With credit given, in order of total words borrowed, to Thomas Jefferson, whoever wrote the Ramayana, and Anaxagoras for the character of Milephanes.
Date: 08 Dec 2011 16:18
Number of posts: 83
RSS: New posts
You know, I thought I'd be disgusted with "alien empire is taught FREEDOM by exposure to the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence".
But this is actually quite well done, especially in its acknowledgement of the Cherokee.
And in the fact that one of the 'crimes' of the Regent of Novomundus is that he encourages gender equality.
At least one of those encouragements is stripping all sexual organs out of a human body to make room for hunter-killer bionics.
I can't tell if this was supposed to make me laugh or to make me think. It did both, so that earns an upvote.
The last thing I saw that pulled this off well was an original Star Trek episode. But this is a different each take/explanation on it that it still good.
/tip of the hat.
Well, I like this one.
Also, wonder whether constitution got transported to U-E accidentally, or Foundation is now in the business of undermining political establishments in alternate universes…
P.S.: Given what SCP-877 is capable of, any "serious" political opposition in Universityverse is so boned…
They ordered it.
Phitransimun Combine wasn't known for its craftsmanship for most of its postal service.
I suppose that could be twisted to become an SPC initialism anagram, but more likely it's something entirely separate.
Ah, missed that one.
Hm, so, they can order stuff from "normal" (lol) earth … hmmmmm… Strange choice of book to order… but then again, I wouldn't bother with cyborg soldier patrols if I could infect wildlife with self-replicating spy-chipery, so I guess I am just not a typical University functionary
So, if I understand this correctly, the Universityverse rebels somehow ordered a copy of the Declaration of Independence, and then the Foundation somehow got ahold of several copies of the Universityverse rebels' declaration of whatever the hell they were declaring. Am I right, or am I stupid?
Either way, upvoted.
You know, from the perspective of the person(s) in charge of University's counterinsurgency service, it would make sense to order a bunch of US constitutions, then make sure that they get distributed to rebels via unwitting third parties who have been implanted with one of those fancy brain chips (it's not like Universitytech can't rollback memories of being bitten by a bat or something) so that propagation of dissident materials can be traced across self-contained cells of the insurgency.
That would also explain why the tin eunuchs "didn't notice" the protagonists (they did, but were ordered not to interfere)
You sell the rebels far too short. If you're going to launch a revolution in this world, do you take into account the fact that the enemies have guns? Yes? Well, then give these guys some credit for being at least that competent, just against a different sort of technology. These guys are not just helpless before the University, and to say otherwise just deprives the world of any tension or interestingness.
The idea that popular democratic uprisings are guaranteed to enjoy any notable degree of success just because that's how "human nature" rolls is a silly meme spawned by Fukuyama in post-cold war self-aggrandizement spree, one does not even need to be able to rewire minds to ensure absence of such outcomes, and University can and does rewrite human minds on an industrial scale. Methinks that existence of technologies that pretty much exclude guerrilla warfare and popular mass uprisings as viable tactics is exactly how something like University could come to pass…You see, it's just that force asymmetry between "official forces, who have cyborg factories, mind-rewrites and self-replicating AI chippery fabs" and rebels who are just low-to-middle class equivalents and have neither squirrel botnets nor robot factories of their own seems far too great (a trend that is already beginning to manifest IRL, rebelling against any government with capabilities remotely approaching first world is remarkably futile).
It's not like "rebelling against people with guns", it's like "fighting against adversaries who have better surveillance, better control of territory, higher situational awareness, unique force multipliers which you can not acquire due to technological and educational compartmentalization, and are explicitly devoid of human mental, ethical, and public relations limits".
Unless, of course, this is a case of a rebellion being instigated by someone high-up in the brainwashing establishment, high enough to actually disrupt SOPs via whatever means available (and perhaps even have a private "squirrel botnet") either for ideological reasons or as a way to cause limited political instability to tackle some institutional opponent, which, by the way, makes for some interesting alt-historical political thriller :)
P.S.: Also, interactions of University with "normal" Foundation Earth are a source of tension irrespective of prospects of successful intra-University rebellion.
The idea that there can ever be a large-scale system that can actually stop not just popular uprisings but also any reasonably effective uprising at all is spawned of people who take 1984 far, far too seriously.
Personally, I interpret the animal control chip as actually a badly broken piece of technology that the University probably isn't even aware can operate that way, seeing as it represents a rather different style and level of technology than, uh, anything else they have. Also, uprisings succeed not due to the comparative power levels of the establishment and the uprisers, but due to politics and economics. Of course England could have squashed the rebellion easily. But they didn't, because of political problems back home and the price of running supply lines to the continent.
Also, you make the assumption that a rebellion that includes someone high up in the establishment would necessarily be instigated by them, which, especially in this universe, is not necessarily valid. Command of rhetoric seems far more effective here than it would in our universe, and it's not unreasonable to think that Milephanes might actually be able to, you know, convince people that he has a point. The notion that nobody except the very top of each society has or can ever wield any actual power is an astoundingly pernicious and disgusting one. Even in the University-verse, where it is to a certain extent enforced, there's still a fair amount of people who are not at the absolute pinnacle yet are not particularly trampled.
Interactions between Earth and University-verse aren't terribly tension inducing. Neither side poses much of a deliberate threat to the other, nor would they want to.
Depends on how far are you willing to take "any reasonably effective uprising" definition (Is an uprising that mildly annoys the University sysops for a day "reasonably effective"?). As for socioeconomic factors rendering suppression of an uprising infeasible, it is something I tend to roll into the concept of "power asymmetry". Of course England could not afford to sustain colonial order, but University could resolve such issue by clicking "Nerve Staple" button real hard (and problems would only arise if/when malcontents develop immunity ;-)), and would have the already "reeducated" rebels cheerfully bring in their not yet "fixed" ex-comrades without concerns for personal safety or desire for compensation. To me, it seems pretty straightforward and simple to establish and sustain nearly any kind of "Eternal Reich" almost indefinitely with just the "self-replicating chippery" and "charisma cap" tech, and University likely has more than that.
As to squirrelchips being a case of broken tech, their operation seems to be far too intelligent, coordinated and purposeful to be a result of unforeseen failure (the things even analyze the Foundation's means of detecting them and devise countermeasures), so such interpretation seems unlikely (though of course there is no canon, and SCP-verse has even less likely computer shenanigans running around, so it's as valid an interpretation as mine :-) )
I am also quite skeptical of importance of rhetoric skills in University society, since the people giving speeches there don't even seem to have the skill necessary to get the audience to shut up for the time being, instead relying on a less-than-safe neurological trick to achieve necessary silence. That does not strike me as something a culture keen on discourse would need, or appreciate.
(Also, quite frankly, what's the point of verbally arguing anything when you can just rewire the other people's brains so that they end up agreeing with you? With mind-editing tech, rhetoric becomes almost utterly obsolete).
As for the notion that you find "astoundingly pernicious and disgusting", I would like to remind you that I have not claimed this to be completely the case IRL (though your description of the idea in question seems to fit some modern States, both backwater and first-world really well ;-) ), just that it is a kind of trend that seems to be manifesting (whether it will eventually reach some Huxleyesque or perhaps Gibsonish conclusion remains to be seen).
I am not, however, in the business of extensively musing about moar…core…wotsitsname…coral…ah! moral implications, so would like to refrain from commenting on its inherent repulsiveness and its implications.
Simply put, I find the notion of University "middle management" to be open to conviction, moral arguments, or any other natural route of reconsideration of their value system to be blatantly inconsistent with technology the higher-ups apparently possess (then, once again, there is no canon in SCP so everyone can build whatever storyline that tickles their fancy)
Do you think that "Picnic on the side-road" scenarios are inherently devoid of tension ?
The idea that there can ever be a large-scale system that can actually stop not just popular uprisings but also any reasonably effective uprising at all is
Thought of that. Hence my use of the phrase "large-scale". Anyhow, North Korea is probably not sustainable for more than a decade or two more.
Optimist: n. a person who believes matters can not get worse :-P
As to NK specifically…
First, North Korea is a country, even if a silly and small one, so it counts as large scale in my book (I hope you don't want to limit "large scale" to "at least half of USA GDP" ;-)).
Second, NK possesses neither outstanding surveillance technology nor bleeding-edge military tech, and is achieving its dubious goals with what amounts to little more than Gestapo methods and technology (and some limited help from China), which seems to be a pretty decent feat.
Third, I see no particular reason why NK could not be sustained for as long as China is willing to put up with its antics, but that's a matter of opinion and in this methinks it would be best to agree to disagree.
Something to add.
The way to prevent an uprising is to end it before it begins properly which is why surveillance is the key.
It's rather like precipitation in a liquid - until a critical size of a "blob" of new phase is reached, it will "redissolve" before it enters stable growth.
And once you reach a certain level of technology, making sure that doesn't happen isn't that difficult.
Well, depending on technology you could also make deliberate disobedience of authority figures "psychologically impossible / literally unthinkable" (hello University!) or just ensure that a certain social and media climate renders the dissident elements less attractive to overwhelming majority than the State-approved alternative(s) (pretty much doable today). Of course, combining that with surveillance won't hurt, but using "smarter dissent management" one could save a lot of resources by decreasing minimum scale of surveillance and enforcement infrastructure needed to maintain the "dystopian" society.
There are probably thousands upon thousands of ways to construct and maintain various "stable dystopias" (some more technologically feasible than others ;-) )
And, of course, another is to allow some small level of rebellion to "slip by", just enough that the people who are in it for the sake of rebellion to feel satisfied, and stay cocky enough that it's a complete surprise to them when you suddenly come down on them like the fist of an angry god when they decide to take things further. Unlike inanimate objects, sometimes human beings in motion decide that they've been moving long enough and they feel like settling where they are.
Which, of course, could be exactly what the government is doing with this group of Democracy-lovers. It also keeps on tap an excellent resource any time you want to distract the rest of the populace by parading out "terrorists" that are obviously to blame for the power plant exploding, not shoddy engineering due to nepotistic contracts, or to cow the others considering rebellion by making an example (particularly if they use their mental conditioning techniques to get the rebels to repent and admit to the error of their ways).
You all sicken me. I am actually quaking with rage as I read this shit. You have all been suckered in so badly by the 1984 myth that it's frightening.
I am ending this conversation now.
I seriously hope this post is in jest, because opinions on fictional, squirrel bio-botnet wielding dystopias are not something to quake with rage over.
Also, it's not really 1984-myth in this case…more of a Brave New World thingie, with slight touch general cyberpunk, and maybe a little bit of Neuropath =)) (the latter is a very very nice book BTW, recommended)
I think a lot of it depends on the source of his rage. I've known someone who will fly into a rage over a squeaky faucet, but that's a legacy of living in a house with his now-ex for seven years that had a squeaky faucet and years of hearing it squeak got associated with his feelings of betrayal and dissatisfaction. Kind of sad, really. I suspect this guy has some friend who frequently quotes 1984 scenarios and it's worn him down over the years.
1984 couldn't work in the real world, sure. But this is not the real world, they've got supertech and consciousness-rewriting and SQUIRREL BOTNETS.
Hey Voct - pic related http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j52/theguildforum/1180388172440.gif
I'm pretty optimistic about humanity's future in general, but free societies are very much not the norm in our history. They are special and should be defended, they are not something that just happen spontaneously because you don't like reading Orwell. Violent tyranny is real, immoral, and tragically not the least bit out of the ordinary.
No one here is advocating oppression in the least. Hell, at the absolute most people are pointing out entirely plausible yet fictional worst case scenarios on a wiki devoted to exactly that.
Also, allowing small-time "schools" of rebels to frolic is a nice way to map out the "serious business" cells they might eventually join (assuming such exist) which was my initial idea of how one could reconcile University's OMG mindbending tech with guys fooling around with Constitution and bribing guards (BRIBES? In a society that can patch corruption among officers with same ease I would patch a glitchy program? … SERIOUSLY? )
You assume a repulsive degree of cynicism and corruption is everyone. Perhaps it was that way originally, but are you really so naive as to think that just because Dictator the First is a ruthless, cruel, and effective tyrant all of his successors will be too? Every single system ever falls. This is the absolute truth.
YOU WILL END THIS NOW.
Actually, here's an interesting point.
What if these objects are anomalous in the Universityverse too?
The Faculty at Alexsylva are ordering them from mysterious suppliers, and buying kits, but they don't really know how to make any of this shit.
They can't actually enforce this on a society very well because they don't know how their enforcement methods really work.
They keep having to make new Integrators by shoving hapless victims into the Mystical Forge of Integration because they don't know how to fix the Integrators.
Someone's fucking with the Universityverse.
Errrr… I just said that University could just patch away corruption, no?
"Every single system ever falls" - wouldn't that maxim apply to democracies too ? Just sayin'
Also, I do not see a reason to end this, due to distinct lack of squirrelbots chasing me away ^_^
Dude, if every human being and every baby born was implanted with a mind-control chip, rebellions would only be able to happen if the people monitoring the chips started it or a group of forest people suddenly charged in and started it. I don't think JaneRand was implying that such things she was saying could actually happen, just speculating on things happening in a FICTIONAL universe with FICTIONAL technology. Based on things read about in this fictional story. Anything can happen in fiction. And if hate people reading about and writing about evil things, why are you reading SCP stuff? Talk about stuff you want to bang your head on the wall about… When I read it, I imagine one or two of my fictional characters coming in and fixing things to make me feel better about some of the things I read.
(reposted because Wikidot ate it)
Here's an interesting point.
What if these objects are anomalous in the Universityverse too?
The Faculty at Alexsylva are ordering them from mysterious suppliers, and buying "assemble-your-own" kits, but they don't really know how to make any of this shit.
They can't enforce this on a society very well because they don't know how their enforcement methods really work. That explains why they've got neural modification tech but still believe in Bodily Humors.
They keep having to make new Integrators by shoving hapless victims into the Mystical Forge of Integration because they don't know how to fix the Integrators when they break.
Someone's fucking with the Universityverse… and that 'someone' may have an interest in giving them a copy of the US Constitution, so as to stir up shit.
Well, that would make sense. Actually, a lot of sense.
Though to be honest, humors-shtick being occasionally mentioned (scrape black bile out, and all that jazz) might be a verbal cultural artifact, like I would say "oh my god" despite lacking belief in a supernatural omnipotent entity.
I'm surprised no one caught the "best plutoborn creche in Sylvanos" line. Pluto being the Roman version of Hades. I actually quite liked that line.
Someone's fucking with the Universityverse… and that 'someone' may have an interest in giving them a copy of the US Constitution, so as to stir up shit.
"We hold these truths to be self evident…" is the Declaration. :P
I'd guess that the someone sending that in is different from the someone sending in the Integration tech. Or that it's ultimately something that doesn't exactly have an agenda.
Or has an interest in stirring up trouble so that they can sell to both sides. That particular motivation shows up pretty often in sci-fi. Sell both sets of primitives guns, then sell both sides bulletproof vests. Lather, rinse, repeat.
You can also mess with primitives for sheer lulz.
But you know what - if Uni are just shmucks buying "brain toys" from some weird Nyarlathothep-like guys, then it is the "traders", not the Uni, who are the actual GOI
yeah, but we-the-Foundation don't know about those 'traders' (who, I should point out, are also linked to more than a few other SCPs, but so subtly that it's only obvious from outside the story).
Well, point. Though I think that at some point "how the hell can guys that backward and ignorant have cyborgs and self-replicating squirrel botnets?" question should arise, exposing the whole "civilizational bonsai" shenanigan and, by implication, presence of third party.
Can you let them exist on their own merits? They're primitive in certain regards, advanced in others. We are too, when compared with them. Crikey.
Um… well, for starters, it's pretty much impossible (okay, exceedingly unlikely, given how "impossible" tends to fare in SCP-verse) to have neuroscience advanced enough to make Charisma Cap and surgery / MMI / immunology / robotics / etc. etc. advanced enough to build cyborgs, while still literally following humors model (whether U-folk really do that is up to interpretation forever, since, you know, no canon), unless you're getting the cool gadgetry from outside source.
It would be like having advanced artillery, aviation, and orbital spaceflight and at the same time literally believing earth to rest on a bunch of giant animals.
<deleted self-righteous frothing which was supposed to come off as humorously over-the-top, but which clearly backfired>
Oops. Well, as a Canadian I'm not totally familiar with American historico-political minutiae.
a) fuck you, imperialist pigdog yankee goatfucker, the whole world doesn't fixate on tiny details of American political history
Is that really necessary? I'm getting the vibe that you're being over the top for comedic purposes, but to put it a little more clearly I'm thinking that if one single agency was trying to "stir shit up" by giving one side hunter killer cyborgs they'd give the other side something a little more than revolutionary political documents.
You and Anax have got issues.
not if revolutionary political documents and different ideologies are the primary thing they have a short supply of. perhaps the technological barrier is far easier for them to overcome than their own difficulty in coming up with ideas for people to cling to in a revolution
Yeah, sorry. It's just that the appalling attitude demonstrated by JaneRand is the kind that really infuriates me. It's nothing about 1984 in particular, which is certainly a good read, it's just that I hate seeing people treating it like it's remotely plausible sociology or psychology. It's like people using Star Trek as a cultural reference.
First, my appalling attitude would have more to do with Mr. Huxley than Mr. Orwell, especially since mind-rewiring pseudogreeks that are subject of this discussion have more to do with BNW than with 1984.
Second, I do not remember making a claim about sociological viability of 1984 scenario specifically, merely that advanced technologies, especially if allocated radically unequally among different strata of society (which, generally, seems to be more or less Uni's case, irrespective of whether the technology is theirs or supplied by a third party), can render uprisings of any kind remarkably futile.
You seem to find such suggestion inherently distasteful…
… which is of course your opinion to which you have (in absence of zombie cyborg squirrels :-) ) right
However, I'd like to remind you that "this is repulsive" and "You will pay for these beliefs" are rarely considered sound arguments on their own (such arguments really need at least a gun backing them to become convincing :-) )
longest single page of replies ever? possibly!
you guys should start a chatroom and really go gungho
Here's an idea for you…
Perhaps the University folks aren't bending all effort to stomping out this nascent flicker of freedom because they literally cannot conceive of its possible success. After all, these odd philosophies run counter to what everyone knows to be True - and of course mere foot-soldiers cannot possibly succeed against their betters, the intellectual class, the rulers of the University…
…and they might even turn out to be right. Just because the rebels know the worship-words (to dredge up once again memories of one of my least favorite Star Trek episodes) doesn't mean they're automatically going to win in the end. Words are nice - but swords are sharper.