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johndallman 09-22-2020 03:06 PM

Cultural additions to the setting
 
I'm running a THS game, and find myself discovering or creating various details that may be of interest.

Islandia is clearly the main place in cislunar space for flying with Low-G Wings. You learn close to the axis, but going "down" from there is risky, and thus part of the sport of the thing. Compact single-use parachutes are important, but of course, they add weight. Flying the length of the habitat under your own power is a significant demonstration of skill, and is a requirement for admission to the identify group of fliers.

RogerBW 09-23-2020 05:25 AM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johndallman (Post 2344927)
Islandia is clearly the main place in cislunar space for flying with Low-G Wings. You learn close to the axis, but going "down" from there is risky, and thus part of the sport of the thing. Compact single-use parachutes are important, but of course, they add weight. Flying the length of the habitat under your own power is a significant demonstration of skill, and is a requirement for admission to the identify group of fliers.

Clarke has quite a bit on this in Rendezvous with Rama but I don't believe anyone's yet done a formal analysis of how wind shear (or convection!) might develop in a rotating cylinder in freefall.

AlexanderHowl 09-27-2020 12:32 PM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
It depends a lot on the height of the structures in the rotating cylinder. In addition, flying from the zero-g center to the rotating edge would be suicidal unless you had a very high flight speed. For example, a 5 km radius object rotating fast enough to mimic 1g would have a tangential velocity of 221 meters per second (roughly 440 mph). For most fliers to safely descend, they would need to gain velocity by descending in stages. If they have a g-limit to their flight, it would mark the point where their glide becomes a plummet, as the winds would become to extreme for them to handle.

johndallman 09-27-2020 01:35 PM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2345766)
. . . flying from the zero-g center to the rotating edge would be suicidal unless you had a very high flight speed.

That's why Islandia wingfliers carry parachutes. They should not need them if they stay close to the axis, but some like to show off how much "gravity" they can climb back out of, and inevitably, a few are too optimistic.

johndallman 01-31-2021 09:02 AM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
Another detail: documentation. Lots of maintenance in space is done by LAIs and NAIs. Those are pretty good with language, but they may trip over excessively creative use of words. So there are restricted-vocabulary dialects of major human languages that are designed to be readily comprehensible to LAIs and NAIs, and accessible (if dull reading) to the fully sapient.

When the characters in QRA recently captured a robot that was part of a sabotage scheme on Mercury, I realised it would have its maintenance documentation in its computer. That gave some useful clues: it's written in a recent English maintenance dialect, and the layout and fonts are from a Nanodynamics corporate presentation package.

An SAI in the party is interested in languages, and on a good linguistics roll realised that the documentation was written by someone who had German as their first language: there are some characteristic misphrasings that show up in that combination. At this point, the players were asking if Nanodynamics had acquired any German operations recently, which, of course, they have: they acquired Exogenesis from System Technologies AG, a German-based company.

You know you're getting somewhere with a setting when its line editor, who is one of the players, starts making little squeaking noises.

RogerBW 01-31-2021 03:57 PM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johndallman (Post 2365251)
Another detail: documentation. Lots of maintenance in space is done by LAIs and NAIs. Those are pretty good with language, but they may trip over excessively creative use of words. So there are restricted-vocabulary dialects of major human languages that are designed to be readily comprehensible to LAIs and NAIs, and accessible (if dull reading) to the fully sapient.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpli...hnical_English was designed in the 1980s for aircraft maintenance instructions, and I do recommend that page for details about the ways in which it is kept simple. (For example, any single word can only ever be one part of speech.)

AlexanderHowl 02-01-2021 11:17 AM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
A lot of odd subcultures could evolve, especially when new technology changes behavior. For example, one of odd aspects of THS is the emphasis on virtual intimacy (which is actually a major plot point in one of the Deep Beyond chapter stories). I wonder though if there would be a countermovement for authentic intimacy, especially among people who embrace biochauvanism? In effect, would virtual intimacy be rejected by biochauvanism as a betrayal of their ideals?

Since virtual intimacy would be seen as 'safe', could you also have groups of adolescents and young adults practicing authentic intimacy as a form of rebellion against the dictates of their parents and/or society. Warnings about the risks would only make it more attractive to adolescents and young adults, as it would enhance the emotional intensity (and physical pleasure) associated of the actions. Would you have adolescents and young adults in Islandia turn away from virtual intimacy because they associated it with their parents?

Astromancer 02-05-2021 07:30 AM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
All cultures except some very small scale band-level societies have some kind of mystical beliefs. Even when it becomes acceptable or fashionable to reject all religious and mystical beliefs, there are always subcultures that passionately cling to and elaborate mystical, magical, occult, and paranormal beliefs. Transhuman Space, even if you totally exclude any paranormal phenomena from reality, is a brilliant breeding ground for occultist groups and beliefs.

Now as with the contemporary New Age (which has roots back in post-Napoleonic Europe) most of this will be mere fashion and the adult equivalent of peeling apples on Halloween while looking over your shoulder in a mirror. But some folks will take this stuff profoundly seriously. And with the ability to take groups of people out to the belt or further away isolated communities could become self-reinforcing. In other words, the plot of the film Midsommar becomes very plausible.

Give a subculture enough space and time and it could become a new cultural memeplex with the power to transform or destroy the present culture or cultures.

TGLS 02-05-2021 02:13 PM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
Unmemes
Unmemes are weird. Most memes have some small part that makes their carriers spread them around. All unmemes are about keeping themselves contained. Regardless, they seem to keep spreading, and they're often still very coherent.

AlexanderHowl 02-06-2021 09:54 PM

Re: Cultural additions to the setting
 
Decorative bioroids could be quite popular as living servants among the wealthy elites of the Sol System, since only the middle class would be so tasteless as to have AI servants. With TL10 biotechnology, you could pay to have a wide variety of sapient servants created and trained to your specifications. In regions where they gain their freedom at the age of 18, wealthy elites could hire their former possessions as proper servants, creating a menagerie of exotic people to delight them.

For example, a properly wealthy individual could order a different type of avian servant each year. One year, they would be rooks, the second year, parrots, the third year, ducks, etc. The fact that each would cost a mint to create and train makes their existence a status symbol, as a household that could not afford to spend tens of millions on a novel crop of bioroid servants to add to their household every year is just not keeping up appearances.


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