. It's simply a question that occurred to me reading Gurps books one nght.

However, it isn't about what skills would be useful to any spcific character in the situation. It's aquestion of what 5 skills form the foundation of that TL?

It's the sort of thing that mostly gets hands waived at it. I think Back to School just says that you need 5 pts of general education to buy off a level of Low TL. I suspect our TL12 guys are lazy and aren't going to go to the trouble of inventing a general curriculum.
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Old 10-03-2020, 02:20 PM   #4
isf
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
One of the things that makes this hypothetical is that there is no specific character involved. It's simply a question that occurred to me reading Gurps books one night.

What skills do you see as essential for a TL 8 character to be TL 8? Do you have to have TL/8 Applied Math to be a TL 8 character? I think that the answer will depend on the specifics of the TL 12 setting. TL 12 Star trek would have different answers than TL 12 Transhuman Stars.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
However, it isn't about what skills would be useful to any specific character in the situation. It's a question of what 5 skills form the foundation of that TL?

I think that depends on the character: a lot of characters would benefit more from practical how to use skills rather than theoretical why does this work skills.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
It's the sort of thing that mostly gets hands waived at it. I think Back to School just says that you need 5 pts of general education to buy off a level of Low TL. I suspect our TL12 guys are lazy and aren't going to go to the trouble of inventing a general curriculum.

I don't think that 5pts of general education is a bad solution. How many of the TL skills would your average TL 8 person have? I'd see Current Affairs/TL 8, Computer Operation/TL 8, Driving/TL 8, and Electronics Operation (household)/TL 8 as the most common.
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Old 10-03-2020, 02:23 PM   #5
Sam Baughn
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

A big issue is that we don't know what areas are going to be important in the future, because we aren't there yet. At a guess, for most people the 'standard' TL 9 (i.e. cyberpunk-ish world) is probably going to be defined by Computer Operation, Current Affairs and just maybe a very shallow understanding of science and medicine.

Maybe a better question might be, what would educating someone to a TL we actually know about look like? What would you need to teach a TL 5 person to get them to TL 8? There's practical things, like Driving and Computer Operation, obviously. But how much theoretical stuff is needed? How much does a normal TL 8 person actually know about the science which drives the world around them?

That's far from obvious. You might assume that people understand what atoms, molecules, and basic subatomic particles like electrons are in an abstract kind of way, which gives them some idea of how things like atomic power, neurotransmitters, and electricity work. But when you actually talk to normal people it soon becomes obvious that a lot of them don't know even really basic stuff, like whether electrons or molecules are smaller. Most of their 'knowledge' is kind of rote learning and association, not understanding. We don't really understand how our world works; we just know how to get things done and which experts to defer to most of the time.

EDIT: Having just checked the skill list, I only now noticed that Housekeeping isn't TL dependent. That seems really weird to me.
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Old 10-03-2020, 02:32 PM   #6
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

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Originally Posted by Sam Baughn View Post
EDIT: Having just checked the skill list, I only now noticed that Housekeeping isn't TL dependent. That seems really weird to me.
You have a point there. Housekeeping is probably as TL-dependent as Guns...
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Old 10-03-2020, 04:00 PM   #7
JulianLW
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

Research is a TL skill, and would probably be one of the first ones, along with Computer Operation, that you'd learn as you attempted to climb tech levels. Since you're going to be spending a good bit of time here, this is how the library works.

Moreover, I think research is clearly one of the skills that define a tech level, too.
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:25 PM   #8
johndallman
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
After that there are a lot of things that would be useful but are they the archetypal skills that form a significant part of that TL's understanding of all things TL-ish? Generally the possible skills appear to get more and more narrow.
A few things need to be defined before this question is really answerable.

Firstly, what sort of technology path to TL12 was followed by this future civilisation? Ultra-Tech, pp 8-11, has a bunch of example paths, and pp. 4-7 have one more detailed path that attempts to include all the technologies in the book.

More importantly, what are they trying to equip the subject for? Living at TL12? A general education at TL 12? Becoming an engineer or scientist at TL 12? Learning the theories of why technological development came out the way it did?

Selecting the definitional skills of TLs 6, 7 and 8 would form a useful example of what you're after.
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:30 PM   #9
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

When considering characters, I don't think skills define their TL in the way this approach suggests. Most characters don't have a full complex of technological skills at their TL, and some don't have any. But that doesn't define the character's personal TL.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:48 PM   #10
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: The Skills that define a TL

Thanks for trying guys but no one appears to have understood what I meant and I can't think of a better way to explain it right now.
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