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Old 01-07-2014, 05:11 AM   #1
warellis
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Default Centrum & Gernsback

This is a fluff question, not really a rules one, so I don't know if it's appropriate to ask here or somewhere else, but I've always been interested in the fluff of a setting or rulebook. If this isn't the appropriate place to ask, could a mod move this thread to a more appropriate place?

1. In both Alternate Earths 1 and Infinite Worlds, it's mentioned that Infinity is nervous about the possibility of Centrum and the World Science Council/Gernsback allying together, or Centrum ruling Gernsback. Centrum itself is attempting to infiltrate and subvert the WSC. However how come Infinity hasn't thought of attempting to secretly tip-off a WSC agent about some group (Centrum) attempting to take over the WSC? Considering Centrum is attempting to conquer Gernsback, I doubt any of the powers-that-be in Gernsback would appreciate what its attempting to do.

2. We know both Centrum and the WSC are both technocratic governments. Considering the similarities in government, but differences in attitude in things like race, sex, etc., if the WSC became aware of Centrum and how it developed, what do you think it would think of it and its history? There are similarities but there are differences as well.

Last edited by warellis; 01-07-2014 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

Quote:
Originally Posted by warellis View Post
1. In both Alternate Earths 1 and Infinite Worlds, it's mentioned that Infinity is nervous about the possibility of Centrum and the World Science Council/Gernsback allying together, or Centrum ruling Gernsback. Centrum itself is attempting to infiltrate and subvert the WSC. However how come Infinity hasn't thought of attempting to secretly tip-off a WSC agent about some group (Centrum) attempting to take over the WSC? Considering Centrum is attempting to conquer Gernsback, I doubt any of the powers-that-be in Gernsback would appreciate what its attempting to do. [snip]
How do you figure the WSC's agents would respond to that sort of tip-off? They're not exactly known for their subtlety and restraint... I'm picturing a strategy along the lines of either: "Go in rayguns blazing," or, "Hey let's get ourselves captured and wait for the villain to tell us the plan!"
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:51 AM   #3
warellis
 
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
How do you figure the WSC's agents would respond to that sort of tip-off? They're not exactly known for their subtlety and restraint... I'm picturing a strategy along the lines of either: "Go in rayguns blazing," or, "Hey let's get ourselves captured and wait for the villain to tell us the plan!"
Considering they're described as a blend of "Doc Savage and the Mounties" and considering they're trained to "perfection", why wouldn't they have the ability to be subtle? Savage himself was a master of disguise. I guess I had the idea that Special Task Agents were like spies or secret agents, in addition to a more direct role as a soldier.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

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Originally Posted by warellis View Post
However how come Infinity hasn't thought of attempting to secretly tip-off a WSC agent about some group (Centrum) attempting to take over the WSC? Considering Centrum is attempting to conquer Gernsback, I doubt any of the powers-that-be in Gernsback would appreciate what its attempting to do.
The problem is The Secret. The WSC is not going to accept mysterious and partial information. It's going to demand the full story, and that will involve them learning that cross-world travel is possible. Given that Infinity won't share that with much saner and more predictable worlds, Gernsback is right out.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

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The problem is The Secret. The WSC is not going to accept mysterious and partial information. It's going to demand the full story, and that will involve them learning that cross-world travel is possible. Given that Infinity won't share that with much saner and more predictable worlds, Gernsback is right out.
Centrum on the other hand does, and yet is still attempting secret infiltration.

Keeping the Paratime Secret is a genre convention. Like it's close relatives the Prime Directive or not telling the public about the monsters, it isn't a particularly sensible policy even considered with respect to its stated goals, and so isn't something you should try too hard to explain.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

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Centrum on the other hand does, and yet is still attempting secret infiltration.

Keeping the Paratime Secret is a genre convention. Like it's close relatives the Prime Directive or not telling the public about the monsters, it isn't a particularly sensible policy even considered with respect to its stated goals, and so isn't something you should try too hard to explain.
"A person can be smart. People are stupid, panicky sheep." - Agent Kay, Men In Black

That's the reason for the Secret in a nutshell. The Powers That Be and the the general populace of timelines unprepared for it will generally panic over invasion scenarios. There will be small groups inside such timelines with saner heads and maybe even a "hey, neat!" attitude, but they're the exception, not the rule.

Just because we here on the forums tend to be in the "hey, neat!" camp doesn't make us indicative of the world at large. ;)
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

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"A person can be smart. People are stupid, panicky sheep." - Agent Kay, Men In Black

That's the reason for the Secret in a nutshell. The Powers That Be and the the general populace of timelines unprepared for it will generally panic over invasion scenarios.
I don't think that's true. "Ship full of funny looking foreigner merchants showed up yesterday. Claim they're from another universe called "Homeline". Not sure if that's different from "Cathay" the ones in last month were from."
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:45 PM   #8
warellis
 
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

We know both Centrum and the WSC are both technocratic governments. Considering the similarities in government, but differences in attitude in things like race, sex, etc., if the WSC became aware of Centrum and how it developed, what do you think it would think of it and its history? There are similarities but there are differences as well.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:37 PM   #9
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

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Originally Posted by warellis View Post
We know both Centrum and the WSC are both technocratic governments. Considering the similarities in government, but differences in attitude in things like race, sex, etc., if the WSC became aware of Centrum and how it developed, what do you think it would think of it and its history? There are similarities but there are differences as well.
Some of it depends on how much the WSC knows about Centrum's backstory. Centrum wasn't just created from the ashes of the Final War. It's probably made up of the victors in the Final War and they may well have been the people who started it.

Centrum's attitude toward the Final War appears to be that is that it's inevitable in any world without a monolithic power structure and the only way to avoid it is to create such a power structure before the Final War can happen.

This really shouldn't go over well with the WSC's post-WWI utopianism. Their Great Soviet War was fought against an irrational power but it didn't go on after that against all national governments. They really aren't as totalitarian as Centrum and are committed to building World Government through Reason and Science!.

Centrum really doesn't believe in co-operation based on rational self-interest among equals. They might want their One World State to be as fair and rational as possible but unified control of everything comes first.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Centrum & Gernsback

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Originally Posted by warellis View Post
We know both Centrum and the WSC are both technocratic governments. Considering the similarities in government, but differences in attitude in things like race, sex, etc., if the WSC became aware of Centrum and how it developed, what do you think it would think of it and its history? There are similarities but there are differences as well.
Are they the same type of technocracies? Centrum is a strict meritocracy, but Gernsback isn't.

On Centrum's side, part of their operation is probably a clandestine effort to get the WSC to accept women and non-whites as equal to white men, and that's a paradigm shift that won't work unless the society thinks it's its own idea. Hence the need for secrecy.

On Gernsback's side, take a look at the non-SF television shows from the 1950s and 1960s to see how they'd react to a society with gender and racial equality...
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