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[The Culture] Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism

1246

Posts

  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    TOGSolid wrote: »
    Ulver Seich: Hehe, it looks like a dildo.
    Churt Lyne (a drone): That's appropriate. Armed, it can fuck solar systems.

    This quote needs to be in the OP cause hot damn that sort of humor just insta-sold me on this.

    There's a grim humor throughout the series. It also gets to how ridiculously absurd Culture technology is compared to the galaxy as a whole.
    Gurgeh can't fly his small pod ship around because what is basically a mobile apartment is faster than any warship the local empire has and they don't want them to know that. A demilitarized warship is still capable of destroying planets etc

    There's also how the drone gets told it has to wear a disguise...
    and is outraged that in addition to being bulk and square, it has to emit static crackling as it hovers.

    end spoiler...
    although that drone is absolutely 100% actually Skaffen-Amitskaw from Use of Weapons.
    is it? I recall it being the drone that blackmails him at the start. There's over 100 years between Use of Weapons and Player of Games
    Yep, same drone. And it's not like everyone in the Culture isn't functionally immortal anyways.

    No, I'm almost positive you're mixing up characters. Can't find anything online to this effect.
    Hmm, yeah, I think I'm conflating the reveal about it being the same drone at the start with Skaffen showing up in State of the Art, or something.

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  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Speaking of how GSVs could be depicted, this is a rough concept I had for what a GSV might look like. Though, it's not very accurate to any of the GSVs in the books:

    icqi8DPl.png

    credeikiTOGSolidoverride367
  • Inkstain82Inkstain82 Registered User regular
    Ok, I've had this series on my radar for years. I think I picked one up once and didn't like it, but I know the nature of the series is such that you can jump in at a lot of places and might like other ones.

    So this thread convinced me to go again and I decided on Player of Games. I'm 115 pages in and
    Jesus H Christos, Gurgeh, how obvious was that blackmail trap. And you pride yourself on skill in bluffing games?!

    I'm definitely emotionally invested now.

    Winky
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Inkstain82 wrote: »
    Ok, I've had this series on my radar for years. I think I picked one up once and didn't like it, but I know the nature of the series is such that you can jump in at a lot of places and might like other ones.

    So this thread convinced me to go again and I decided on Player of Games. I'm 115 pages in and
    Jesus H Christos, Gurgeh, how obvious was that blackmail trap. And you pride yourself on skill in bluffing games?!

    I'm definitely emotionally invested now.
    he's probably the first culture citizen to be blackmailed in a thousand years.

    Inkstain82override367tynicelectricitylikesme
  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    Ah damn, now I'm going to reread the entire series again. (BTW Banks non-Culture banks are also very much worth checking out. Only Song of Stone I didn't like.).

    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
    Winky
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Dizzy D wrote: »
    Ah damn, now I'm going to reread the entire series again. (BTW Banks non-Culture banks are also very much worth checking out. Only Song of Stone I didn't like.).

    Transitions is a really awesome book, but happened to hit literally all of my triggers.

    Dizzy Doverride367electricitylikesme
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    I would like to point out that Zakalwe is not a reliable narrator of the subject of the Culture.
    He is
    not even Zakalwe for starters.

    His view of the Culture is biase by his past life outside of the Culture.
    Its hinted that the crime which made him Zakalwe was only the tip of the iceberg and his view of the Culture being "nice" to nazis is biased by the fact that he was one, until he was recruited as a tool by SC.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    mrondeauelectricitylikesmeWinky
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    I would like to point out that Zakalwe is not a reliable narrator of the subject of the Culture.
    He is
    not even Zakalwe for starters.

    His view of the Culture is biase by his past life outside of the Culture.
    Its hinted that the crime which made him Zakalwe was only the tip of the iceberg and his view of the Culture being "nice" to nazis is biased by the fact that he was one, until he was recruited as a tool by SC.
    There's no reason in the story to think his understanding of what he does for the Culture and how Contact operates is inaccurate. He doesn't just say they're "nice", and even when he does he says its a very very limited type of nice. He specifically spells out what the Culture does to people like the man he's talking to. You could suppose he's lying or wrong about that specific detail, but there's no reason to think he's wrong about anything else in the speech so it would be odd if that one random detail is the only flaw.

    The only thing Zakalwe is an unreliable narrator of is his own origins.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    override367
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    TOGSolid wrote: »
    Ulver Seich: Hehe, it looks like a dildo.
    Churt Lyne (a drone): That's appropriate. Armed, it can fuck solar systems.

    This quote needs to be in the OP cause hot damn that sort of humor just insta-sold me on this.

    There's a grim humor throughout the series. It also gets to how ridiculously absurd Culture technology is compared to the galaxy as a whole.
    Gurgeh can't fly his small pod ship around because what is basically a mobile apartment is faster than any warship the local empire has and they don't want them to know that. A demilitarized warship is still capable of destroying planets etc

    The culture tries to downplay how utterly impossibly powerful they would be if they were as malevolant as half the galaxy thinks they are:
    The communications device of a GSV is capable of killing every living thing on a planet from a substantial distance, if it were to be engaged at full power

    Also: the sleeper service, what it was capable of doing a few decades in secret while other culture vessels were watching it and
    in Surface Detail, Falling outside the normal moral constraints took out an armada of a quarter billion warships in like a few days

    override367 on
    electricitylikesme
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    I would like to point out that Zakalwe is not a reliable narrator of the subject of the Culture.
    He is
    not even Zakalwe for starters.

    His view of the Culture is biase by his past life outside of the Culture.
    Its hinted that the crime which made him Zakalwe was only the tip of the iceberg and his view of the Culture being "nice" to nazis is biased by the fact that he was one, until he was recruited as a tool by SC.
    There's no reason in the story to think his understanding of what he does for the Culture and how Contact operates is inaccurate. He doesn't just say they're "nice", and even when he does he says its a very very limited type of nice. He specifically spells out what the Culture does to people like the man he's talking to. You could suppose he's lying or wrong about that specific detail, but there's no reason to think he's wrong about anything else in the speech so it would be odd if that one random detail is the only flaw.

    The only thing Zakalwe is an unreliable narrator of is his own origins.

    See I felt the exact opposite
    I took the spirit journey where he postulates on the fate of the young woman and how she’ll never amount to what she aspires to, and then you find out later that she does exactly that, is meant to show that Zakalwe is full of shit. He fundamentally doesn’t understand the Culture because all he really cares about is winning, while the Culture always wins because it actually cares about the fate of the people.

    Caedwyrelectricitylikesme
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    I would like to point out that Zakalwe is not a reliable narrator of the subject of the Culture.
    He is
    not even Zakalwe for starters.

    His view of the Culture is biase by his past life outside of the Culture.
    Its hinted that the crime which made him Zakalwe was only the tip of the iceberg and his view of the Culture being "nice" to nazis is biased by the fact that he was one, until he was recruited as a tool by SC.
    There's no reason in the story to think his understanding of what he does for the Culture and how Contact operates is inaccurate. He doesn't just say they're "nice", and even when he does he says its a very very limited type of nice. He specifically spells out what the Culture does to people like the man he's talking to. You could suppose he's lying or wrong about that specific detail, but there's no reason to think he's wrong about anything else in the speech so it would be odd if that one random detail is the only flaw.

    The only thing Zakalwe is an unreliable narrator of is his own origins.

    See I felt the exact opposite
    I took the spirit journey where he postulates on the fate of the young woman and how she’ll never amount to what she aspires to, and then you find out later that she does exactly that, is meant to show that Zakalwe is full of shit. He fundamentally doesn’t understand the Culture because all he really cares about is winning, while the Culture always wins because it actually cares about the fate of the people.
    I think he doesn't really understand the values of the Culture, but that's different than not understanding the facts of how the Culture operates with regards to his field of work.

    electricitylikesme
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    I love that The Culture operates on the near opposite of the Prime Directive.

    Star Trek: Who are we to interfere with Planet Nazis?

    Culture: Planet Nazis? Oh, we infiltrated and killed several key leaders implicating resistance forces which led to a civil war. The result is still essentially an oligarchy but they’ve established universal suffrage. With some nudging they should even out in a few decades and we can start considering first contact.

    You face The Culture with the trolley problem they’ll not only flip the switch, they’ll then start heading up the track to take out the next negligent conductor.

    Not sure if I'll have time to dive into the series, but I do like the idea of the Culture as a combination of realpolitik paired with actual forethought into creating a better society. The Federation is Utopianism divorced from pragmatism.

    Marathon, the precursor of Halo, also had very cool AI characters that interact with humans in interesting ways. They're near godlike, but have a very machine quality to their actions and interactions with humans that range from indifference, to irritation, to treating them like pets or stupid (but still accepted) children.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Quid wrote: »
    I love that The Culture operates on the near opposite of the Prime Directive.

    Star Trek: Who are we to interfere with Planet Nazis?

    Culture: Planet Nazis? Oh, we infiltrated and killed several key leaders implicating resistance forces which led to a civil war. The result is still essentially an oligarchy but they’ve established universal suffrage. With some nudging they should even out in a few decades and we can start considering first contact.

    You face The Culture with the trolley problem they’ll not only flip the switch, they’ll then start heading up the track to take out the next negligent conductor.

    Not sure if I'll have time to dive into the series, but I do like the idea of the Culture as a combination of realpolitik paired with actual forethought into creating a better society. The Federation is Utopianism divorced from pragmatism.

    Marathon, the precursor of Halo, also had very cool AI characters that interact with humans in interesting ways. They're near godlike, but have a very machine quality to their actions and interactions with humans that range from indifference, to irritation, to treating them like pets or stupid (but still accepted) children.

    Interestingly the Culture is both more idealistic and more pragmatic than the Federation.

    There are short stories you prefer.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Inkstain82 wrote: »
    Ok, I've had this series on my radar for years. I think I picked one up once and didn't like it, but I know the nature of the series is such that you can jump in at a lot of places and might like other ones.

    So this thread convinced me to go again and I decided on Player of Games. I'm 115 pages in and
    Jesus H Christos, Gurgeh, how obvious was that blackmail trap. And you pride yourself on skill in bluffing games?!

    I'm definitely emotionally invested now.

    Player of Games is one of my favorite books and one of the best entry points into the series (the other one being Look To Windward)
    Enjoy!

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    air-photos.tumblr.com
    tynicStyrofoam Sammichelectricitylikesme
  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    My favourite is Use of Weapons, but the best entry point is Player of Games.

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
    credeikiDizzy Delectricitylikesme
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    What the Culture series made me realise is how small my thinking was. Like, my conceptual thinking of scifi was not even remotely on the same scale. It blew me away, it's just something else you know? Vast scale yet personal stakes. I love it.

    Also I'd read Player, then Use, then all the other ones in whatever order except you kind of have to read Sonata last, I think.

    CaedwyrWinkyelectricitylikesme
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Rather, what Banks seems to posit is that there exists a grouping of more or less universal moral principles that any sufficiently intelligent entity can discover that, if they are not followed, will inevitably lead a civilization to destroy itself. Each of the books in the Culture series is meant to show in detail the failings of societies that do not recognize or adhere to these principles. The Culture, it ends up, is so powerful explicitly because it is just a thing worth wanting.

    This reminds me a bit of C.S. Lewis' thoughts on the Tao or Natural Law.

    Also interesting since Lewis did a pretty good job of writing aliens that think and act quite differently from humans. Even the angels in the Prelandra series are more like titans or extra-terrestrials who phase in and out of reality and cause near brown-notes in humans just by being near them.

    manwiththemachinegun on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Use of weapons still has one of the saddest endings of anything

    Styrofoam SammichKipling217Winkytynic[Expletive deleted]SolarelectricitylikesmeAresProphet
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Can we propose Culture ship names in this thread?

    Because I have always liked: Let Me Explain All The Ways You Are Wrong

    also; Random Sightseer

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Frank Exchange of Views

    Styrofoam Sammich
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Frank Exchange of Views

    Hand Me The Gun And Ask Me Again

  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    Lapsed Pacifist always had something about it that tickled me the right way.

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    No, not names from the books, but names you would like to have been in the books. Original names you thought of yourself.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Thats kind of the sweetest thing about the Culture though that for all their power and long view everything and everyone matters to them.

    Kinda make sense when you remember what Minds are.
    Never forget I am not this silver body, Mahrai. I am not an animal brain, I am not even some attempt to produce an AI through software running on a computer. I am a Culture Mind. We are close to gods, and on the far side. We are quicker; we live faster and more completely than you do, with so many more senses, such a greater store of memories and at such a fine level of detail. We die more slowly, and we die more completely, too.

    And yet for all that, the Mind that runs Gurgeh's home orbital is genuinely and personally concerned when he thinks he's being spied on. Its sweet.

    I think it's because of that. They aren't too big to pay attention, they are too big to not pay attention.

    Styrofoam SammichWinky
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    No, not names from the books, but names you would like to have been in the books. Original names you thought of yourself.

    Second Opinion?

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    Kipling217
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    No, not names from the books, but names you would like to have been in the books. Original names you thought of yourself.

    Second Opinion?

    Good one. There is a chapter in Look to Windward where two characters keep quoting ship names at each other.

    But I Just Got Here

    Been There, Doing This.

    Stop Me If You Heard This One Before

    I Know

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    Winky
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Currently holding all the gravitas

    WinkyKipling217
  • AimAim Registered User regular
    Hold my beer and watch this

    Kipling217CaedwyrWinkycredeikielectricitylikesmeoverride367
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    Usual Suspects

    PolaritieWinkyKipling217
  • FeloniousmozFeloniousmoz Registered User regular
    A profound waste of time

    Close, but not close enough

    Battlenet: FeloniousMoz#1286
    Winkyelectricitylikesme
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    The thread title would make a pretty good name for a GSV

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
    WinkyInkstain82electricitylikesme
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    The interminable delay between now and tomorrow

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
    Kipling217electricitylikesme
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Really of you think about the processing power of a Mind, being able to personally be the closest support to every single person on a GSV is, well, not trivial but not exactly hard. Imagine if someone very intelligent, socially capable and empathetic spent 24/7 thinking about you. Then replicate that for 500 billion people. Well, doing the thinking of 500 billion people is well within what a Mind can do! They could do that in a simulation! They only don't because it means when they switch it off they basically think they've killed all those people!

  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    Solar wrote: »
    Really of you think about the processing power of a Mind, being able to personally be the closest support to every single person on a GSV is, well, not trivial but not exactly hard. Imagine if someone very intelligent, socially capable and empathetic spent 24/7 thinking about you. Then replicate that for 500 billion people. Well, doing the thinking of 500 billion people is well within what a Mind can do! They could do that in a simulation! They only don't because it means when they switch it off they basically think they've killed all those people!

    I liked that part in whichever book it was. Once you've made your simulation accurate enough, you've basically created self-aware life, and now you're morally responsible for that universe you just created.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    Caedwyrelectricitylikesmeoverride367
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    Really of you think about the processing power of a Mind, being able to personally be the closest support to every single person on a GSV is, well, not trivial but not exactly hard. Imagine if someone very intelligent, socially capable and empathetic spent 24/7 thinking about you. Then replicate that for 500 billion people. Well, doing the thinking of 500 billion people is well within what a Mind can do! They could do that in a simulation! They only don't because it means when they switch it off they basically think they've killed all those people!
    Echo wrote: »
    I liked that part in whichever book it was. Once you've made your simulation accurate enough, you've basically created self-aware life, and now you're morally responsible for that universe you just created.
    Yep. Minds regularly simulate entire universes, to plan. They just let them run until their heat death.

    That's one of the few resources that's very limited, IIRC, since they can only run a dozen simultaneously, so they have to be choosy.

  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    Just remembering one of my favorite little bits from Excession: the guy who had crippling social anxiety but didn’t want to have his personality changed, so they arranged for him to live in isolation on the meteor where they hid extra warships.

    It was such a sweet sad little vignette but also a illustration of how above all the Culture venerates maximizing individual choice, and how the Culture finds places for people who don’t fit into it.

    manwiththemachineguncredeikiQuidStyrofoam Sammichelectricitylikesme
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    I like Excession, not only are the ships great, it digs into the gender/sex fluidity of the Culture more than any of the others.

    This machine kills threads.
    Winkyelectricitylikesme
  • QanamilQanamil Registered User regular
    Any opinions on the audiobooks? Feel like this would be good work zone out listening.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Qanamil wrote: »
    Any opinions on the audiobooks? Feel like this would be good work zone out listening.

    The first three are great, though Use of Weapons is a little harder to follow with its narrative structure unless you have already read it. By State of the Arts there are some issues with licensing and they're not always available.

    Qanamil
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    I ove that The Culture operates on the near opposite of the Prime Directive.

    Star Trek: Who are we to interfere with Planet Nazis?

    Culture: Planet Nazis? Oh, we infiltrated and killed several key leaders implicating resistance forces which led to a civil war. The result is still essentially an oligarchy but they’ve established universal suffrage. With some nudging they should even out in a few decades and we can start considering first contact.

    You face The Culture with the trolley problem they’ll not only flip the switch, they’ll then start heading up the track to take out the next negligent conductor.

    I also like the notion that this is fundamentally what gives the lives of the people in the Culture meaning: there are other people out in the universe suffering and because they are attempting to motivate those civilizations to willingly adopt the moral framework of the Culture, even the most ostentatious hedonism on the part of Culture citizens at least serves the purpose of making the Culture’s lifestyle more attractive to those who haven’t adopted it.

    They don't even want or need these foreign groups to join the Culture either, which is interesting. They just want them to be better, kinder and more peaceful versions of what they already are.

    With the exception of eccentrics like Grey Area who using his power as an impossibly advanced spacecraft coasts from one industrialized world to the next exposing their most heinous and least talked about sins against their own race to their entire world

    That'd be some shit for first contact right? You're sitting around eating a burger and suddenly every electronic device on the planet is hijacked by aliens to confront you with the ugliest deeds your race has ever done for no motive other than to make sure you don't do it again because you can't hide from it, others are watching

    I feel like this would not work on humans.

    That’s why the Culture ultimately just decided to leave Earth as a control group.

    I would like to reiterate my very strong disagreement with this decision

    QuidWinkyelectricitylikesmeHappy Little Machine
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