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-   -   'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista) (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=83884)

jason taylor 01-26-2015 05:20 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hans Rancke-Madsen (Post 1863634)
I would say that I don't understand what you think 'general knowledge' means and vice versa. Perhaps I'm using the term incorrectly? I'm talking about walking up to John Q. Public and asking him what he knows about Athens and Rome and the USA and the Sylean Federation. Whatever he answers, that's what I mean by 'the general knowledge of the subject'.


Hans

Maybe I overestimated John Q Public. I assumed it would they would be household names in John Q Cultured which might or might not have overlap with John Q public.

Drifter 01-27-2015 12:59 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 1863692)
Maybe I overestimated John Q Public. I assumed it would they would be household names in John Q Cultured which might or might not have overlap with John Q public.

Remember how big a period we are talking about. Thousands of years have passed, and despite Vilani cultural boredom, hundreds of years of the dramas of the Long Night, Aslan invasions, the rise and fall of pocket empires and the struggles for and against the Third Imperium.

I recently was taken aback by several people I know to be well educated, and successful, not having a clue who the Sumerians were. Why such a gap in their knowledge? Typical Americans? Or they have more to identify with history and cultures closer to "home", and might have come across the name Sumer at some point, and promptly forgot about it after the test was over?

A typical Mora citizen, well educated, might have read about Britain and the US, even Rome and Greece and Sumer, but probably don't remember them any more than the details of the Wilmot Proviso or the conquests of Amenemhat I. Instead they would read about the colonization period of Mora, the rise of the 3I, the wars with the Vargr and the Zhodani and the great nobles and warriors of those heroic days.

Astromancer 01-27-2015 05:55 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
English as a Classical Language

This is kind of obvious both from the settings as given, the fairly goofy map names, and other accumulated artifacts of the Traveler Universe. The question is how do they use what they have.

I suggest that their great model for refined prose style would be P.G. Wodehouse. Yes really. The man was a master prose stylist, it's one of the reasons he's still funny. It's very hard to find a author who is both as readable as Wodehouse and as refined a technical master of English prose. Plus you can get school kids from an Aristocratic society to read him because the jokes are still funny to them. Yes Really, the children of the aristocracy would largely understand the social details of what's happening to P.G. W.'s protagonists, and the bits that are harder to understand would be great chances for teaching about the limitations of Democracy. Which is drummed into the heads of as many school children as possible.

Astromancer 01-27-2015 06:08 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Aristocrats as Protagonists

My basic point here is the one I made years ago durring the playtest for Nobles, Nobles are used as protagonists in the majority of popular entertainment in the 3I.

There would be many reasons for this. some of them would be best explained by reading Snobbery with Violence: English Crime Stories and their Audience. Nobles are well placed pragmatically to have adventures. Nobles are less controvesial figures when you want to syndicate your in other areas of the 3I. Imperial censors tend to be more worried about non-Noble protagonists for a wide varriety of reasons some of them actually practical. Nobles are less tied down to one place and given more respect in most parts of the 3I, thus they can move more freely about without violating local norms. Inertia thus makes Nobles the heros of most popular fiction for much the same reasons as White Males tend to be the protagonists in the majority of American popular fiction.

This has wider cultural effects. Afterall, if you get the automatic rank of hero of the story, it does alter how people see you.

Hans Rancke-Madsen 01-27-2015 12:36 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Astromancer (Post 1863886)
Yes Really, the children of the aristocracy would largely understand the social details of what's happening to P.G. W.'s protagonists...

We think alike, you and I. Here's a bunch of notes about a setting feature that I've been working on:
The Idlers' Guild
by Hans Rancke-Madsen
(Idlers' Union?)

The Idlers' Guild is a club for young upper class men and women in Credo on Regina. It is, conceptually, very much like the Drones Club of P.G. Wodehouse, whose stories can be found in the club library along with those of a lot of imitators.

Despite the club articles, members are allowed to have jobs as long as they never refer to them on club premises.

A more generalized version of this ban is "no serious topics of conversation in the club".

The main qualification for membership is being a good sport, although there are a number of sourpusses who are tolerated for various reasons (notably being legacies, i.e. children of former members).

One popular club aphorism is "Sibling to a spacer and fellow to a lord, if he be found worthy". The works of Rudyard Kipling and his imitators are also popular among club members.

"Spuds, rolls, and pastries." (Expy "Eggs, beans, and crumpets".)

'Spuds, rolls, and pastries' is a collective term for members of the club. Each member has a different explanation for what defines a spud, a roll, and a pastry and consequently which member is what.
Hans

Astromancer 01-28-2015 05:37 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hans Rancke-Madsen (Post 1864041)
We think alike, you and I. Here's a bunch of notes about a setting feature that I've been working on:
The Idlers' Guild
by Hans Rancke-Madsen
(Idlers' Union?)

The Idlers' Guild is a club for young upper class men and women in Credo on Regina. It is, conceptually, very much like the Drones Club of P.G. Wodehouse, whose stories can be found in the club library along with those of a lot of imitators.

Despite the club articles, members are allowed to have jobs as long as they never refer to them on club premises.

A more generalized version of this ban is "no serious topics of conversation in the club".

The main qualification for membership is being a good sport, although there are a number of sourpusses who are tolerated for various reasons (notably being legacies, i.e. children of former members).

One popular club aphorism is "Sibling to a spacer and fellow to a lord, if he be found worthy". The works of Rudyard Kipling and his imitators are also popular among club members.

"Spuds, rolls, and pastries." (Expy "Eggs, beans, and crumpets".)

'Spuds, rolls, and pastries' is a collective term for members of the club. Each member has a different explanation for what defines a spud, a roll, and a pastry and consequently which member is what.
Hans

Good stuff. And yes, if they read Wodehouse they'd find Kipling and like his pro-imperial views. They'd find Wilde too. They'd like his elequence and ignore his politics. His trial and fate would be used in still more anti-Democracy sceeds, although the real events are more of a showcase of aristocratic corruption on many levels.

jason taylor 01-28-2015 09:38 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
I've sometimes wondered if an extremely high-tech society might have the result of inducing a general aristocratic mindset simply by having the option of automatizing the more unpleasant chores and leaving sophant labor for jobs that are either considered to have a cachet, or to subtle to automatize. Or both. In a sense it would be more moral then earlier aristocracies as it does not depend on parasitism off lower classes within society or plunder of other societies.

There would for instance be less of a "work-ethic" and more of a "live well" ethic. There would be more of an emphasis on things like honor. Security, military, and emergency services of course are hard to automatize as they have the need of sophant supervision to keep them under control. Making Proud Warrior Races credible.

Astromancer 01-28-2015 02:22 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 1864479)
I've sometimes wondered if an extremely high-tech society might have the result of inducing a general aristocratic mindset simply by having the option of automatizing the more unpleasant chores and leaving sophant labor for jobs that are either considered to have a cachet, or to subtle to automatize. Or both. In a sense it would be more moral then earlier aristocracies as it does not depend on parasitism off lower classes within society or plunder of other societies.

There would for instance be less of a "work-ethic" and more of a "live well" ethic. There would be more of an emphasis on things like honor. Security, military, and emergency services of course are hard to automatize as they have the need of sophant supervision to keep them under control. Making Proud Warrior Races credible.

Aristocracy needs someone to exclude. If eveyone lived well, then you'd get something new. It would have some relationship to Aristocracy, but an odd one.

jason taylor 01-28-2015 06:11 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Astromancer (Post 1864582)
Aristocracy needs someone to exclude. If eveyone lived well, then you'd get something new. It would have some relationship to Aristocracy, but an odd one.

I was speaking of the comparison in ethos.

SteveS 01-28-2015 06:33 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Astromancer (Post 1863425)
I think Terran history would be very likely to be fasinating to the 3I because of its drama. Much of Villani history is dull and or repetative. They lived in a socially engineered society meant to be static and unchanging. That makes for dull history.

I disagree that Vilani history would be dull. Even if Vilani society is fairly static on a grand scale, Vilani history is so long that there's a vast quantity of history there to mine for interesting stuff: the pacification wars, political struggles between the core administration of the Ziru Sirka and the people at the fringes of empire who had a frontier to maintain, thousands of years of local history on each of thousands of worlds, stories of Vilani heroes who did great things the way they were supposed to be done, stories of rogue-heroes who did great things in spite of doing them the wrong way, and so forth.

The reason Vilani history looks dull to us (as readers of published Traveller game material) is that there's very little that's been material published about the Ziru Sirka. All we really have is enough back-story to support the published settings: the 1100-ish Third Imperium, Milieu 0, the Interstellar Wars era, etc.
Quote:

Terra's history has a dramatic quality because of its changes and growth. People will seek this stuf out in the same way they seek out exciting fiction.
The reason people would be interested in Terra's history is that Terra is the original home of Humaniti, and the home of the Solomani who improbably conquered the Ziru Sirka -- not because the affairs of a single world on the rim is something that would stand out on its own in a history of 11000 years of human civilization.
Quote:

Besides, Traveler has nearly always been "Brits in Space!!!!!!" It's the British Empire and a mixture of Victorian and Stuart tropes and stereotypes. The "Yanks in Space" line was always meaningless. The British Empire is clearly important in the 3I.
Besides Brits in Space (the Age of Sail feel that comes from communications being limited to the speed of a starship) and Yanks in Space (which comes from so many Traveller writers living in the US), Traveller is also Imperial Romans in Space, because the Roman Empire is the long-lived empire most familiar to us.


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