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[The Culture] Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism

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Posts

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Think you're gonna have to define "fucked up". Didn't one of the books imply that some folks in the culture basically live inside simulations where they're super duper awesome ego stroking power fantasies all play out? I seem to recall that and it was just a way people lived. So gonna need some sort of definition on what fucking up your life compared to that would look like.

    One thing that I don't remember seeing is the Culture considering actions taken while glanded on something as morally different than sober ones. Doesn't seem like a society where "I was an asshole but I was drunk/high/whatever" would mean much as an excuse to folks.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    General rule of thumb seems to be "can they breed with other "humans"" with minimal medical intervention beyond the already common place gene fixing and modification.

    IIRC, the protsginist from Surface Detail gets a brief aside how what's a standard attractive body shape for her culture differs from an offplanet one.

    Yea her people found short, thicc women to be the ideal iirc, where as in another book a guys going nuts over a super skinny 4 eyed lady (who didn't naturally have 4 eyes, just mods)

    People in the culture seem accepting of basically anything though

    Use of Weapons has an outsider who lives in the Culture and looks nothing even vaguely like "normal" and fits in just fine.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited July 27
    Echo wrote: »
    Given what Culture citizens can gland I wonder how they don't just Skinner box themselves into oblivion on the good stuff.

    I mean basically the same way the handle everything, pairing infinite resources with humble desires.

    Also, what kind of gene fixing leaves you vulnerable to chemical addiction?

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    Winky
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    Given what Culture citizens can gland I wonder how they don't just Skinner box themselves into oblivion on the good stuff.

    I mean basically the same way the handle everything, pairing infinite resources with humble desires.

    Also, what kind of gene fixing leaves you vulnerable to chemical addiction?

    Well, if you can tailor make drugs fine tuned to produce the exact effect you wanted, I assume you can also make them without all the negative affects of heroin/meth/cocaine. So chemical addiction wouldn't likely come into it anyways.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    One of the books goes into it a bit and the gist is that if a large % of the population chooses to live in simulations or gland drugs all the time then it is a sign to the Minds that there need to be structural changes made so people can live fulfilling lives without the use of these coping mechanisms.

  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    My old Kindle broke (I accidentally stepped on it). So I bought a new one, and took the opportunity to upgrade to a paperwhite.

    Per tradition, this one, too got the name of a Culture ship. The new one is "Beats Working". (The old one was "Armchair Traveller".)

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
    The Zombie PenguinQuidWinkyredxSanguinius666264chrono_travelleroverride367
  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    Excession also has the guy who'd rather be an affronter than human, which can be considered "fucked up".

    [Expletive deleted]QuidWinkyDarkPrimusNartwak
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    honovere wrote: »
    Excession also has the guy who'd rather be an affronter than human, which can be considered "fucked up".

    The Culture even had a more euphemistic term for it along the lines of "major life form change" that meant he had to do the equivalent of wait a long period of time while expressing interest before any Mind would deign to assist him do so.

  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Caedwyr wrote: »
    One of the books goes into it a bit and the gist is that if a large % of the population chooses to live in simulations or gland drugs all the time then it is a sign to the Minds that there need to be structural changes made so people can live fulfilling lives without the use of these coping mechanisms.

    Yeah, though given that the Culture is huge enough there is probably an eccentric Mind in the Ulterior somewhere running an Orbital as a giant opium den, if that’s really how you wanted to live.

    QuidStyrofoam Sammichoverride367
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Registered User regular
    honovere wrote: »
    Excession also has the guy who'd rather be an affronter than human, which can be considered "fucked up".

    The culture's own hypocrisy around these things is a running theme to boot. Which is great, really.

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
    Steam: https://steamcommunity.com/id/TheZombiePenguin
    Stream: https://www.twitch.tv/thezombiepenguin/
    tynic
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    honovere wrote: »
    Excession also has the guy who'd rather be an affronter than human, which can be considered "fucked up".

    The Culture even had a more euphemistic term for it along the lines of "major life form change" that meant he had to do the equivalent of wait a long period of time while expressing interest before any Mind would deign to assist him do so.

    Thing that was the dude in Matter who turned himself into a spider bot sort of thing. Affronter dude basically asked for it as a bribe for doing something that some Minds wanted him to do.

    Which puts the lie to another thing about the Culture...

  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    I'm surprised their aren't more people in the Culture series running around with all sorts of field manipulators and AG harnesses just built into their bodies.

    redx
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    I'm surprised their aren't more people in the Culture series running around with all sorts of field manipulators and AG harnesses just built into their bodies.

    I'd want to get turned into a Mind.

    Which, I feel, Minds would find several different versions of distasteful, if not close to heretical.

    This machine kills threads.
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    edited July 27
    redx wrote: »
    Seal wrote: »
    I'm surprised their aren't more people in the Culture series running around with all sorts of field manipulators and AG harnesses just built into their bodies.

    I'd want to get turned into a Mind.

    Which, I feel, Minds would find several different versions of distasteful, if not close to heretical.

    More like kind of pointless? If I recall there are drones that get turned into Minds over time, but any particular mind-uploaded human can just run constantly as one of millions of subprocesses on a Mind. There wouldn’t be much of an intelligible sense in which a human could become a Mind that would be different than a Mind simply incorporating your memories into it.

    Winky on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited July 27
    Winky wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Seal wrote: »
    I'm surprised their aren't more people in the Culture series running around with all sorts of field manipulators and AG harnesses just built into their bodies.

    I'd want to get turned into a Mind.

    Which, I feel, Minds would find several different versions of distasteful, if not close to heretical.

    More like kind of pointless? If I recall there are drones that get turned into Minds over time, but any particular mind-uploaded human can just run constantly as one of millions of subprocesses on a Mind. There wouldn’t be much of an intelligible sense in which a human could become a Mind that would be different than a Mind simply incorporating your memories into it.

    Naw, I wanna grow to be the whole thing, which means not be a human anymore.

    Like either have it built around me, or slowly bring it online so I can stay in charge.

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    edited July 27
    redx wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Seal wrote: »
    I'm surprised their aren't more people in the Culture series running around with all sorts of field manipulators and AG harnesses just built into their bodies.

    I'd want to get turned into a Mind.

    Which, I feel, Minds would find several different versions of distasteful, if not close to heretical.

    More like kind of pointless? If I recall there are drones that get turned into Minds over time, but any particular mind-uploaded human can just run constantly as one of millions of subprocesses on a Mind. There wouldn’t be much of an intelligible sense in which a human could become a Mind that would be different than a Mind simply incorporating your memories into it.

    Naw, I wanna grow to be the whole thing, which means not be a human anymore.

    Like either have it built around me, or slowly bring it online so I can stay in charge.

    I imagine this is the part the Minds would find distasteful

    Winky on
    redxBrodyoverride367
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Some humans become drones and it apparently squicks the drones out.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Given what Culture citizens can gland I wonder how they don't just Skinner box themselves into oblivion on the good stuff.

    I mean basically the same way the handle everything, pairing infinite resources with humble desires.

    Also, what kind of gene fixing leaves you vulnerable to chemical addiction?

    Well, if you can tailor make drugs fine tuned to produce the exact effect you wanted, I assume you can also make them without all the negative affects of heroin/meth/cocaine. So chemical addiction wouldn't likely come into it anyways.

    I might be wrong but I'm under the impression that their drug glands produce specific compounds, not whatever they think up and its unlikely they'd find a mind that wants to hook them up with "dangerous opiate hormones"

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Given what Culture citizens can gland I wonder how they don't just Skinner box themselves into oblivion on the good stuff.

    I mean basically the same way the handle everything, pairing infinite resources with humble desires.

    Also, what kind of gene fixing leaves you vulnerable to chemical addiction?

    Well, if you can tailor make drugs fine tuned to produce the exact effect you wanted, I assume you can also make them without all the negative affects of heroin/meth/cocaine. So chemical addiction wouldn't likely come into it anyways.

    I might be wrong but I'm under the impression that their drug glands produce specific compounds, not whatever they think up and its unlikely they'd find a mind that wants to hook them up with "dangerous opiate hormones"

    Yeah, but a bunch of people have already tried glanding all sorts of shit, so unless you are a pioneer of drugs, you just ask someone else how to get what you are looking for.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Finished Look to Windward, one of the better books in the series. I wish there were a few more scenes where we shown a Homomdan point of view about things. What's up with
    tripods and their troublemaking in the Culture novels? I liked the more obvious example of a Mind not quite exactly telling the truth, when the Hub mind was talking about Meatfucker. Instead of communicating more precisely what happened it chose to word things in a way to more strongly support its own point of view.

    And that ending, don't fuck with the Culture.

    The more I think about it the more I like that all humanoids are just referred to as "human". As I understand it these books are supposed to be read as if they were translated from Marain to English by a Mind and it fits that a Mind wouldn't really be interested in communicating the small details of how individuals may differ from one species to another because it doesn't matter all that much to them; rather they see each individual as an individual with their species only being a very small part of a larger picture.

    electricitylikesmeWinkytynic
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    I forgot that Consider Phlebas makes it super clear that the Culture did not come from Terran society. They actually give Gregorian dates for a bunch of Idiran war events.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
    redxtynicchrono_travelleroverride367Quid
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Started Matter...wtf is the Culture playing at here?
    I find it pretty amusing imagining the exchanges that must have happened during early contact. "Oh yeah we're from the Culture, we're a uhh….Kingdom that comes from the stars, no big deal how you doing? Just ignore the floating metal box it's harmless."

    override367Winky
  • The_InfidelThe_Infidel Registered User regular
    edited August 5
    Echo wrote: »
    Transition is the only non-M Banks I've read, and that was still pretty scifi-adjacent. I should give the Iain Banks stuff a go some time.

    Espedair Street for happiest, most normal fiction-novelist Banks
    Wasp Factory for OG creepy horror Banks
    Walking on Glass for tricksy, puzzle-master Banks
    Dead Air for his 9/11 venting
    The Bridge for some of his best writing
    The Crow Road for his best first line...

    Avoid Song of Stone and Canal Dreams. Everything else is pretty damned good.

    The_Infidel on
  • The_InfidelThe_Infidel Registered User regular
    Hot take, maybe? Inversions is the best Culture novel and the best statement of the major argument the series is having with itself

    WinkytynicSolarApogee
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Excession is my favorite, I think.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
    redxelectricitylikesmeTrace
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Hot take, maybe? Inversions is the best Culture novel and the best statement of the major argument the series is having with itself

    It’s very good. I think reading it last was a serendipitous choice on my part, it works really well when you already know and love the Culture. It’s definitely the purest statement of what the Culture is all about.

    My favorite book remains Look to Windward simply because it’s the most somber one and does the most to humanize (personize?) the Minds.

    Caedwyrelectricitylikesme
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Mine is Player of Games.

    It just shows how the Culture would react to a regular old space Empire; Find a way to undermine it and start a revolution because classic space Empires are hierarchical by default meaning no matter how well run there are plenty of people at the bottom. Combine that with a capitalist economy that promotes scarcity as a feature not a flaw and you got plenty of poor people. Bunch of poor people at the bottom for whom the system doesn't really work? Instant revolution if you can spark a fire.

    Then you can rebuild it into a more democratic and fair system afterwards. Sure people at the top get the chop, but fuck those guys, they where the beneficiaries of a unjust system and did nothing to change it.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    It doesn't hurt that in that particular case, the ones at the top were total shitheels who had it coming.

  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    It doesn't hurt that in that particular case, the ones at the top were total shitheels who had it coming.

    I suspect he did that for a couple reasons. Their ubershittiness provides motivation to the protagonist for the middle third or so of the book, plus it minimizes concerns about the few thousand or million regular proles type people that usually would get murderized in a planetary revolution, even one run by Special Circumstances.

    He had to go to some extreme lengths to write a book where the reader is happy with regime change, even if it’s the ultra liberal Culture doing it.

  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    It doesn't hurt that in that particular case, the ones at the top were total shitheels who had it coming.

    I suspect he did that for a couple reasons. Their ubershittiness provides motivation to the protagonist for the middle third or so of the book, plus it minimizes concerns about the few thousand or million regular proles type people that usually would get murderized in a planetary revolution, even one run by Special Circumstances.

    He had to go to some extreme lengths to write a book where the reader is happy with regime change, even if it’s the ultra liberal Culture doing it.

    I suppose? On the other hand Look to Windward is basically the completely opposite. The Culture messed up in attempting a regime change (or at least claims that what happened was unintended) and the entire book is mostly from the perspective of someone who is an empathetic person who went through immense personal trauma because of The Culture's actions.

    Caedwyr
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    It took me a bit but a picture of what a Shellworld was supposed to look like finally crystallized in my head when they mentioned the towers as they were flying about and I realized it was just a sort of miniature version of The City from Blame!

    I finished Matter.
    Lets re-assemble this ancient thing without consulting any of the available more mature powers, what could go wrong? That was a super grim ending with all the heroic sacrifices. I felt bad for Prince Oramen, surviving so much shit just to be punched in the face with a gauntlet and then irradiated. Overall it seemed much more evenly paced than say, Excession, it rarely dragged and I found just about all the characters very interesting.

    Photosaurus
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    edited August 13
    Seal wrote: »
    It took me a bit but a picture of what a Shellworld was supposed to look like finally crystallized in my head when they mentioned the towers as they were flying about and I realized it was just a sort of miniature version of The City from Blame!

    I finished Matter.
    Lets re-assemble this ancient thing without consulting any of the available more mature powers, what could go wrong? That was a super grim ending with all the heroic sacrifices. I felt bad for Prince Oramen, surviving so much shit just to be punched in the face with a gauntlet and then irradiated. Overall it seemed much more evenly paced than say, Excession, it rarely dragged and I found just about all the characters very interesting.

    See, I found Excession far more interesting, where Matter just seemed a somewhat boring look at a low level civilization. Also, how did that civ get into a shell world to begin with?

    Brody on
    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    They mentioned some kind of defeat and migration, they never explained any of the details.

    I found the main plot of Excession more interesting, but Matter didn't have any low points as low as some in Excession.

  • PhotosaurusPhotosaurus Registered User regular
    The abrupt ending and lack of any satisfying resolution to Matter left a really bad taste in my mouth.
    I get the theme of "there are plans in motion greater than you can possibly comprehend" but it just left so many questions unanswered.

    "If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards'."
    Jam Warrior
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    After the Epilogue I was a lot happier,
    We know the shellworld survived and I got the impression that the Culture was now allowed to take a more direct hand in influencing the Sarl. What with how spectacularly the Oct fucked things up it's not surprising. But it would have been nice if we got a breakdown of the fallout of the incident.

    Winky
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    After the Epilogue I was a lot happier,
    We know the shellworld survived and I got the impression that the Culture was now allowed to take a more direct hand in influencing the Sarl. What with how spectacularly the Oct fucked things up it's not surprising. But it would have been nice if we got a breakdown of the fallout of the incident.

    Yeah, the epilogue of Matter is really what makes the whole book for me.

  • AnzekayAnzekay Registered User regular
    My favourite is The Hydrogen Sonata

    I legitimately cried for several minutes after I finished it.

    Winkyredx
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Anzekay wrote: »
    My favourite is The Hydrogen Sonata

    I legitimately cried for several minutes after I finished it.

    Hydrogen Sonata has one of the most emotionally brutal murders in all of Bank's work IMO.

    Solar
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Anzekay wrote: »
    My favourite is The Hydrogen Sonata

    I legitimately cried for several minutes after I finished it.

    Hydrogen Sonata has one of the most emotionally brutal murders in all of Bank's work IMO.

    That's saying a lot.

    dt3GeqU.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Anzekay wrote: »
    My favourite is The Hydrogen Sonata

    I legitimately cried for several minutes after I finished it.

    Hydrogen Sonata has one of the most emotionally brutal murders in all of Bank's work IMO.

    That's saying a lot.

    It makes some improvised room furnishing looks gentle and peaceful.
    This is of course an oblique reference to chairmaking.

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