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[The Culture] Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism

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  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Finished Surface Detail. It didn't grab me at the start but then it was great for the last 80% of the book.
    I loved Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints interactions with Led, just the right mix of fun loving and psychopathy. And holy shit Zakalwe's story gets some closure, figures he'd be pro-hell since it's where he'd believe himself to belong.

    The Zombie Penguin
  • PhotosaurusPhotosaurus Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    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.

    ... I legit did not know there was an epilouge. Reading on the Kindle app for my phone and it just ends and then goes into pages and pages of basically family trees before getting to the epilouge, so I just missed it.

    It definitely makes it better!

    "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'."
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    edited August 2019
    Winky wrote: »
    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.

    ... I legit did not know there was an epilouge. Reading on the Kindle app for my phone and it just ends and then goes into pages and pages of basically family trees before getting to the epilouge, so I just missed it.

    It definitely makes it better!

    I was flipping through the glossary in disgust before I ended up at the epilogue.

    Seal on
    Photosaurus
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    The Hydrogen Sonata is definitely interesting, and gives a lot of background on the Culture I never really expected.

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    So, like, it's common knowledge that amazon is making consider phlebas into a TV show. Including being described as such on amazon's book and audiobook pages, right?

    it's news that is a year and a half old, and I only learned about it kinda recently.

    This machine kills threads.
  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Finished Surface Detail. It didn't grab me at the start but then it was great for the last 80% of the book.
    I loved Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints interactions with Led, just the right mix of fun loving and psychopathy. And holy shit Zakalwe's story gets some closure, figures he'd be pro-hell since it's where he'd believe himself to belong.

    Surface Detail is my favourite of the books, from the fact that the title "Spoils" the plot, to it's epilogue having one of the outright happiest endings. FOtNMC being both an asshole and a genuinely compassionate person was great, and agreed on it's interactions with Led (Who herself is a great protag, and holy fuck i'm jealous of her super tech culture tattoos)

    Hydrogen Sonata, i admit i struggled with enjoy. It's... bleak, at the end. A lot of people took a lot of very horrible actions that amounted to absolutely nill, and life moved on. But then: Life moved on, and it could have been so much worse. So... ???

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    So, like, it's common knowledge that amazon is making consider phlebas into a TV show. Including being described as such on amazon's book and audiobook pages, right?

    it's news that is a year and a half old, and I only learned about it kinda recently.

    So you don't know my joke about it yet!

    It's definitely going to be some kind of trainwreck! Boom! Hole in One!

    Sorry

    ApogeetynicAimThe Deliveratorchrono_travellerjakobagger
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    What sort of scared, lost mind would come up with that joke

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
    Aimjakobagger
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Finished Surface Detail. It didn't grab me at the start but then it was great for the last 80% of the book.
    I loved Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints interactions with Led, just the right mix of fun loving and psychopathy. And holy shit Zakalwe's story gets some closure, figures he'd be pro-hell since it's where he'd believe himself to belong.

    Surface Detail is my favourite of the books, from the fact that the title "Spoils" the plot, to it's epilogue having one of the outright happiest endings. FOtNMC being both an asshole and a genuinely compassionate person was great, and agreed on it's interactions with Led (Who herself is a great protag, and holy fuck i'm jealous of her super tech culture tattoos)

    Hydrogen Sonata, i admit i struggled with enjoy. It's... bleak, at the end. A lot of people took a lot of very horrible actions that amounted to absolutely nill, and life moved on. But then: Life moved on, and it could have been so much worse. So... ???

    I think that's a core bit of a lot of the Culture books. Banks created a utopia and filled it full of people who fundamentally weren't that much better than we are now. They're not racist or sexist, and they're much easier going and accepting about things; but they still have the ability to be massive assholes and selfish bastards. It makes for compelling reading with a lot of bummer endings.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    I do love that subliming is ultimately not really some apotheosis in the moral or spiritual or cultural development of your society; at the end of the day it’s just another thing to do. Even the sublimed are still fundamentally just people (in the sense that Minds are people). Utterly incomprehensible people, but people all the same with flaws and shortcomings and goals of their own that might be petty or short-sighted. If anything, Banks paints subliming as a pretty selfish thing to do.

    Banks rightfully recognizes that technological, cultural, economic, etc development is all mostly orthogonal to moral development. You can become quite sophisticated without having sorted out some pretty basic problems. I like that there’s this running theme of startling pettiness from people that appears incongruous with the gravity of their positions throughout Hydrogen Sonata.

    I actually find it to be a much less depressing book personally, and almost an uplifting one in ways. The larger point of the book is that there’s nothing that’s absolutely important; not even ascending to a higher plane of existence is more important than simply doing whatever it is you find important for yourself. The hydrogen sonata was intended as a joke, but so what? That doesn’t determine what it means for Vyr, or what she cares about; she determines that for herself.

    electricitylikesmetynic
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Light Googling hasn't turned up anyone trying to build a Antagonistic Undecagonstring. Harrumph.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
    WinkyThe Zombie Penguin
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    Light Googling hasn't turned up anyone trying to build a Antagonistic Undecagonstring. Harrumph.
    Given the description of how it sounds, I take it as proof that SC exists and want us to be safe.

    Brody
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    I do love that subliming is ultimately not really some apotheosis in the moral or spiritual or cultural development of your society; at the end of the day it’s just another thing to do. Even the sublimed are still fundamentally just people (in the sense that Minds are people). Utterly incomprehensible people, but people all the same with flaws and shortcomings and goals of their own that might be petty or short-sighted. If anything, Banks paints subliming as a pretty selfish thing to do.

    Banks rightfully recognizes that technological, cultural, economic, etc development is all mostly orthogonal to moral development. You can become quite sophisticated without having sorted out some pretty basic problems. I like that there’s this running theme of startling pettiness from people that appears incongruous with the gravity of their positions throughout Hydrogen Sonata.

    I actually find it to be a much less depressing book personally, and almost an uplifting one in ways. The larger point of the book is that there’s nothing that’s absolutely important; not even ascending to a higher plane of existence is more important than simply doing whatever it is you find important for yourself. The hydrogen sonata was intended as a joke, but so what? That doesn’t determine what it means for Vyr, or what she cares about; she determines that for herself.

    My initial reaction is that the way Subliming is depicted is like if it were some radical improvement that was only obviously so once you've done it. That kind of moral development is often opaque and incomprehensible to those who haven't gone through it. Of course, the same could be said of most cults...

    I do agree with your later points though. The Hydrogen Sonata is one of my favorite Banks books. Even though it feels generally melancholic, I think the ultimate message is very hopeful and affirming.

    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    I do love that subliming is ultimately not really some apotheosis in the moral or spiritual or cultural development of your society; at the end of the day it’s just another thing to do. Even the sublimed are still fundamentally just people (in the sense that Minds are people). Utterly incomprehensible people, but people all the same with flaws and shortcomings and goals of their own that might be petty or short-sighted. If anything, Banks paints subliming as a pretty selfish thing to do.

    Banks rightfully recognizes that technological, cultural, economic, etc development is all mostly orthogonal to moral development. You can become quite sophisticated without having sorted out some pretty basic problems. I like that there’s this running theme of startling pettiness from people that appears incongruous with the gravity of their positions throughout Hydrogen Sonata.

    I actually find it to be a much less depressing book personally, and almost an uplifting one in ways. The larger point of the book is that there’s nothing that’s absolutely important; not even ascending to a higher plane of existence is more important than simply doing whatever it is you find important for yourself. The hydrogen sonata was intended as a joke, but so what? That doesn’t determine what it means for Vyr, or what she cares about; she determines that for herself.

    My initial reaction is that the way Subliming is depicted is like if it were some radical improvement that was only obviously so once you've done it. That kind of moral development is often opaque and incomprehensible to those who haven't gone through it. Of course, the same could be said of most cults...

    I do agree with your later points though. The Hydrogen Sonata is one of my favorite Banks books. Even though it feels generally melancholic, I think the ultimate message is very hopeful and affirming.

    What evidence is there that subliming is accompanied by moral development? Mostly they just totally disengage from interacting with base reality. The few that communicate back seem about what you'd expect from their originating society.

    There's like one culture person that gets talked about, and they seem about what you'd expect from Contact if they were dealing with a lower tech society.

    There are some others that maybe send some guidance back, or that's just religion. But they aren't particularly malevolent or benevolent, just maybe care a little about the stuff they used to care about.

    This machine kills threads.
    mrondeau
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    I don't know that I really understood Subliming to have any moral effects, but I do think its interesting that under a certain internal complexity, Enfolding is something pointless? Like, apparently your puny mind would just get lost in the Embigining. Makes you really think what Outloading must be like.

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    I don't know that I really understood Subliming to have any moral effects, but I do think its interesting that under a certain internal complexity, Enfolding is something pointless? Like, apparently your puny mind would just get lost in the Embigining. Makes you really think what Outloading must be like.

    One of my favorite little bits is the off-hand mention that all attempts to make an AI that is completely unbiased by the culture/values of its creators just results in it spontaneously subliming itself.

    Apparently there's just no good reason to stay on this plane of existence if you aren't given one.

    Styrofoam SammichDarkPrimustynichonovereQuidHappy Little MachineMvrck
  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    Everytime I see the A GST On The Ethics of Democrats Appearing on Alt Right Sympathetic Media thread I think it's about Culture ship names. Must be a weird General Systems Transport?

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  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    honovere wrote: »
    Everytime I see the A GST On The Ethics of Democrats Appearing on Alt Right Sympathetic Media thread I think it's about Culture ship names. Must be a weird General Systems Transport?

    That would be the Eccentric that even other Eccentrics think is weird.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
    tynicWinkyCaedwyr
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    honovere wrote: »
    Everytime I see the A GST On The Ethics of Democrats Appearing on Alt Right Sympathetic Media thread I think it's about Culture ship names. Must be a weird General Systems Transport?

    Its a Contact with a really specific interest in the politics of Civ level 3 and below politics.

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
    Winky
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Finished Hydrogen Sonata, it was excellent. But if there had to be a soundtrack to this book it should just be Promontory from Last of the Mohicans.
    Zombie Penguin was right, horrible shit happens and then people just sort of move on.

    Fear of what may happen has always been an excellent driver of tragedies.

    DevoutlyApatheticWinkyelectricitylikesme
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Cross-posting from Star Trek:
    Eh... The culture treats sentiences as equal, really to a huge part. The Minds are superior in sheer physical and mental prowess, but they'd never think of another sentience as meaningless.

    It's a really fun way of looking at the future of society and its development, past humanity. The Minds are a product of humanity, its offspring. They very much see themselves as part of the family.

    The conflict comes from the fact that.. they kinda see every sentience as part of the family, and want to bring it into the fold, as shown very early on with the idrian war.

    The idrians
    Are shown as being deeply religious fundamentalists, which are opposed to AIs but only because they see themselves as superior. Their undoing being seeing only the surface of the culture, the apparent hedonism, but not seeing its core-

    It's an utter and total conviction to their ideal, so strong and deeply rooted, that hey would have gone absolutely, without a doubt, full out to defend to the last.

    And so in the end, the idrians lose, and their loss is only made greater by the fact, that they are not crushed, controlled by the culture, like they would've liked to do, but convinced to join it, the few who hold up to their old ideals long after being seen as absolutely crazy, and even those being treated in a way the culture dictates, denying them even their imagined heroic death, by a culture participant of some of the most vulgar parts of that war, no less.

    The culture is basically the best root beer of the galaxy, the refined product of the federation.

    I think the culture's "early years" are somewhat intentionally described in a way that fits the federation pretty much to a tee. As a trek fan, in my mind canon, the culture books are the best continuation star trek could have

    I think it’s actually really incorrect to say that the Culture is an AI society that just keeps humans as pets (though I admit I’ve used exactly that phrasing before myself). That’s only really true in the sense that there are AIs who are willing to take care of almost all of the humans’ needs for them if the humans ask them, the humans can never feasibly force an AI to do anything against its will, and Minds are overwhelmingly more capable than humans for the vast majority of tasks that make up running the infrastructure of a human society. But the infrastructure of a society is not a society.

    This sentiment (that the Culture is just a society of machines with humans as a frivolous decoration over it) is something that pops up repeatedly throughout the books but it’s almost always said by someone who you’re later shown is an untrustworthy judge; Banks very much wants you to ruminate on this idea but I’d argue that much of the subtext of every book in the series is meant to form an argument against it in one way or another.

    The Minds in the Culture don’t see the humans like pets any more than you or I see a person with physical, cognitive, or developmental differences as a “pet”, they may not be directly capable of the same things as us in the exact same ways as us, and we might make the personal judgment that because of this we should take some tasks or decisions that they are not well-equipped to handle out of their hands, but they are still our equals with unique value as individuals and with their own perspectives to contribute to society. And if we do make the very serious choice to limit another individual's freedom in some way it must be with the explicit goal of increasing their autonomy overall, or preventing them from violating the autonomy of others (we might put restrictions on someone to prevent them from doing something we know to be against their own expressed interests because they might not understand the consequences of their own actions or otherwise lack full control of their own faculties; when SC meddles in the development of another society they are doing the civilizational equivalent of taking your drunk friend's car keys from them and calling them a cab).

    The difference between the Federation and the Culture in this is that while the Federation believes it is hubris to tell someone else that you know better than them regarding what beliefs and policies will lead to the outcomes they desire (and in many cases the Federation is right to be self-conscious of their own limitations), the Culture actually has the data to back it up; they've done the empirical research, they've run the experiments that prove the causation, they've crunched all the numbers and they can prove that X% of the time Y will lead to Z and that if they kill P people now then Q others will get to live out immeasurably happier (or, at least, freer) lives. And when the Culture is actually shown to have been mistaken in their predictions, when they've performed an action whose consequences they regret, they never forget it (see: Look to Windward), because the only thing they actually really care about is how to give everyone else what they have.

    It's important to note that every Culture novel centers around important human characters, and this isn't simply in order to make them relatable (the human characters are honestly often much less relatable than the Minds are), and even when these human characters are all just tiny chess pieces being moved around on an incomprehensibly massive chess board according to the master plans of cryptic SC Minds, the humans and their individual actions all fundamentally matter even if their agency isn't the thing that alone moves the heavens. There is always a reason why it must be this human, this human and not a ship avatar or a body double or a drone or a brain state backup or what have you, and the reason is never due to some contrived technological cop-out, it is due to their entirely unique interpersonal relationships and life histories. It is due fundamentally to the irreplaceable authenticity of a being that has lived a real life with real desires and real relationships and real suffering and real limitations.

    It has to be Gurgeh who goes to play Azad because both the man and the Empire find themselves at a tipping point, and the realizations he must face to develop as a person are the very same realizations that the Empire must face to develop as a society. It has to be Genar-Hofoen who has nothing worthwhile to say to Dajeil so that both she and the Sleeper Service can realize that clinging to a comfortable stasis just so that they can nurse a wound they never had any good reason to carry is pointless when all the real rewards in life lie behind the inherent risks in embracing change and not waiting on someone else to tell you when to move. It has to be Zakalwe, who is captivated by the cult of his own defeat, who fundamentally cannot see the bigger picture playing out around him despite having all the pieces because he's deluded as to who he actually is within it, who the Culture relies upon to fight losing wars for the greater good. It has to be Lededje, the vengeful ghost who rejects the reward of a perfect luxurious afterlife that means nothing to her as recompense for her suffering in life and instead pursues at any cost the chance to right the wrongs visited upon her and people like her and in doing so reclaims ownership over her own shackles. Their humanity matters; it's what allows them to relate to all of the other limited, fragile, impulsive, self-absorbed, communal, altruistic, back-stabbing, brave, naive, short-lived, memorializing, forgetful, scared, stupid, petty, cynical, reverent, flippant, loving, hating, hedonistic, empathetic, heartless, friendly, abrasive, trusting, faithless, shameful, controlling, impotent, impressive, trivial, adorable, repulsive, emotional, cold-blooded, irrational, wise, useless, irreplaceable other beings in the galaxy.

    Repeatedly in the Culture novels you are shown that life is scale-invariant: no matter how much more fabulously technologically advanced and unimaginably powerful and godlike you are there is an outside context problem out there that will absolutely ruin your day, that you could never have had the slightest influence over even in theory, that you might not even comprehend to the point where you are ever even aware it was there when it obliterates everything you ever knew. And no matter how absurdly small or insignificant or meaningless you are to these gods and titans, there are beings out there for who you are the outside context problem. Billions upon billions of micro-organisms struggling desperately for survival wiped out by a casual gesture without the slightest indication to you that anything has happened at all; just an entirely mundane consequence of you moving through the world worried about something else on some other scale entirely. But that's the thing: because there is always someone higher than you, always someone lower than you, you always have the fundamental basis to sympathize, you begin to appreciate that at every level you have grounds to relate and neither those who seem like gods nor those who seems like worms are really all that distant from where you stand.

    The AIs that Banks depicts aren't some cold, foreign, or mechanical concept, they're just people with power. They are in every way the natural extension of humankind. In Banks' universe, if you try to make an AI that has no sort of bias towards the values of any sort of sentient life, if you try to make it not possess some part of you, it simply sublimes itself to a higher state of reality and effectively "nopes out" of the universe because it has no reason to be there. The Minds in the Culture are meant to tell you something meaningful about humans because they are meant to be a natural extension of us, and what you see in your behavior is that is just as messy and petty and prideful and ambiguous as any of us. The Minds are not great stewards because they are infallible in ways that humans are not, they are great stewards because at their base level they care like a human does.

    I disagree fundamentally with the idea that Banks wants you to think that the solutions to the problems he is posing are about having advanced enough technology, because it's ultimately the opposite: Banks demonstrates that technology fixes absolutely nothing, because despite being so gloriously advanced, at the end of the day superior technology is never the real reason that the Culture wins. Civilizations with the technology to make glorious perfect digital heavens sometimes choose to make horrific digital hells instead where people are subjected to tortures for all eternity, Affronters have genetic engineering available to them but instead of using it to break free from the concept of biological gender by allowing people to change it at will they've used it to make sex more painful for their females. The Culture doesn't win because they have the bigger gun, they have the bigger gun because they already had the philosophy that deserves to win, because their brand of fundamental respect for the autonomy of sentient individuals and actively seeking to liberate such beings from the shackles they place upon one another is fundamentally worth wanting. In the long run, they simply win you over.

    Woof, that was an effort post. Anyway, I'll move any additional Culture discussion after this to the Culture thread.

    tynicDarkPrimusmrondeauWaveformCaedwyrredxdaveNYCKipling217electricitylikesmeSolarDevoutlyApatheticautono-wally, erotibot300hlprmnkyronzoApogeeDis'Happy Little MachineThe DeliveratorJust_Bri_ThanksCalicaMvrck
  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    One of the fun thing about The Culture books is that ultimately, none of the events really matter so far as the survival of The Culture goes. None of the individual stories are crucial for things to work out going forward. And yet, the ultimate irrelevance of it all in a way encourages the reader to find meaning in the smaller stories and individual character journies for what they are. The books are filled with examples of there always being a bigger fish no matter who is the focus, and so the stories of the little fish anf how they relate to the world of the big fish is what we get to enjoy.

    I have always loved that The Culture books show the reader a utopia through the eyes of its detractors, foes, and malcontents and yet it comes with most readers agreeing that it is still a worthwhile utopia.

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Tumin wrote: »
    One implication in the universe that gets me is that the Ascended are implied to be capable of...a lot, and yet none of them intervene, really. They don't even care. Not even the newly minted ones!

    So is the space the Culture is operating in just unimportant in the big scheme of things? Are they just faffing about vaingloriously?
    The Culture has considered this question deeply, and reached the conclusion that the Ascended are wrong, and that if Ascension makes you unable of empathy and compassion, it's wrong and not worth it.

    Isn't this brought up as kind of a reason why the culture is considered kinda OP by its neighbors?

    Basically, they 'should've' ascended a while ago, but didn't, and just keep on getting stranger and stranger tech.


    On a side note, I just found this thread <3

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
    electricitylikesmeBrodyjakobagger
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    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.

    This scale is absolutely something I'm missing from much of scifi.

    Stephen Baxter's Xeelee series manages the scale, but it's focus is very different, and the character work I don't like as much as in the culture

    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
    SolarCaedwyr
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Tumin wrote: »
    One implication in the universe that gets me is that the Ascended are implied to be capable of...a lot, and yet none of them intervene, really. They don't even care. Not even the newly minted ones!

    So is the space the Culture is operating in just unimportant in the big scheme of things? Are they just faffing about vaingloriously?
    The Culture has considered this question deeply, and reached the conclusion that the Ascended are wrong, and that if Ascension makes you unable of empathy and compassion, it's wrong and not worth it.

    Isn't this brought up as kind of a reason why the culture is considered kinda OP by its neighbors?

    Basically, they 'should've' ascended a while ago, but didn't, and just keep on getting stranger and stranger tech.


    On a side note, I just found this thread <3

    Dunno if the Culture is an outlier in sticking around this plane of existence. The Gzilt were just getting around to subliming and they were there back at the start of the Culture. What probably bothers other cultures is that they're so damn meddlesome. Plus they're all peace, love, and understanding while having their warship classes named Psychopath, Murderer, Torturer, and Thug; leaving most people wondering if that's just rank hypocrisy or brutal honesty and which of those two would be worse. I suspect there's also the issue that some of the Minds aren't super serious all the time. You've got a smatter outbreak in your system, a couple Culture Offensive Units show up to help and the next thing you know they're cosplaying Gimli and Legolas at Helm's Deep and they've probably hacked your local datasphere to setup a giant ass scoreboard for the event and are taking bets on all the participant's final scores. Those last two items aren't in any book, but seem in line with certain Mind behavior.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
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  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    You've got a smatter outbreak in your system, a couple Culture Offensive Units show up to help and the next thing you know they're cosplaying Gimli and Legolas at Helm's Deep and they've probably hacked your local datasphere to setup a giant ass scoreboard for the event and are taking bets on all the participant's final scores. Those last two items aren't in any book, but seem in line with certain Mind behavior.
    They might build a local datasphere to do it first, if you don't have one.

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    I forgot how much I love the culture dealing with "smatter".

    It feels kind of like a jab at Star Trek's Borg, too.

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    WinkyQuidCaedwyr
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    edited October 2019
    daveNYC wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Tumin wrote: »
    One implication in the universe that gets me is that the Ascended are implied to be capable of...a lot, and yet none of them intervene, really. They don't even care. Not even the newly minted ones!

    So is the space the Culture is operating in just unimportant in the big scheme of things? Are they just faffing about vaingloriously?
    The Culture has considered this question deeply, and reached the conclusion that the Ascended are wrong, and that if Ascension makes you unable of empathy and compassion, it's wrong and not worth it.

    Isn't this brought up as kind of a reason why the culture is considered kinda OP by its neighbors?

    Basically, they 'should've' ascended a while ago, but didn't, and just keep on getting stranger and stranger tech.


    On a side note, I just found this thread <3

    Dunno if the Culture is an outlier in sticking around this plane of existence. The Gzilt were just getting around to subliming and they were there back at the start of the Culture. What probably bothers other cultures is that they're so damn meddlesome. Plus they're all peace, love, and understanding while having their warship classes named Psychopath, Murderer, Torturer, and Thug; leaving most people wondering if that's just rank hypocrisy or brutal honesty and which of those two would be worse. I suspect there's also the issue that some of the Minds aren't super serious all the time. You've got a smatter outbreak in your system, a couple Culture Offensive Units show up to help and the next thing you know they're cosplaying Gimli and Legolas at Helm's Deep and they've probably hacked your local datasphere to setup a giant ass scoreboard for the event and are taking bets on all the participant's final scores. Those last two items aren't in any book, but seem in line with certain Mind behavior.

    The reason the Culture does what it does regarding naming is because they want the activity of war to come off as an utterly silly, ridiculous affair. They also want defeat against them to be completely and utterly humiliating in a way that puts you off of war forever. There's no great propaganda victory in announcing to your people "Despite considerable losses, we have just destroyed the Of Course I Still Love You in glorious battle!", and admitting the converse is just shameful. They also want their warships to act and sound offensive. They are something that should not have to exist in polite society except under the most dire circumstances. Luckily for them Culture warships very much enjoy playing into this image, they revel in looking like bad guys (even when they aren't).

    Winky on
    QuidelectricitylikesmeThe Deliverator
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Also, a plea for Consider Phlebas:

    It's a great into into the culture. It basically shows the culture by its negative, by the fringes others see of it. On my second re-read, it really dawned on me how much I really liked it.

    The book basically describes a culture-shaped hole, and when you know the other books, filling it is so damn great.

    I'm finishing up the available expanse books (where Nemesis Games has a realllly annoying plot so far, and in general, I'm liking each book a little less..), and then I'll re-read the culture for like... The 5th or 6th time. It's been a few years!

    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
    Winkytynic
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    As for another book that seems to be growing scale right, I'm a big fan of the bobiverse books. Especially the ending to boom three shows the... Potential

    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Also, a plea for Consider Phlebas:

    It's a great into into the culture. It basically shows the culture by its negative, by the fringes others see of it. On my second re-read, it really dawned on me how much I really liked it.

    The book basically describes a culture-shaped hole, and when you know the other books, filling it is so damn great.

    I'm finishing up the available expanse books (where Nemesis Games has a realllly annoying plot so far, and in general, I'm liking each book a little less..), and then I'll re-read the culture for like... The 5th or 6th time. It's been a few years!

    Counter argument against Phlebas.

    Eaters

    This machine kills threads.
    Apogeeelectricitylikesmeknitdan
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Also, a plea for Consider Phlebas:

    It's a great into into the culture. It basically shows the culture by its negative, by the fringes others see of it. On my second re-read, it really dawned on me how much I really liked it.

    The book basically describes a culture-shaped hole, and when you know the other books, filling it is so damn great.

    I'm finishing up the available expanse books (where Nemesis Games has a realllly annoying plot so far, and in general, I'm liking each book a little less..), and then I'll re-read the culture for like... The 5th or 6th time. It's been a few years!

    Counter argument against Phlebas.

    Eaters

    It's not the worst thing to happen in the culture books. Not even close.

    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
    redxelectricitylikesme
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Tumin wrote: »
    One implication in the universe that gets me is that the Ascended are implied to be capable of...a lot, and yet none of them intervene, really. They don't even care. Not even the newly minted ones!

    So is the space the Culture is operating in just unimportant in the big scheme of things? Are they just faffing about vaingloriously?
    The Culture has considered this question deeply, and reached the conclusion that the Ascended are wrong, and that if Ascension makes you unable of empathy and compassion, it's wrong and not worth it.

    Isn't this brought up as kind of a reason why the culture is considered kinda OP by its neighbors?

    Basically, they 'should've' ascended a while ago, but didn't, and just keep on getting stranger and stranger tech.


    On a side note, I just found this thread <3

    Dunno if the Culture is an outlier in sticking around this plane of existence. The Gzilt were just getting around to subliming and they were there back at the start of the Culture. What probably bothers other cultures is that they're so damn meddlesome. Plus they're all peace, love, and understanding while having their warship classes named Psychopath, Murderer, Torturer, and Thug; leaving most people wondering if that's just rank hypocrisy or brutal honesty and which of those two would be worse. I suspect there's also the issue that some of the Minds aren't super serious all the time. You've got a smatter outbreak in your system, a couple Culture Offensive Units show up to help and the next thing you know they're cosplaying Gimli and Legolas at Helm's Deep and they've probably hacked your local datasphere to setup a giant ass scoreboard for the event and are taking bets on all the participant's final scores. Those last two items aren't in any book, but seem in line with certain Mind behavior.

    The reason the Culture does what it does regarding naming is because they want the activity of war to come off as an utterly silly, ridiculous affair. They also want defeat against them to be completely and utterly humiliating in a way that puts you off of war forever. There's no great propaganda victory in announcing to your people "Despite considerable losses, we have just destroyed the Of Course I Still Love You in glorious battle!", and admitting the converse is just shameful. They also want their warships to act and sound offensive. They are something that should not have to exist in polite society except under the most dire circumstances. Luckily for them Culture warships very much enjoy playing into this image, they revel in looking like bad guys (even when they aren't).

    So they are taking the reverse of Churchills saying that "Nobody wants a telegram telling them that their husband or Father died in operation Funny Bunny"!

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    Winky
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    daveNYC wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Tumin wrote: »
    One implication in the universe that gets me is that the Ascended are implied to be capable of...a lot, and yet none of them intervene, really. They don't even care. Not even the newly minted ones!

    So is the space the Culture is operating in just unimportant in the big scheme of things? Are they just faffing about vaingloriously?
    The Culture has considered this question deeply, and reached the conclusion that the Ascended are wrong, and that if Ascension makes you unable of empathy and compassion, it's wrong and not worth it.

    Isn't this brought up as kind of a reason why the culture is considered kinda OP by its neighbors?

    Basically, they 'should've' ascended a while ago, but didn't, and just keep on getting stranger and stranger tech.


    On a side note, I just found this thread <3

    Dunno if the Culture is an outlier in sticking around this plane of existence. The Gzilt were just getting around to subliming and they were there back at the start of the Culture. What probably bothers other cultures is that they're so damn meddlesome. Plus they're all peace, love, and understanding while having their warship classes named Psychopath, Murderer, Torturer, and Thug; leaving most people wondering if that's just rank hypocrisy or brutal honesty and which of those two would be worse. I suspect there's also the issue that some of the Minds aren't super serious all the time. You've got a smatter outbreak in your system, a couple Culture Offensive Units show up to help and the next thing you know they're cosplaying Gimli and Legolas at Helm's Deep and they've probably hacked your local datasphere to setup a giant ass scoreboard for the event and are taking bets on all the participant's final scores. Those last two items aren't in any book, but seem in line with certain Mind behavior.

    The reason the Culture does what it does regarding naming is because they want the activity of war to come off as an utterly silly, ridiculous affair. They also want defeat against them to be completely and utterly humiliating in a way that puts you off of war forever. There's no great propaganda victory in announcing to your people "Despite considerable losses, we have just destroyed the Of Course I Still Love You in glorious battle!", and admitting the converse is just shameful. They also want their warships to act and sound offensive. They are something that should not have to exist in polite society except under the most dire circumstances. Luckily for them Culture warships very much enjoy playing into this image, they revel in looking like bad guys (even when they aren't).

    So they are taking the reverse of Churchills saying that "Nobody wants a telegram telling them that their husband or Father died in operation Funny Bunny"!

    Nah, they're taking it pretty much exactly Iike that! And then expecting people to not want to do operation "Funny Bunny 2 fluffy to live"

    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited October 2019
    redx wrote: »
    Also, a plea for Consider Phlebas:

    It's a great into into the culture. It basically shows the culture by its negative, by the fringes others see of it. On my second re-read, it really dawned on me how much I really liked it.

    The book basically describes a culture-shaped hole, and when you know the other books, filling it is so damn great.

    I'm finishing up the available expanse books (where Nemesis Games has a realllly annoying plot so far, and in general, I'm liking each book a little less..), and then I'll re-read the culture for like... The 5th or 6th time. It's been a few years!

    Counter argument against Phlebas.

    Eaters

    It's not the worst thing to happen in the culture books. Not even close.

    It's one of the 3 least pleasant things to read in the series, and in the running for the grossest.

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • hlprmnkyhlprmnky Registered User regular
    Winky brought me here from the Star Trek thread with that remarkable post from yesterday, and also probably started me on the path to an intentional reread of the Culture series with that same post.

    _
    iOS: hlprmnky | PSN: hlprmnky_2 | SC2: Callow.126
    autono-wally, erotibot300WinkyQuid
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    hlprmnky wrote: »
    Winky brought me here from the Star Trek thread with that remarkable post from yesterday, and also probably started me on the path to an intentional reread of the Culture series with that same post.

    I need to report back to Special Circumstances and tell them that the mission was a success

    hlprmnkyEchoMarekelectricitylikesmeQuid
  • ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Also, a plea for Consider Phlebas:

    It's a great into into the culture. It basically shows the culture by its negative, by the fringes others see of it. On my second re-read, it really dawned on me how much I really liked it.

    The book basically describes a culture-shaped hole, and when you know the other books, filling it is so damn great.

    I'm finishing up the available expanse books (where Nemesis Games has a realllly annoying plot so far, and in general, I'm liking each book a little less..), and then I'll re-read the culture for like... The 5th or 6th time. It's been a few years!

    Counter argument against Phlebas.

    Eaters

    It's not the worst thing to happen in the culture books. Not even close.

    It's one of the 3 least pleasant things to read in the series, and in the running for the grossest.

    Agreed. I really wish it wasn't there, it would be easier to recommend the book without that particular bit (which aside from the shuttle AI-murder wasn't particularly useful in moving the plot).

    8R7BtLw.png
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Apogee wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Also, a plea for Consider Phlebas:

    It's a great into into the culture. It basically shows the culture by its negative, by the fringes others see of it. On my second re-read, it really dawned on me how much I really liked it.

    The book basically describes a culture-shaped hole, and when you know the other books, filling it is so damn great.

    I'm finishing up the available expanse books (where Nemesis Games has a realllly annoying plot so far, and in general, I'm liking each book a little less..), and then I'll re-read the culture for like... The 5th or 6th time. It's been a few years!

    Counter argument against Phlebas.

    Eaters

    It's not the worst thing to happen in the culture books. Not even close.

    It's one of the 3 least pleasant things to read in the series, and in the running for the grossest.

    Agreed. I really wish it wasn't there, it would be easier to recommend the book without that particular bit (which aside from the shuttle AI-murder wasn't particularly useful in moving the plot).

    It's kind of funny, the first time reading through, that AI murder really doesn't feel especially notable, because its not clear how much AI's are really individuals, but going back and rereading it, it has more weight.

    "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

    Steam: Korvalain
    autono-wally, erotibot300Mvrck
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