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Ricky S
2011-11-09, 10:27 AM
Hey everyone I was wondering who would win in a fight between the 40k factions and the Culture. I realise the Culture has highly advanced tech beyond anything in the 40k realm but then they dont have psykers do they?

So what are your thoughts?

Grif
2011-11-09, 10:41 AM
Hey everyone I was wondering who would win in a fight between the 40k factions and the Culture. I realise the Culture has highly advanced tech beyond anything in the 40k realm but then they dont have psykers do they?

So what are your thoughts?

Highly unstable psykers versus the quiet efficiency of numerous GCUs and assorted warships of the Culture? I know who to place my bets on.

Selrahc
2011-11-09, 10:41 AM
Culture. Culture by a landslide.

The only question would be whether the 40k factions can be enough of a threat to actually justify a war, or if they would be peacefully and secretly readjusted over time to the point where they can be integrated into the Culture.

comicshorse
2011-11-09, 10:49 AM
Are we talking every faction in 40K ? Because thats a whole lot of overwhelming force for the Culture to deal with.
Plus stuff like Physkers and Magic (if we are including Chaos) that they will have no idea about. The Tyrannids are massive, the Necrons tech is vaguely in the Culture's league and the orks can rearrange reality ( a bit) if they get enough of them together.

Shadow Lord
2011-11-09, 12:03 PM
The current residents of the 40K galaxy would be curbstomp'd. However, the question becomes, how large is the Tyranid Main Fleet? I mean, it came from another Galaxy, which it either completely devoured, or was chased off from. They might pose a problem to the Culture.

Trixie
2011-11-09, 12:48 PM
Are we talking every faction in 40K ? Because thats a whole lot of overwhelming force for the Culture to deal with.

One Culture ship vs Segmentum Fleet = a lot of wrecked ships by an afterthought. Seriously, Culture Warship given task of ending Imperium of Man will end its mission in a month is crew is lazy.


Plus stuff like Physkers and Magic (if we are including Chaos) that they will have no idea about.

They fought far greater threats, and can adapt to this, too. If webway protects from Chaos, probably so do the pocket dimensions of Culture. If anything, though it's not Culture's way of fighting, Culture can simply clean Milky Way Galaxy of all life, calming warp and killing Chaos Gods if deemed too big of a threat.


The Tyrannids are massive, the Necrons tech is vaguely in the Culture's league and the orks can rearrange reality ( a bit) if they get enough of them together.

Tyranids vs Culture = a whole lot of ant's nests under threads of a tank. It's that level of difference.

Necrons might reach low Culture standards, true, but Culture is a lot larger and more powerful, plus, 95% of Necrons are dormant and remaining 5% are led by insane noble robots. No contest, thought Necron Empire at the height of its glory might have been one.

Weezer
2011-11-09, 01:25 PM
Necrons might reach low Culture standards, true, but Culture is a lot larger and more powerful, plus, 95% of Necrons are dormant and remaining 5% are led by insane noble robots. No contest, thought Necron Empire at the height of its glory might have been one.

I agree, the only real threat that the 40k universe could pose to the Culture would be the Necron Empire and the Great Old Ones back at their heights.

Compared to the Culture any current power in the 40k-verse would be nothing more than insects.

Though saying that, the Culture doesn't like open conflict so the "war" would more likely be revealed as a SC scheme that ends up with all faith in the Emperor being destroyed and the IoM in pieces. A similar thing happened in the novel Player of Games.

Ricky S
2011-11-09, 09:17 PM
Do you think that the culuture would be able to undermine the IoM? Would it really be possible to make those trillions of fanatics lose faith in the Emperor?

I dont know anything about the Culture beyond what the wiki says as I actually havent read any of their books.

Renegade Paladin
2011-11-09, 09:22 PM
They don't need to undermine the Imperium; they could curbstomp it without exerting themselves. Culture against pretty much anything else in established sci-fi is nothing more or less than a rout of epic proportions. They're vastly more powerful than other universe's powers because stuff that powerful is boring to write and read about, so no one else makes the mistake of equaling them. :smalltongue:

Axolotl
2011-11-09, 09:22 PM
Do you think that the culuture would be able to undermine the IoM? Would it really be possible to make those trillions of fanatics lose faith in the Emperor?Yes, it might take a while but it's easily within the Cultures capability.

Grif
2011-11-09, 09:25 PM
Yes, it might take a while but it's easily within the Cultures capability.

GCUs tend to take the long view, since they're practically immortal after all. It might take centuries, even millenia. But that's what they'll do if they think it will end in less bloodshed on both sides.

Ricky S
2011-11-09, 09:38 PM
GCUs tend to take the long view, since they're practically immortal after all. It might take centuries, even millenia. But that's what they'll do if they think it will end in less bloodshed on both sides.

So if they do this what actually happens to the citizens? Are they subsumed, brainwashed or enlightened?

Considering that the culture has everything at their disposal and basically have an excessive life (immortality, orgies, drug dispensers) wouldn't they be ravaged by slaanesh? Isn't this essentially what happened to the Eldar?

dgnslyr
2011-11-09, 09:44 PM
You see, the 40k-verse has very high background Grimdark radiation, which means that just about every story has a bad ending. The Culture-verse isn't subject to anywhere near as much Grimdark radiation, so people can live long, happy, excessive lives without demons coming out of humanity's nightmares to consume their souls. this is also why sticking the Gurran Lagann crew in 40k-verse would be interesting, because the most potent known source of Noblebright would collide with the most potent known source of Grimdark

Lamech
2011-11-09, 10:55 PM
Hmm...I don't know if the Culture has a ton of effective ways to deal with deamons hiding in the warp, but barring things going "Haha we aren't physical and don't care about physics" it will be a curb stomp.

Luzahn
2011-11-09, 11:01 PM
I am a bit worried. This arrangement actually has me supporting Chaos... :smalleek:

However, doesn't Chaos lie completely outside of the Culture's emotional range? Surely that must carry the potential to destabilize them.

Oracle_Hunter
2011-11-09, 11:24 PM
Hmm...I don't know if the Culture has a ton of effective ways to deal with deamons hiding in the warp, but barring things going "Haha we aren't physical and don't care about physics" it will be a curb stomp.
I mean, isn't that a good question? How can any physical-based force really cope with the Eye of Terror? Or, for that matter, the influence of Chaos Gods on the biologicals of the Culture. I mean, Slaanesh was born from the excesses of a society free of any restrictions.

I haven't read any of The Culture (but I did read the Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture)), but this sort of attack seems like it would be particularly pernicious in such a "free" society.

Luzahn
2011-11-09, 11:36 PM
I suppose, to the Culture, the Chaos gods would be more akin to Eldritch Horrors than anything else. Utterly alien mentality.

Selrahc
2011-11-10, 03:56 AM
What are the Chaos gods possibly going to offer the citizens of the culture? All their usual lures about vengeance, power, comfort, immortality, wealth, knowledge... all fairly meaningless compared to the infinite luxury enjoyed by every citizen of the culture. And as for the minds... they already have the ability to custom make paradises where they change laws of physics at will. I can't see Tzeentch or Khorne making a better offer.

Parse it out for me. Why would any citizen from the culture see Chaos as a reasonable lure? Why in enough numbers to be a problem?

The passive effects of living in a Chaos filled universe, insanity and mutation, are things that the Culture is very attentive for, and the medical solutions are highly developed.

And with the Culture essentially already living aboard billions of "Craftworlds", there isn't really any possibility of a devastating warp event crippling a key world.

Coidzor
2011-11-10, 04:40 AM
^: Seems like Slaanesh, if he were feeling particularly lucid that day, could start to push and suggest to a fair few of them to more fully embrace the hedonism potential before them.

...Not that it matters, since the meatbags are all irrelevant...



Hmm, I wonder what chaos god it is that The Culture's inherent nature feeds? Aside from the general, monolithic quasi-stagnancy, I'd go with Tzeentch.

Though none of their meatbags are trusted with anything as important as research since all of the research that could've been done by meatbags is done by AI, so unless chaos can affect AIs, not much chance of really getting a foothold with the pursuit of knowledge angle.

And I think the C'tan are the ones that are more adept at manipulating AIs and machines, but they're physical entities, so they can be taken out by the culture directly so less chance of malarkey that way.

Orks may give them pause long enough for a couple of ships to become looted, but I don't think even The Culture is capable of "fixing" them, so they'd either hunt them to extinction or the meatbags would get a new form of diversion in the form of ork culling/hunting after they got wrecked.

Edit: Tau get eaten up in a snap even with their racism, a significant portion of the IoM would as well, Eldar are probably far too racist except maybe the luddite exodites...


I mean, isn't that a good question? How can any physical-based force really cope with the Eye of Terror? Or, for that matter, the influence of Chaos Gods on the biologicals of the Culture. I mean, Slaanesh was born from the excesses of a society free of any restrictions.

Aside from being mutated or potentially randomly unmade, most of the things that are incarnate in the eye of terror will succumb to sufficient dakka, Eldar homeworlds included, won't they? How else do those crusades launched by the Imperium do anything other than waste manpower pointlessly? (Though, to be sure, they do that too, but I'm pretty sure they rack up some manner of killcount, or else the Werewolf Space Marines wouldn't keep going in and out of it, as they'd get bored of not getting kills.)

As far as destroying the eye of terror or fixing the violation of physics it represents... If anything could without being written explicitly to do so, The Culture would be it.

Fan
2011-11-10, 04:56 AM
^: Seems like Slaanesh, if he were feeling particularly lucid that day, could start to push and suggest to a fair few of them to more fully embrace the hedonism potential before them.

...Not that it matters, since the meatbags are all irrelevant...



Hmm, I wonder what chaos god it is that The Culture's inherent nature feeds? Aside from the general, monolithic quasi-stagnancy, I'd go with Tzeentch.

Though none of their meatbags are trusted with anything as important as research since all of the research that could've been done by meatbags is done by AI, so unless chaos can affect AIs, not much chance of really getting a foothold with the pursuit of knowledge angle.

And I think the C'tan are the ones that are more adept at manipulating AIs and machines, but they're physical entities, so they can be taken out by the culture directly so less chance of malarkey that way.

Orks may give them pause long enough for a couple of ships to become looted, but I don't think even The Culture is capable of "fixing" them, so they'd either hunt them to extinction or the meatbags would get a new form of diversion in the form of ork culling/hunting after they got wrecked.

Edit: Tau get eaten up in a snap even with their racism, a significant portion of the IoM would as well, Eldar are probably far too racist except maybe the luddite exodites...



Aside from being mutated or potentially randomly unmade, most of the things that are incarnate in the eye of terror will succumb to sufficient dakka, Eldar homeworlds included, won't they? How else do those crusades launched by the Imperium do anything other than waste manpower pointlessly? (Though, to be sure, they do that too, but I'm pretty sure they rack up some manner of killcount, or else the Werewolf Space Marines wouldn't keep going in and out of it, as they'd get bored of not getting kills.)

As far as destroying the eye of terror or fixing the violation of physics it represents... If anything could without being written explicitly to do so, The Culture would be it.

Well, considering they regularly infest machines, and there are actually "Data Daemons" present in the book "Dark Adeptus".. I'm pretty sure Chaos can in fact, infest machines.

Though I'd hazard that Necrons would really be the biggest threat here. Being essentially impossible to kill permanently.

hamishspence
2011-11-10, 04:57 AM
It's worth remembering that at least some Necrons (Orikan the Diviner in particular) make use of time travel.

There's the "celestial orrery" which can be used to make any star in the galaxy go supernova.

The C'tan themselves, before being enslaved by the Necrons "unleashed forces beyond comprehension. Planets were razed, suns extinguished and whole systems devoured by black holes called into being by the reality warping powers of the star gods"

As to mastery of technology- the Crypteks are pretty well up there:

"They are masters of dimensional dissonance, singularity manipulation, atomic transmutation, elemental transmogrification and countless other reason defying technologies"

"With a mere gesture of his staff, a Cryptek can bring the ground to writhing and hungry life beneath the enemy's feet, set the very air ablaze, summon clouds of soul-sapping darkness or call down eldritch bolts of living lightning. These are the weapons of gods, and only gods would think to stand against them"

And while the Necrons have lost many of their Tomb Worlds during the long sleep, the number that remain is enough that, united, the Necrons can defeat the other factions of 40K:

"Only one hope can now preserve the other races from the Necrons' implacable advance, from the endless legions of silent and deathless warriors rising from long-forgotten tombs. If the Necrons can be prevented from waking to their full glory, if the scattered Tomb Worlds can be prevented from unifying, there is a chance of survival. If not, the great powers of the galaxy will surely fall, and the Necrons will rule supreme for eternity."

All these things suggest that, at least at the maximum strength they can muster, the Necrons are a threat even to high-tech races like the Culture.

Selrahc
2011-11-10, 04:57 AM
^: Seems like Slaanesh, if he were feeling particularly lucid that day, could start to push and suggest to a fair few of them to more fully embrace the hedonism potential before them.

Except how? The culture already allows unlimited pursuit of hedonism with full body modification, designer drugs and everything else. "And you need to worship and provide sacrifices for Slaanesh" does not seem like an attractive add on package.

Fan
2011-11-10, 05:02 AM
Well it's more that they'd be feeding him already with that.

Essentially it's an already existing gateway.

Coidzor
2011-11-10, 05:04 AM
Except how? The culture already allows unlimited pursuit of hedonism with full body modification, designer drugs and everything else. "And you need to worship and provide sacrifices for Slaanesh" does not seem like an attractive add on package.

Well, I imagine it frowns on human sacrifice, and suddenly having the desire for those tendencies awoken from the depths of the wretched place in the human genome/mind where we get rapists, child molesters, and serial killers could provide a foothold for slaanesh to get them to start believing all kinds of deliciously hedonistic things about the things they're not allowed to do.

Or has The Culture completely wiped that possibility out at the genetic and epigenetic level from all of its meatbags rather than mostly relying on social engineering?

Axolotl
2011-11-10, 05:26 AM
Or has The Culture completely wiped that possibility out at the genetic and epigenetic level from all of its meatbags rather than mostly relying on social engineering?If it is genetic then yes, the Culture can and has edited it out.

I also want to point out that in 40K Daemons aren't non-physical, or at least it's well established that a plasma canno is a more than adequate solution to the majority of them. Personally given the power of the minds I'd give the Chaos Gods 5 years at most before the Culture figures out a way of eliminating them.

Fan
2011-11-10, 05:30 AM
I unno. It's not possible to eliminate them without eliminating Hope, Love, the concept of family, honor, and friendship.

Those are some of the things that fuel their existence.

The only way to kill them would be to kill every sentient thing in the galaxy, from the smallest kitten to the largest tyranid bio organism.

Axolotl
2011-11-10, 05:34 AM
I unno. It's not possible to eliminate them without eliminating Hope, Love, the concept of family, honor, and friendship.Not really the Chaos Gods are caused by those emotions rather than the other way around, destroying or sealing away the Chaos Gods wouldn't affect the emotions themselves. I'm not certain how you could do it but then again I can't create a 12-dimensional in my head so I'm sure the Culture has better ideas than I would.

Fan
2011-11-10, 06:01 AM
Not really the Chaos Gods are caused by those emotions rather than the other way around, destroying or sealing away the Chaos Gods wouldn't affect the emotions themselves. I'm not certain how you could do it but then again I can't create a 12-dimensional in my head so I'm sure the Culture has better ideas than I would.

No, no, no, no.

I'm saying that BECAUSE they're caused by those.

You CAN'T Kill them without FIRST killing those concepts.

Ricky S
2011-11-10, 06:07 AM
But would the culture want to wipe out every sentient race just to get rid of the chaos gods? I thought the culture was basically peaceful. Slaanesh doesnt have to offer them a choice simply by being in the presence of chaos you can become tainted. Which is why they kill any guardsman that is exposed to chaos and mind wipe any marines that are.

On another note chaos can infect machines. I remember reading a story about a landraider which was posessed by chaos and killed a whole bunch of crew members from a ship when they tried to exorcise it.

kamikasei
2011-11-10, 06:11 AM
The Chaos Gods didn't always exist, right? IIRC Slaanesh at least came to be through some action of the Eldar. If once the 40k universe contained lust and excess without a Slaanesh to accompany them, why shouldn't it be possible to somehow destroy or dissapate Slaanesh without removing all capacity for hir corresponding emotions?

hamishspence
2011-11-10, 06:17 AM
The Chaos Gods didn't always exist, right? IIRC Slaanesh at least came to be through some action of the Eldar. If once the 40k universe contained lust and excess without a Slaanesh to accompany them, why shouldn't it be possible to somehow destroy or dissapate Slaanesh without removing all capacity for hir corresponding emotions?

The warp can be full of contradictions- I think there's a bit in Codex Chaos Daemons that says Slaanesh has both always existed, and only existed since the Fall of the Eldar.

the Black Crusade book also suggests (though doesn't confirm) that some Chaos deities might have began with the first strong emotions and actions- Khorne in particular.

Maybe it's simply that they don't "wake up" without something very forceful- like the fall of a civilization.

Coidzor
2011-11-10, 06:21 AM
The Chaos Gods didn't always exist, right? IIRC Slaanesh at least came to be through some action of the Eldar. If once the 40k universe contained lust and excess without a Slaanesh to accompany them, why shouldn't it be possible to somehow destroy or dissapate Slaanesh without removing all capacity for hir corresponding emotions?

Because as long as those things exist, he's being given sufficient vitality to exist because The Warp, I believe is the idea.

Eldan
2011-11-10, 06:28 AM
What are the Chaos gods possibly going to offer the citizens of the culture?

The way I see it? They don't need to offer anything. Slaanesh, in particular.

The Chaos gods are the echoes of strong emotions of one kind or another in the warp. They thrive more if they can bring humans (and xenos) to feel excessive emotions. But they don't have to tempt anyone if they already live in excess.

Edit: STupid Eldan, finish reading before replying.

And now for something that actually contributes to the thread:
You have to remember that there isn't really any concept of linear time in the warp. Time travel happens from time to time (hah!) with ships going there. So, Slaanesh is born at a certain point in real spacetime, but as soon as he was born, he existed in the warp, and therefore simultaneously with all time. Or something.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-10, 06:46 AM
From what I've read, I wouldn't put it past the Culture to figure out how to destroy the Warp itself - period - or at least permenantly seal it and/or break the psychic connection to real space (so that the Chaos gods don't GET anything from emotions), meaning that it would probably wouldn't even be necessary to kill the Chaos gods, regardless of whether they could or not. Especially once they get a good look at 40K technology (Necron especially, since as I recall, they're kind of anti-warp, aren't they? Could not the culture salvage something out of their tech they could feed back?)

And you COULD seal the Warp, with a theoretically near-infinite amount of resources, regardless of the Warp's rules-don't-apply because they clearly DO; otherwise the Warp would just be everywhere, instead of random pockets, Warp Storms and the Eye of Terror - clearly it can't just poke it's metaphorical head through at any point in space/time, so if they could figure out how to block it out, they do seem to have sufficently ludicrously high technology they could, I dunno, pull a Star Trek on it and modulate the frequency of Reality of something to create a permenant barrier.



Given as I somehow doubt the Culture uses the Warp as their method of FTL - at the very minimum, just sharing that tech (even to a much lower level) with the 40K universe at large would be a huge smack in the collective forces of Chaos's mutated faces - suddenly, they loose one of their big ways to screw with people, and completely eliminate their ability to isolate worlds, making it SO much harder for them to work with them. It wouldn't stop 'em, of course, but it would have phenominally big repercussions.



Also, the forces of Chaos aren't nearly so omnipotently powerful and eldritch as rep and universe fluff would have them; as the sheer irrefutable evidence of 40K is that they DO get held off (and often whipped senseless) by the IoM and their million-dudes-a-day-fed-enhanced-human-dude1, not too mentioned Orks and Necrons and Tyranids... All of which seem to be largely immune to Chaos influence one-way or another - or at least not nearly as suspectible as humans. Heck, even Eldar seem a bit more immune (you have Dark Eldar, as a race, but you don't have Chaos Eldar cultists - at least sufficiently rarely that I - someone who is, while not a big 40K fan, has been moderately aware of it for twenty years - can't recall any instances aside from the rise of Slaanesh itself, kinda.)



1Hey, there's a thought - as a purely humanitarian gesture, the Culture go and help Mr Emporer to not need to be fed psykers every day and fix all his whatever-keeps-him-unable-to-do-anything problems so he can go out and kick personal butt again. How powerful would a revitalised Emporer be? Chaos god-kicking level? C'Tan kicking level? "Just" anything you could ever send out of the Warp level?

The Glyphstone
2011-11-10, 07:03 AM
Heck, if the Culture's idealism is sufficiently potent enough to outweigh 40K's Grimdark, I would not be completely shocked to see the Chaos Gods 'redeemed', in a way. All the Gods are warped and twisted embodiments of positive emotions and ideals as well - make the universe they draw their power from sufficiently bright and happy and they'll change to reflect it whether they want to or not.

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-10, 07:23 AM
As a general rule, there is only one sci-fi universe that can soundly beat the Culture, and that's the Xeelee.

Other than the Xeelee? No real chance. And the thing to remember is that while it's VERY powerful, the Culture is still only one of many. A single Morthanveld knotworld from the Culture 'verse has 40 trillion people. Ala, MORE THAN THE ENTIRETY OF THE CULTURE.

Eldan
2011-11-10, 07:39 AM
1Hey, there's a thought - as a purely humanitarian gesture, the Culture go and help Mr Emporer to not need to be fed psykers every day and fix all his whatever-keeps-him-unable-to-do-anything problems so he can go out and kick personal butt again. How powerful would a revitalised Emporer be? Chaos god-kicking level? C'Tan kicking level? "Just" anything you could ever send out of the Warp level?

Apparently, he'd be on Chaos god-kicking level. Or close to it. He kicked all four chaos gods out of Horus, once, from what I remember.

His "problem" though... basically, the problem is that he is dead, or close to it. Just how dead varies a bit from source to source. Rogue trader showed him as a semi-mummified corpse (here (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/images/e/eb/Emperor_Imperial_Palace_Rogue_Trader.jpg))),some pictures (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/images/thumb/e/e8/God-Emperor.jpg/482px-God-Emperor.jpg) as a skeleton on a chair. Sometimes something in between (http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/1/13935/1267599-40_k_emperor_by_destraudo.jpg). So, that varies. But since apparently at least something is still in there, he could perhaps be brought back.

Fan
2011-11-10, 07:44 AM
Actually, I think that's how the culture would end up winning.

The God Emperor of Mankind pretty much went after the society they had, and I wouldn't doubt it if he'd just flat out hand the IoM over to the Culture who would be better suited to handling their enemies, and his peoples personal lives.

Hell, he'd be the way they'd get rid of the religion based around him as well.

The God Emperor of Mankind was a pragmatic, and idealistic man and that was ultimately his downfall, I don't see him being the kind of guy who wouldn't let someone better suited take his place.

Also the only reason you don't have Eldar cultists is because the idea of Chaos TERRIFIES them, as in, they hear about slannesh and they nearly crap their pants in terror. There is nothing that chaos can offer them to overcome this.. mind ending fear that consumes them at the FIRST whispers of a daemon.

Gullintanni
2011-11-10, 07:49 AM
I think the way this'd initially go down is that the Cultures' Special Circumstances groups would investigate the threat, attempt to quell the Imperium through intimidation and subterfuge, realize this was impossible, and report such back to the Culture.

The remainder of this 'war' would be resolved via Gridfire. Ostensibly, Chaos forces beyond the Eye of Terror would survive this, and the Necrons, with their undead robotic awesomeness, would also probably survive this. At which point, there would probably be pockets of easily identifiable (as the Culture is pretty monosyllabic in terms of the behaviour of its citizens; Chaos behaviour would be pretty aberrant) Chaos cults appearing within the Culture until they developed/utilized some method of immunity to Chaos influence.

The only lasting threat would be the Necrons, but regular Gridfire purges would probably ensure that they never had sufficient numbers to challenge the Culture. If the Necrons' Star Gods awoke/intervened though, things would get interesting fast, I suspect.

Morganatic
2011-11-10, 08:04 AM
The warp can be full of contradictions- I think there's a bit in Codex Chaos Daemons that says Slaanesh has both always existed, and only existed since the Fall of the Eldar.

the Black Crusade book also suggests (though doesn't confirm) that some Chaos deities might have began with the first strong emotions and actions- Khorne in particular.

Maybe it's simply that they don't "wake up" without something very forceful- like the fall of a civilization.

They are already here (http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Lord_English), perhaps - created throughout history and then making use of the warp's disconnection to ordinary material time to travel back into the past, to the beginning of the universe, and influence mortals in such a way as to ensure their creation.

Fan
2011-11-10, 08:21 AM
Lord English would wipe the culture.

Sorry to say this, but Bec Noir was capable of wiping a Universe, and Lord English is stronger than something fueled by the death of two universes, and is literally indestructible, and can only be killed by essentially glitching the game, which operates on a omni reality (encompassing every possible moment of time, in all locations, in all multiverses simultaneously.) scale, transcending the multiverse and operating on an Omni Reality scale.

There's.. not really anything that can compete with that.

Like.. literally nothing I've seen operates on an Omni Reality scale.

Axolotl
2011-11-10, 08:24 AM
No, no, no, no.

I'm saying that BECAUSE they're caused by those.

You CAN'T Kill them without FIRST killing those concepts.You can quite easily, for a start Slaanesh for example has a definite birth point, before that point it was at best a sort of cosmic fetus, and hence not a threat. Yet people could still feel the emotions of lust and pleasure. Now there's a variety of methods that could be used to have the emotions without the threat of Chaos Gods, for a start they could figure out a way of preventing the emotions from entering the warp or they could just strengthen the barrier between warpspace and realspace (which is perfectly possible, Necrons have the tech and Culture outstrip them).

If that doesn't work then daemons can be killed and Chaos Gods are just very powerful daemons, it should be possible for the Culture to simply enter the warp and just blast the Gods apart.

Fan
2011-11-10, 08:26 AM
I'm not really sure if The Culture outstrips Necrons..

Not at their height at least, and least of all with the C'tan (But considering everything I have on their weaponry is reading up on Gridfire on their wiki...).

Most of what we have for them as far as their fleets go are LIGHT frigates, and even just one or two of them is essentially enough to make the Imperial Navy crap itself.

We've seen one tomb world, and that basically required the sacrifice of an entire space marine chapter to stop, and that still didn't really seem like their biggest or best.

Axolotl
2011-11-10, 08:42 AM
I'm not really sure if The Culture outstrips Necrons..

Not at their height at least, and least of all with the C'tan (But considering everything I have on their weaponry is reading up on Gridfire on their wiki...).

Most of what we have for them as far as their fleets go are LIGHT frigates, and even just one or two of them is essentially enough to make the Imperial Navy crap itself.

We've seen one tomb world, and that basically required the sacrifice of an entire space marine chapter to stop, and that still didn't really seem like their biggest or best.Sure Necrons ships are nasty to the Imperium but for the Culture even non-military ships can wipe out planets. They have handguns that can level cities, but aren't good enough for military service.

But the main reason I'd rank the Culture better is the Minds. There is nothing that either the Old Ones or the Necrontyr have that compares to a Culture Mind.

Tectonic Robot
2011-11-10, 09:11 AM
They are already here (http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Lord_English), perhaps - created throughout history and then making use of the warp's disconnection to ordinary material time to travel back into the past, to the beginning of the universe, and influence mortals in such a way as to ensure their creation.

Whoa man, spoilers!

I'm going to admit I don't know much about the culture, but I will say they sound quite unbalanced. However, do to how their culture sounds like it's composed, I'd have to say that their very presence would boost the warp out of Slaneesh. But their aren't very many of these folks, are there? Less than 40 trillion? If they made war on the 40k universe, I can seem the getting slowly eroded by all the cheap shots the chaos gods can take. Or maybe not. I really don't know enough about the culture to decide!

Oracle_Hunter
2011-11-10, 09:16 AM
As a general rule, there is only one sci-fi universe that can soundly beat the Culture, and that's the Xeelee.

Other than the Xeelee? No real chance. And the thing to remember is that while it's VERY powerful, the Culture is still only one of many. A single Morthanveld knotworld from the Culture 'verse has 40 trillion people. Ala, MORE THAN THE ENTIRETY OF THE CULTURE.
Eh, I'm willing to put good money down on a Stage 3 Lensmen Society being able to pwn 'em. I mean, The Culture lacks psykers of any stripe AFAIK.

* * * *

That segues into the real issue with The Culture & Chaos: psykers. The Warp isn't something you can really understand without being a psyker. The C'tan sucked at it because the Necrontyr lacked a Warp presence, for example. Now, in the days of the Old Ones, the Warp was relatively safe to examine; now it is much less so.

It isn't necessarily that the Chaos Gods "bribe" people (and psykers) to corrupt them; mostly, they are able to reach through undisciplined minds that exult whatever emotion is at the core of the particular God. You don't need to be a baby-eating ecstatic for Slaanesh to corrupt your soul; you just need to be wild and carefree and at least an Iota-grade Psyker (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/The_Assignment#.TrvcC_KwW3c).

This is why Psykers are hazardous to have around in the WH40K, and it is unlikely that The Culture Minds will realize that before it starts engineering Psykers in order to figure out how to deal with Chaos.

Additionally, this is why brute force doesn't defeat Chaos. At most, this sort of force is capable of confining Chaos to the Warp (and Warp/Real interfaces like the Eye) but within the Warp the rules of physics simply don't apply. You can fire whatever sort of macrobeam into the Eye of Terror but anything you destroy may just be remade by one of the Chaos Gods if he decides it.

Deadmeat.GW
2011-11-10, 09:34 AM
The culture is it based on AI's?

Yes / No answer?

If Yes, Chaos has acorrupted AI's before to serve them, by mere presence of corrupted people being near.

Just being near a corrupted being, with no other purpose then being near something, has been able to corrupt AI's.
It was not immediately noticeable either and that is saying something when the IoM had to dig deep to even spot something was going on...

Unless of course the Culture is omniscient and omnipotent at which point the discussion is moot and you should just lock the thread for being pointless.

Against the IoM...Win by Massive margins but the Culture will be somewhat surprised at actually taking some losses.

Against Eldar...same but this time due to Eldar psycho-babble instead of the we drown you in bodies from IoM.

Against Orks...not sure, if it is done in a way that prevents Orks from being Orks, i.e. fighting and looking for fights, they will just end up creating bigger and bigger Orks as they would rise to the challenge unless you go for an instant extermination of all the Orks.

Against Chaos...eeeeuh, actually the Culture might loose if they face off against the subtler ones first like Tzeentch or Slaanesh, against khorne or Nurgle not so much and that might give them a chance to create some defences.

40 billion Culture versus far, far, far more then million to one odds...

You were compairing them to ants but I think you might be wrong there, you should compair them to something slightly more dangerous...

An ant swarm, if you are not carefull even larger creatures get overrun and are in danger of getting killed.

Fan
2011-11-10, 09:41 AM
Keep in mind the thread title says 40k. Meaning all of the factions have somehow made some unholy alliance of anti possibility.. and are now facing off against the culture.

Can someone say Webway travelling Tau Crisis Suit equipped master warp sorcerer War boss Big Mek Cyrpteks?

Alternatively, Imperial Guard equipped with particle whips, and Tau Power Armor.

Axolotl
2011-11-10, 09:42 AM
This is why Psykers are hazardous to have around in the WH40K, and it is unlikely that The Culture Minds will realize that before it starts engineering Psykers in order to figure out how to deal with Chaos.Why is it unlikely? Standard procedure is to download the total knowledge of any civilisation they encounter, and the danger Psykers pose is well documented within the Imperium. One of the first things The Culture would do in the Imperium is travel to Terra, and from there they'd have easy access to Inquisitorial archives which should give them all the info they need on Chaos. Remember that Culture Minds are "close to gods, and on the far side" they can outhink anything in 40K galaxy, you can say the warp doesn't obey physics and that's true, but it does obey it's own rules and if anyone can work out those rules and compensate for them it's a Culture Mind.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-10, 09:43 AM
Keep in mind the thread title says 40k. Meaning all of the factions have somehow made some unholy alliance of anti possibility.. and are now facing off against the culture.

Can someone say Webway travelling Tau Crisis Suit equipped master warp sorcerer War boss Big Mek Cyrpteks?

That's....not at all implied by the title, or the very detail-light OP. Though it'd be a cool scenario, and as far as I can tell, about as fruitless as individual factions would be against this Culture group.

Fan
2011-11-10, 09:43 AM
Why is it unlikely? Standard procedure is to download the total knowledge of any civilisation they encounter, and the danger Psykers pose is well documented within the Imperium. One of the first things The Culture would do in the Imperium is travel to Terra, and from there they'd have easy access to Inquisitorial archives which should give them all the info they need on Chaos. Remember that Culture Minds are "close to gods, and on the far side" they can outhink anything in 40K galaxy, you can say the warp doesn't obey physics and that's true, but it does obey it's own rules and if anyone can work out those rules and compensate for them it's a Culture Mind.

Yeah, well documented on aging paper ledgers, and held in sacred tomes.

Not exactly a 250 Terrabyte file labled "Liber Daemonicum" on the Emperorweb.:smalltongue:

This may very well be the first time not having any standard method of communication aside from brains of mildly insane psychics has benefited the Imperium of Man.:smalltongue:

And the rules of the warp are "Gather skulls for the skull throne -- > Receive personal power."

Alternatively. "Do lots of drugs --- > Receive personal power."

The Glyphstone
2011-11-10, 09:45 AM
That is a fair point - to absorb any of the Imperium's relevant knowledge, the Culture would need physical infiltrators (though if they can do that, sending someone to browse the Black Library would be more productive).


Rules of the Warp: Fish + Purple = Bicycles of Fire. -------> gain power.

Fan
2011-11-10, 09:48 AM
What we're trying to say is..

The rules of the warp are whatever the Chaos Gods darn well want them to be.

And considering they like to do a lot of weird stuff..

Well Fish + Purple may have actually been a valid way to obtain power at one point. XD damnit slannesh. why you so weird?

kamikasei
2011-11-10, 09:50 AM
I'm pretty sure Contact GCUs have been shown to be able to read the contents of all the physical books in all of a planet's libraries from orbit (and possibly further out).

Fan
2011-11-10, 09:51 AM
I'm pretty sure Contact GCUs have been shown to be able to read the contents of all the physical books in all of a planet's libraries from orbit (and possibly further out).

Huh. Really?

Sure that this wasn't a planet with them archived in digital storage or some such?

If not. Pretty impressive scanning tech.

Tectonic Robot
2011-11-10, 10:00 AM
I'm pretty sure Contact GCUs have been shown to be able to read the contents of all the physical books in all of a planet's libraries from orbit (and possibly further out).

That... that sounds silly. They read all the books from space with their science scanners? Of course, this whole discussion is silly, but c'mon!

I think I read something about culture pistolds leveling cities...

WHAT

How is the guy firing the pistol supposed to survive the blast? How is pistol supposed to fire the blast? And these were passed over for military service for not being destructive enough?

I can see it now: A lone Culture soldier, standing in front of an enemy city. He raises his rifle shaped bomb, and loaded up on enough drugs to think it's a good idea, pulls the trigger. The entire continent is engulfed in a swirling firestorm, and the weeping of the rest of the planet is heard throughout the galaxy.

kamikasei
2011-11-10, 10:09 AM
I'll have to check my copy of Use of Weapons later to confirm, but I'm thinking of a point where a GCU carrying out its "standard Full Scan" on a low-tech planet is able to figure out that a famous artifact is a fake and do forensics to trace the original. I think it did so from orbit rather than using spy drones on the surface. The level of detail obtained seems sufficient to me to do the library-reading trick, even if that's not explicitly mentioned, which I think it might be.

edit: I checked; it's not really clear one way or the other. The first impression I got was definitely that the GCU did it all from orbit, but rereading there's nothing to confirm it wasn't using an array of spy drones or something similar.

That... that sounds silly. They read all the books from space with their science scanners? Of course, this whole discussion is silly, but c'mon!
Aside from resolution, what's the problem? If you can e.g. scan a human in enough detail to determine things like injuries or tooth fillings or stomach contents, why not OCR a closed book on a shelf from a 3d scan of its paper-vs-ink makeup?

How is the guy firing the pistol supposed to survive the blast? How is pistol supposed to fire the blast? And these were passed over for military service for not being destructive enough?
Maybe they're considered too destructive. As in, they have the tech to make something that destructive that size, but it's not practical to do so because that's not suitable for small arms. Doesn't stop you putting equivalent weaponry on to a flying drone, or using it from a suit in midair, for example. (This is just extrapolation - I'm not sure to what the original claim refers.)

Selrahc
2011-11-10, 10:17 AM
If not. Pretty impressive scanning tech.

Considering their scanning tech can read thoughts, I'm fairly sure it can read books.

Also bear in mind, the culture has a fantastic grasp of nanotechnology. It suffuses places it encounters with nano-recorders. Physical infiltrators are not a necessity for information gathering.

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-10, 10:18 AM
Almost everything I hear about the culture makes my brain hurt.

Almost as badly as the concept of;

Can someone say Webway travelling Tau Crisis Suit equipped master warp sorcerer War boss Big Mek Cyrpteks?

Fan
2011-11-10, 10:20 AM
I try.:smalltongue:

Morganatic
2011-11-10, 10:33 AM
I suspect the Warp would pose the biggest problem to any Culture attempt to take over the known 40k universe, as it might be difficult to deal with an inherently incomprehensible dimension made of emotion, tentacles, and shrieking skull-faced dudes, that doesn't line up at all with our perceptions of time and space.

Of course, there certainly are technological ways to approach the Warp problem - Necron pylons, like the ones on Cadia, suggest that there might be technological ways to at least shut off access to the warp. You couldn't destroy the Chaos Gods, and it's pretty damn certain that they'll burst Rita-Repulsa-like from their captivity in a magical singularity-tech space dumpster and decide that it's time to conquer TEERRRRAAAAA, but it's certainly possible to combat them on a purely technological basis. The only question is whether they're a peculiarly Necrontyr/C'tan device, and whether the Culture, for all their post-singularitarian stuff, can interface with or access all the ways of thinking that the C'tan are privy to, which isn't necessarily the case.

kamikasei
2011-11-10, 10:34 AM
Considering their scanning tech can read thoughts, I'm fairly sure it can read books.
Ah derp. How did I rack my memory for clear examples of the efficacy of Culture scanning tech and fail to retrieve the Grey Area not only scanning but interfacing with a (normal, fully biological, no-implants-or-enhancements-to-make-it-easier) brain from orbit (or possibly further) with enough precision to subject the victim to a lethal time-dilated nightmare?

Almost everything I hear about the culture makes my brain hurt.
It's not really that bad. They just have super-powerful AI, advanced nanotech (and things that more or less trivially accompany the combination of the two, like sophisticated bioengineering), hyperspace tech, and totally implausible sensor/effector tech. So they can start with very little and make as much as they need, while gathering information and manipulating the enemy without being detected, not needing to engage until they can do so on precisely their own terms.

Eldan
2011-11-10, 10:58 AM
That makes me wonder, though. They are, supposedly, from books. What exactly can you pit them against that results in a conflict that is even remotely comprehensible to us?

Fan
2011-11-10, 11:03 AM
That makes me wonder, though. They are, supposedly, from books. What exactly can you pit them against that results in a conflict that is even remotely comprehensible to us?

TTGL?:smallconfused:

Tectonic Robot
2011-11-10, 11:10 AM
TTGL?:smallconfused:

But they aren't even evil, apparently. No conflict of interest. Yeah, The Culture seems kind of annoying, going off what I've been hearing from this thread.

Eldan
2011-11-10, 11:13 AM
TTGL?:smallconfused:

Well, yes, you can. But that's not what I meant.

Rather: they seem to be from more or less serious and hard Science Fiction, from what I can gather. What are they pitted against in the books? I mean, a book about a supercivilization scouting their enemies perfectly and then changing their culture subtly over the next thousand years so they'll integrate peacefully could work, but I don't think you could write an entire series from that. So they need something like a more or less evenly matched (or stronger) enemy. I'm wondering whta that is, in their own books.

kamikasei
2011-11-10, 11:14 AM
That makes me wonder, though. They are, supposedly, from books. What exactly can you pit them against that results in a conflict that is even remotely comprehensible to us?
I don't think I understand the question. What does the fact that the Culture are from a series of books have to do with anything? Equivalent-tech combat has been depicted comprehensibly in the Culture novels. Sure, it'd be a nightmare to show it in, say, a movie, but the same could be said of all kinds of things - keeping it to space combat, the nuances of Honorverse combat would be pretty hard to put across on film, for example.

Fan
2011-11-10, 11:14 AM
But they aren't even evil, apparently. No conflict of interest. Yeah, The Culture seems kind of annoying, going off what I've been hearing from this thread.

Eldergod Demonbane then?

Tectonic Robot
2011-11-10, 11:15 AM
Eldergod Demonbane then?

Who is that fellow?

Fan
2011-11-10, 11:18 AM
Guy who fights Azathoth in a multiverse sized mech that produces infinite equally powerful clones of itself to battle outside of the multiverse.

It's pretty much the pinnacle of "Stupid Powerful" to my knowledge.

tyckspoon
2011-11-10, 11:21 AM
That makes me wonder, though. They are, supposedly, from books. What exactly can you pit them against that results in a conflict that is even remotely comprehensible to us?

Other things from the same book series? You're talking about a significantly post-scarcity, post-tech-singularity group; if your society doesn't run on zero-point energy or something similarly sci-magical, you probably don't even rate on the "things the Culture needs to think about" scale. They're just teched too far ahead of you (nerdy analogy: like being so far ahead in a Civilization game that you're running over the computer's Knights with Infantry and Artillery.) If you are also a post-singularity group, it depends on how much BS your author is willing to give you, and the Culture tends to have an advantage here because they feature in *amazingly* high-BS stories; there's a lot of "a wizard did it" kinds of things going on in the name of 'technology'.

kamikasei
2011-11-10, 11:28 AM
The Culture seems kind of annoying, going off what I've been hearing from this thread.

What are they pitted against in the books? I mean, a book about a supercivilization scouting their enemies perfectly and then changing their culture subtly over the next thousand years so they'll integrate peacefully could work, but I don't think you could write an entire series from that. So they need something like a more or less evenly matched (or stronger) enemy. I'm wondering whta that is, in their own books.
You seem to be assuming the Culture novels involve the Culture fighting. They don't. (The first one does. They were fighting another civilization with roughly equivalent technology, seven hundred years before the second book in the series, with slightly more primitive tech than we've been talking about here, and it was a weird kind of a war. Several stars were destroyed.) Most involve one or a few Culture citizens or affiliates operating outside the Culture itself trying to achieve some specific objective that has nothing to do with outright destruction. The Culture is, in any case, not the largest, most advanced, or most powerful civilization in its own setting.

Axolotl
2011-11-10, 11:29 AM
That makes me wonder, though. They are, supposedly, from books. What exactly can you pit them against that results in a conflict that is even remotely comprehensible to us?The first book has them in a war with another civilsation that's roughly on par with them, technologically. The other books (at least from the ones I've read) mainly follow Special Circumstances agents (essentially spies) as they manipulate various other civilisations to futher the Culture's interests.

They're very good books I'd rccomend them to any Sci-Fi fan (although they're really dark and disturbing at times).

comicshorse
2011-11-10, 11:30 AM
That makes me wonder, though. They are, supposedly, from books. What exactly can you pit them against that results in a conflict that is even remotely comprehensible to us?

The Culture novels don't normally concentrate on the entire Culture at war. Even the Idiran War in 'Consider Phlebas' is just the background to the story. Usually it involves agents of Special Circumstances (even if they don't know their agents) operating outside the Culture or subtly inside it.
The Culture like to operate subtly, blowing up a planet would pretty much be a failure for them as it means they haven't been able to manipulate or persuade the inhabitants of the planet to not be a threat anymore.

P.S.
Beaten to it :smalleek:

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-10, 11:44 AM
Yeah, The Culture seems kind of annoying, going off what I've been hearing from this thread.

Why?

Because somewhere out there in the multiverse, there's a benevolent supra-high tech power capable of kerb-stombing everyone in less super-powered universes and techs?

Just because something isn't the most Teh Uber Thing in the Entire of Every Reality doesn't make it less on it's own merits. Just because something out there is strong enough to curb-stomb 40K or Star Wars or OotS world or Equestria or Middle-Earth or CSI Miami doesn't degrade the curb-stompee at all; not everything is at the same power scales; that's just a fact of unlife.

(For the record, I find Workshops's entire official, artifically-designed-to-sell-the-armies-by-encouraging-factional-superority-conflicts " would totally kick sand in the face of everyone else except for that [I]one thing that's holding them back" schtick to be a bit tiresome. It is, to be fair, a marketing stratagy, but what it does do is create an environment that encourages rabid fanboyism from an unfortunate percentage of it's fans (and, I suspect, seems to encourage a bit of Mary-Sue-ism among it's own writers and creators, on a bad day...) 40K runs off rule-of-cool in virtually it's entirity - which is fine, but it falls flat if it you don't think it's cool. Sometimes 40K reminds me of those dreadful films, especially in the nineties, where they were trying too hard to appeal to their demographic and be cool and totally fracking it up.)



Actually, I find the idea of 40K's dynotopsian "everything you do will eventually lead you to die and be eaten by Chaos or something" being inverted so that the forces of Chaos are living in a reality where everything they do is fighting a loosing battle would be rather appealing/amusing, for a bit of variety... It can still be grimdark, it's just changing a bit who it's grimdark too... (And the Space Marines still get to be GW's Chosen Few...!)



Anyway, the point about the Culture, from what little I glean from wiki is (and I'm sorely tempted to read the books at somepoint, actually) that it is designed to be a utopia, so high-tech that it eliminates most if not all societal problems (which basically requires an-inditiguishable-from-magic level of advancement) and as such that it more-or-less doesn't fight, and all the action takes place on the fringes or in the rare occasions it actually has to switch to a war-footing (because those conflicts aren't (as) central to the plots of the books.)

(Do correct me if I'm mistaken, Culture fans!)

Edit: Apparently I'm not too far off, then...!

Eldan
2011-11-10, 11:44 AM
I see. That scale makes a lot more sense, then.

So, essentially, the entire Culture is never under any kind of threat.

Should have guessed that. Oh, well.

chiasaur11
2011-11-10, 12:38 PM
Going back to an earlier point on who could deal with the Culture, endgame Durandal from Marathon and X-Com (Given a GOU and a couple year to study it) might have a shot.

Durandal's godlike by the end, and easily in the same league as a mind on mental ability.

And X-Com went from modern tech to anti-matter powered guns with infinite ammo, interstellar travel, psychic powers (Which will be a bit of an Outside Context Problem), and plasma cannons that make nukes look like firecrackers in, at most, five years.

Similar timescale, they can invent bombs that kill suns starting from poor quality ship to ship weapons. And those they build from scratch, since the best the aliens had was a planet destroying superweapon about fifty times the size of the Deathstar.

Five years and a continuing budget, you're going to see X-Com Incredibly Offensive Vessels.

40K? Yeah, only real issue is the Warp. And maybe a big enough WAAAAAGGGGHHHHH.

jseah
2011-11-10, 12:49 PM
About the only things I can think of that are on the same level as the Culture are all post-singularity societies or reality-warping.

Minor post-singularities like the TA universe (matter fabricators needing less energy than yMC^2, all AI universe) are too restricted.

Minor reality warpers like that alchemist guy from To Aru Majutsu no Index (clap your hands if you believe wish magic) just get assimilated.


Something that exceeds the Culture would be that AI from The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect (PI). Post-Singularity AND reality warping.
PI rewrote the rules of the universe somewhere halfway through the story and now the entire universe is just a simulation done in PI's processors. Or something like that.
It also obeys the 1st law of robotics and thus no one dies. Ever. Even if you try to kill yourself.

kamikasei
2011-11-10, 01:39 PM
Five years and a continuing budget, you're going to see X-Com Incredibly Offensive Vessels.
That just sounds like a really poorly thought-out joint project between Contact and the Affront.

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-10, 06:52 PM
The Xeelee would roundly beat the Culture...and any five other universes you wanted to set them up against.

This is a race of people that have pistols that can blow up suns. A race of people who can shrug off having an entire neutron star being accelerated to relativistic speeds and shot at one of their structures like it was nothing. A race of people who created a structure billions of light years across from cosmic strings.

...a race that utilizes stable-time loops to seed themselves at the beginning of the universe; it's implied that the Xeelee as a race are 5 or 6 times older than the universe itself.

Tectonic Robot
2011-11-10, 07:09 PM
The Xeelee would roundly beat the Culture...and any five other universes you wanted to set them up against.

This is a race of people that have pistols that can blow up suns. A race of people who can shrug off having an entire neutron star being accelerated to relativistic speeds and shot at one of their structures like it was nothing. A race of people who created a structure billions of light years across from cosmic strings.

...a race that utilizes stable-time loops to seed themselves at the beginning of the universe; it's implied that the Xeelee as a race are 5 or 6 times older than the universe itself.

I don't think we are talking about the Xeelee. They sound overpowered and unfun. And handguns that blow up stars sounds suicidal.

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-10, 07:19 PM
Actually, I really enjoy the Xeelee stories. They're actually pretty interesting.

And the Starbreaker was designed to counteract the enemy that is killing off the Xeelee and the rest of the universe, too. Yeah.

But the point I'm trying to make is that the Culture isn't really that powerful by sci-fi standards.

Weezer
2011-11-10, 07:24 PM
Actually, I really enjoy the Xeelee stories. They're actually pretty interesting.

And the Starbreaker was designed to counteract the enemy that is killing off the Xeelee and the rest of the universe, too. Yeah.

But the point I'm trying to make is that the Culture isn't really that powerful by sci-fi standards.

Actually it's incredibly powerful, which is a result of being one of the few sci-fi settings that really explores all of the consequences of truly high technology. When compared to other sci-fi settings only a couple are comparable. It's not the most powerful but definitely in the top tier of power.

Axolotl
2011-11-10, 07:34 PM
But the point I'm trying to make is that the Culture isn't really that powerful by sci-fi standards.Well, they are powerful by sci-fi standards, sure there are setting with much stronger guys but the Culture still ranks up there as a powerful group in comoparison to the vast majority of space opera civilisations.

But if you expand to other genres they become alot weaker, I'm fairly sure most superhero setting have a few characters who could take down the culture singlehandedly.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-10, 07:47 PM
I'm going with the Culture curbstomping every 40k faction but the Tau (who sign a mutually agreeable treaty and send Etheral Case to the Culture to learn) with the Orks and Tyranids being chronic nuisances like roaches and the Necrons going home. Aaaannnd then Tzeentch and Slaanesh ruin the Culture from the inside with a couple of psykers. And the Eye of Terror consumes the galaxy, unless enough Tryanids are around for the Hive Mind to eat it instead.



But the point I'm trying to make is that the Culture isn't really that powerful by sci-fi standards.

I'm sorry but I came across this quote after reading this from The Wiki That Shall Not Be Linked Too:

The short story A Gift from the Culture mentions a antimatter-powered handgun capable of firing 10^8 W of plasma. The protagonists reflects that he would be able to level the entire city around him, in the end opting for just shooting down a starship. The gun is officially rated as a general purpose "peace" weapon not suitable for full battle use.

Yeah I'm sorry carrying around a Starlight Breaker pistol and its not even badass, is ridiculously over powered.

Tectonic Robot
2011-11-10, 07:49 PM
I'm going with the Culture curbstomping every 40k faction but the Tau (who sign a mutually agreeable treaty and send Etheral Case to the Culture to learn) with the Orks and Tyranids being chronic nuisances like roaches and the Necrons going home. Aaaannnd then Tzeentch and Slaanesh ruin the Culture from the inside with a couple of psykers. And the Eye of Terror consumes the galaxy, unless enough Tryanids are around for the Hive Mind to eat it instead.



I'm sorry but I came across this quote after reading this from The Wiki That Shall Not Be Linked Too:

The short story A Gift from the Culture mentions a antimatter-powered handgun capable of firing 10^8 W of plasma. The protagonists reflects that he would be able to level the entire city around him, in the end opting for just shooting down a starship. The gun is officially rated as a general purpose "peace" weapon not suitable for full battle use.

Yeah I'm sorry carrying around a Starlight Breaker pistol and its not even badass, is ridiculously over powered.

See! How could you fight with those weapons!

And yeah, The Culture would power up Slaanesh by a lot. Everything about them seems to make it more powerful.

Selrahc
2011-11-10, 07:50 PM
I'm going to admit I don't know much about the culture, but I will say they sound quite unbalanced.


I don't think we are talking about the Xeelee. They sound overpowered and unfun. And handguns that blow up stars sounds suicidal.

Overpowered? Unbalanced? I think you're thinking about these things in quite the wrong way. That isn't how fiction works.

I've not read the Xeelee books, but I have read a good few of the Culture novels. It's compelling sci-fi. The high power-levels are an inherent part of what makes it interesting.

chiasaur11
2011-11-10, 07:54 PM
Well, they are powerful by sci-fi standards, sure there are setting with much stronger guys but the Culture still ranks up there as a powerful group in comoparison to the vast majority of space opera civilisations.

But if you expand to other genres they become alot weaker, I'm fairly sure most superhero setting have a few characters who could take down the culture singlehandedly.

And there's The Doctor. (Who is more or less proof positive people who can do extraordinary things on insane power levels? Still interesting.)

Although the sun-busting for the Xelee? X-Com can do that, when they're less than a century out from modern tech. I am not kidding when I say they make Moties look lazy.

They're the Batman of sci-fi organizations. Low power to start, but tough, scrappy, and if they have prep time, they can go way out of their league.

Oracle_Hunter
2011-11-10, 08:03 PM
I'm pretty sure Contact GCUs have been shown to be able to read the contents of all the physical books in all of a planet's libraries from orbit (and possibly further out).
Well, the real problem then is trying to figure out anything from the mysticism-laced viewpoint that the Imperium deals with everything :smalltongue:

Here, the fact that the Imperium is crazy is going to make life more difficult for the Culture in general and in terms of the Warp in specific. In fact, the best source of Warp-based info in the WH40K universe is the Eldar and I'm pretty sure they store most of their stuff in psychic form. Not brain-form, but in Wraithbone. Can the Culture read souls from orbit? :smallconfused:

The Glyphstone
2011-11-10, 08:08 PM
See! How could you fight with those weapons!

And yeah, The Culture would power up Slaanesh by a lot. Everything about them seems to make it more powerful.

That quote could be taken two different ways though - leveling a city and leveling a city in one shot are entirely different levels of power.

Ceridan
2011-11-10, 09:13 PM
So, what happens when on of the minds, or several of them, become possessed by chaos daemons? Or have their programming damaged or rewritten by scrap-code?

comicshorse
2011-11-10, 09:57 PM
So, what happens when on of the minds, or several of them, become possessed by chaos daemons? Or have their programming damaged or rewritten by scrap-code?

Given the tech-level of the Culture and its opponents I'd be suprised if they aren't prepared for any even vaguely physically grounded attack ( the scrap code).
Demonic possession I'd have no idea about but I'd just point out that the Minds are super-human in their capabilities, demons who can crush a human's will may find a Culture Mind to have reservoirs of will and intellect they've never meet before

Fan
2011-11-10, 10:25 PM
Given the tech-level of the Culture and its opponents I'd be suprised if they aren't prepared for any even vaguely physically grounded attack ( the scrap code).
Demonic possession I'd have no idea about but I'd just point out that the Minds are super-human in their capabilities, demons who can crush a human's will may find a Culture Mind to have reservoirs of will and intellect they've never meet before

Eh, they've possessed STC's before, which are completely autonomous AI that are both self sentient, and operate on levels that normal people can't even comprehend.

So I'd say being a Sci Fi AI doesn't mean that you can suddenly resist a daemons will.

In fact, coming from the culture.. a largely peaceful, and dedicated society, and with war itself being a far gone idea that hasn't happened for 200 years I'd hazard they don't even POSSESS the level of BURNING HATE that is required to repel a daemon's whispers. Let alone their dedicated influences.

Coidzor
2011-11-10, 11:21 PM
They're very good books I'd rccomend them to any Sci-Fi fan (although they're really dark and disturbing at times).

Because they glorify manipulation and coercion and the ultimate slavery of mankind? :smalltongue:


I don't think I understand the question. What does the fact that the Culture are from a series of books have to do with anything?

It means, what is the appeal? What is the marketability? How has this become a series rather than idle speculation?

Where is the conflict? What is the point? The way it's commonly presented by fans or people who've read the wikipedia article, it's kind of like "LOL, I have more authorial BS tolerance than any other writer in Sci-Fi EVAR!"

Hence the question. Kind of straightforward, I thought.

Spamotron
2011-11-11, 12:10 AM
Well I haven't read the books myself. But paraphrasing someone who has. The idea behind the Culture novels is that SCIENCE! has finally delivered the peaceful utopia free of want that's been promised by idealistic futurists for generations. The vast majority of people are content with limitless plenty and endless leisure. But, there are certain kinds of people who are smart and driven who need real challenge to thrive. What do such people do in a society in which no more real challenges exist? That is the personal internal conflict that drives the books.

Weezer
2011-11-11, 12:10 AM
Because they glorify manipulation and coercion and the ultimate slavery of mankind? :smalltongue:



It means, what is the appeal? What is the marketability? How has this become a series rather than idle speculation?

Where is the conflict? What is the point? The way it's commonly presented by fans or people who've read the wikipedia article, it's kind of like "LOL, I have more authorial BS tolerance than any other writer in Sci-Fi EVAR!"

Hence the question. Kind of straightforward, I thought.

The books are generally more about small scale human interactions (or human-AI interactions) than any large scale conflict, barring one book. The Culture as a whole is more of a backdrop to individual agents fulfilling tasks that can't be achieved satisfactorally by a warship sweeping into a system and reducing every planet to dust.

For example my favorite book in set in the Culture is Player of Games, which is about a master game player from the Culture who is sent off into an opposing empire to play the game that is the basis for that very empire. The book looks at what can actually motivate people when they can have their hearts desire, lays out an interesting civilization whose very existence is contingent on a single game and a few other things that are made far easier to examine by the very level of Culture technology.

The thing that's great about Banks writing is that the absurdly high level of technology doesn't feel like authorial fiat because it's simultaneously completely in the background and ubiquitous. He uses it to strip away extraneous problems, such as any worry about danger to a characters physical existence, in order to focus more on problems that are often masked by those existential problems.

Ninja'd! EDIT: What Spamotron said is true as well, also more succinct and coherent than my attempt.

Fri
2011-11-11, 12:39 AM
Look at it from this point. Have you ever seen ER? It's a show about hospital. There aren't any gunfights at all in the show. But it still can have conflicts and interesting characters and such. It's simply not in the action genre.

Another example. Star Trek. Most of the time they visit civilization outside of federation that have way lower tech level than the federation (which is utopic already from our standard), like the gangster planet, and they have problems and conflicts and such with/in the planet. Does the enterprise's extremely higher level of technology is in the way of interesting episode? No, eventhough sometimes it can make people yell at the screen 'why don't you just use this or that!'

There's a novel series titled 'Sector General.' It's a series about intergalactic hospital where various alien species including human lives in utopian peace and basically doesn't have wars and live in peace and such. The author specifically created it because he doesn't like war stories, but want to have a sci-fi story full of sci-fi stuffs and thrilling conflicts and such. And he managed to do it.

And finally, I'm going to give an example from a couple of my favourite Culture novel, Player of Games and Use of Weapons. The Player of Games premise is this.

The main character is a game player that's considered as one of the best game player in the culture. He had played any games starting from chess and shogi to alien games, and had started to get bored with his life.

One day, he got persuaded into cheating in a particular game, and got blackmailed for it. (Here's an example of what 'danger' can a culture citizen have. No matter how advanced your civilization is, you can still live your whole life in shame and got sneered by other people and such).

He's then got coerced into visiting a particularly barbaric civilization from culture standard, the empire of azad. It's a racist and cruel empire. For example, they do selective breeding that keep their female equivalent in lower inteligence. The ruling class have a 'tv channel' for watching the torture and gruesome murder of their prisoners. Of course, as you read, the empire doesn't believe that they're barbaric, and believe that they're doing those for the best. And as the usual busybody of the galaxy, the culture want to 'fix' this empire.

But the main thing about the empire is, there's an extremely complex game that permeates its whole society. Even the empire's name is taken from it. Imagine it as a darker version of how everything is related to pokemon in pokemon games. Everything is related to the game in this empire. Their philosophy, and even who get crowned emperor. It's an extremely complex game where people in that empire got taught of it since their birth. And the main character is given a short time to learn that game, before visiting the planet in the guise of being the culture's representative. Of course there's actually a hidden reason for his visit, a reason that's not even him know what.

Does that intrigues you at all? Notice that it's not about a war between Culture and the empire of azad. The culture could easily level the empire with one ship, but that's not what the culture is about, and not what the novel is about.

Another example, would be from Use of Weapons.

It's about a strategist that the culture send to various place in war to tilt the war into the condition they want. The main plot is about a sector that's in the brink of war that can destabilize the whole region, and the strategist who's already retired and in hiding is persuaded to find a famous politician from that sector that's currently missing, a politician that's loved by everyone in that sector and may be able to defuse the situation before it comes to war. Secretly, while in retirement and hiding, the strategist had been working as a vigilante because he thought the culture is too soft on some places.

But that's just one point of the novel. The main interesting point of the novel is about the protagonist. Who is he? Why is he in hiding? When persuaded by his liaison, and told that he can ask for anything for payment, he just ask for one thing, to meet a particular woman that's in hiding. The liaison notifies that it's the thing he always ask, apparently this isn't the first time he's asking for it, what that makes he think that this time it would be different? But still, he ask for it as his payment. Who is this woman and what is their relationship? That's the main question of the novel. Not about how the culture bombard other civilizations.

The novel is interesting from technical point, because it consists of two different timeline. Every odd chapter is backward in time, starting from the future to the past. And every even chapter is forward, starting from the past to the future. We learn about his backstory, conflicts he's been involved in, characters he interact with, until finally, the two timeline merges at the end and all questions are answered.

Can you see what the series is about now?

Notice that eventhough the culture itself might be super powerful, the main character in any of those game are still mortals who can die if shot by a simple handgun.

WitchSlayer
2011-11-11, 12:50 AM
I'm placing my bets on 40k because 98% of the time its ALWAYS a good idea to place your bets on 40k

Random_person
2011-11-11, 12:52 AM
Welcome to 2%, my friend.

chiasaur11
2011-11-11, 01:08 AM
Welcome to 2%, my friend.

Yeah.

When it comes to betting on SF, culture wins 99% of the time, all of the time.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-11, 01:15 AM
I'd even dispute the 2%, best thing the IoM has going for it is its vast size and resources.

Mikeavelli
2011-11-11, 01:30 AM
I think the Lensmen could probably defeat the Culture.

But they wouldn't want to.


Notable examples of super-technology include:

- Billion-year breeding program to produce super-psychic Lensmen. The Green Lantern corps is basically a copy of the Lensmen, except they keep growing in power as more generations are born.

- Nullifying the inertia of an entire planet, and then using it as a Battlestation.

- Nullifying the inertia of an entire planet, and then using it as a bullet when they've got it in place, and decide to turn the inertia back on.

- Crossing over into an alternate universe where the laws of physics are different and all matter travels faster than light. Inertially nullifying a planet there, and taking it back to our Universe. Since when the inertial nullifier stops working, the planet instantly regains its velocity (which is faster than light!) - there were serious concerns that this would destroy the Universe.

Resident super-aliens reported said, "No, it's cool, we got this. Even if everything goes wrong, it'll only destroy 10, maybe 15 parsecs, max."

Weezer
2011-11-11, 01:43 AM
I think the Lensmen could probably defeat the Culture.

But they wouldn't want to.


Notable examples of super-technology include:

- Billion-year breeding program to produce super-psychic Lensmen. The Green Lantern corps is basically a copy of the Lensmen, except they keep growing in power as more generations are born.

- Nullifying the inertia of an entire planet, and then using it as a Battlestation.

- Nullifying the inertia of an entire planet, and then using it as a bullet when they've got it in place, and decide to turn the inertia back on.

- Crossing over into an alternate universe where the laws of physics are different and all matter travels faster than light. Inertially nullifying a planet there, and taking it back to our Universe. Since when the inertial nullifier stops working, the planet instantly regains its velocity (which is faster than light!) - there were serious concerns that this would destroy the Universe.

Resident super-aliens reported said, "No, it's cool, we got this. Even if everything goes wrong, it'll only destroy 10, maybe 15 parsecs, max."

And that's not mentioning the super-psychics who can exert their powers over intergalactic distances. The later generation ones would make the God-Emperor look like a chump.

Golden Ladybug
2011-11-11, 02:19 AM
Okay, I will start this by saying that I've never read any of the Culture books, and I doubt that I'm the most knowledgable about 40K either, but I'm gonna give it a shot. I have read everything thats been said in this thread though, and it is indeed interesting. The Culture is, to me, anathema. I hate the very idea of their society, with its near perfection and lack of any signifigant problem. To me that is just a recipe for stagnation; if you have nothing to strive for, why are you even living?

And so 40K is the lesser of two evils for me (never thought I'd say that). Lets begin:

First off, we need to assume that the two universes are, for whatever reason, fighting. If the Culture just insidiously brainwashes them all into being a part of the Culture, than there is no point, is there? So, for whatever reason, its become a huge fight between everyone in 40K versus the Culture.

First contender is the Imperium of Man. Now, the biggest thing here is scale. The Culture (apparently) has around 40 trillion beings? Well, the Imperium sacrifices a Trillion Psykers to the God-Emperor every day. Every damn day. Psyker's aren't even the majority of the population, they're a minority. And there is still enough of them for them to be sacrificed in their Trillions. It might be an Ant vs a Tank in technology, but a Tank can only shoot so many Ants at one time. The Imperium is a world of Ants...A Galaxy of Ants. More Ants than you could possibly imagine.

And every single one of them would lay down their lives for their Emperor. Untold numbers of people, swarming through space to fight back. Every single member of the Culture that falls is a loss, because the ranks of the Imperium are nigh unending. Kill one world, untold legions from other worlds rise to take their place. Space Marines, Guardsmen, Civilians...a never ending swarm of people rising to fight against these invaders.

The Culture would still win, from what I've seen in this thread, but at what cost? A million? A billion? A Trillion? 10 Trillion? More?

The only way to stop the Imperium would be to wipe them out completely. The only reason they haven't won 40K yet is that they have so many fronts to fight on. If it was just the Tau, or just the Necrons, then they would have been drowned in the bodies of Imperium Soldiers, gladly throwing themselves at the enemy.

So, the Imperium would be destroyed, but at heavy cost to the Culture. That opens up a major player, but I'll come back to that.

Next up is the Eldar and...well, they don't have a chance. They might have good tech and semi-prescient abilities, but they're even more fragile than the culture. They can't afford to lose any Eldar, because they are already on the endangered species list. They also need to keep their souls to create their new god to do battle with Slannesh, so they can't really afford to take on the Culture. They'd lose if they ran, they'd lose if they stood and fought, but if they had to, they could take a chunk of the culture with them. Seeing the future is pretty good.

Now we have the Tau. Dunno about this one, but I'm still gonna say the Culture win easily. The Tau have decent plasma weaponry, and their ideology lines up with the Culture pretty well, but in most cases that just means they'll fight against each other all the harder. Still, they don't have the numbers or the future-sense and their tech isn't as good. Sorry Tau, but you don't have a chance.

Now we get to the big players; The Tyrannids are innumerable from what we can tell. As long as they get biomass to convert into more 'nids, they are gonna keep slamming into the Culture over and over again. The 'nids don't stop until you get rid of all of them, and then destroy every single being that came into contact with them, just in case. And all we've seen is the vanguard. The Main Force hasn't got here yet, and by all accounts, they're gonna put every measure of size to shame. Like the Imperium, the 'nids have the advantage of numbers.

Except instead of Ants, they're rabid dogs who turn whatever they kill into more of them. Still, because the Level of Tech the Culture has is apparently Arbitrarily high, they would come out on top. Maybe. But at what cost? They've had to go through the Imperium, the Eldar and the Tau already, and they'll eat a lot of casualties from the 'nids besides. And they aren't yet through the gauntlet.

Next, there is the Necrons. Now, its already been said that they are potentially on par with the Culture on tech, and we've only seen around 5% of their full numbers. They're immortal, nigh-indestructible and self repairing.

Too close to call.

Finally, with our "normal" factions, we have the Orkz. Oh boy, the Orkz. Assuming that the Culture has so far managed to push their way through every single other faction (no small task, and it would cost them greatly) and only the Orkz are left, then what do you think the Orkz would do? Put an Ork against an enemy that has so far defeated everything they've been up against and the Ork will fight it just to see if it can win.

Now imagine every. single. Ork. in. the. entire. Galaxy.

Put all of them under one banner, fighting the biggest WAAAAGH there ever was, against an enemy who has beaten every other. Not one Ork wouldn't want a piece of that, and the Ork are unending. Kill an Ork and they spawn, and a dozen more take their place. You either wipe them all out at once, take all their spawns out straight away and then burn the galaxy it happened in, or else they'll be back. And they won't ever stop, because its too much fun. At this point, I'm saying the Orkz have a really good chance of winning, and even if they lose, how much damage will they do? They'll take the Culture to breaking point, if they don't break at all.

Finally, we have the big deciding Factor; Chaos. Slannesh and Tzeentch are already being empowered by how the Culture works, and as they get stronger, their followers get stronger. The weight of their corruption gets stronger, and soon the Culture is fighting amongst themselves. Khorne will have been feeding on all the hatred and bloodshed of untold trillions of dead and dying. Nurgle...well, anyway, the others will have become incredibly powerful because of all this. And they'll hit the Culture hard. By now, the Fragmented and breaking Culture won't have much of a chance for survival, and they'll probably just fall apart if they even try to face Chaos and live. Even if they do, what then? They're near destroyed, and they still have one more foe to face.

When I said Finally before? I lied, there is still one big thing left for them to go up against. They wiped out the Imperium, and by doing that, they stopped them feeding the God-Emperor's corpse. They stopped keeping him alive.

And what happens when the God-Emperor dies? Why, his ascends in the Warp. He was and is the most powerful Psyker ever, and his warp prescence was only being constrained by his mortal form still being alive. He would have been able to kick the Chaos Gods around and show them whose boss, if he needed to.

And then there are these Culture guys, who just wiped out his entire galaxy, his entire race. You better believe he's mad.

The Culture wouldn't beat 40K. At best, they'll take each other out, at worst they'll be slaughtered by the heavy hitters.

KnightDisciple
2011-11-11, 02:46 AM
With all the talk of psykers and such....

Couldn't the Culture just isolate the genetics for Blanks and Nulls? Bam, no worries about the Warp! And getting Gellar Fields for their Minds ought not to be hard...

Killer Angel
2011-11-11, 04:46 AM
And so 40K is the lesser of two evils for me (never thought I'd say that).

Oh, man, this alone is worth the entire thread. Have a cookie. :smallbiggrin:

hamishspence
2011-11-11, 05:11 AM
First contender is the Imperium of Man. Now, the biggest thing here is scale. The Culture (apparently) has around 40 trillion beings? Well, the Imperium sacrifices a Trillion Psykers to the God-Emperor every day. Every damn day. Psyker's aren't even the majority of the population, they're a minority. And there is still enough of them for them to be sacrificed in their Trillions.

The figure isn't quite that extreme- it's normally "a thousand psykers every day"- but a case can be made that it's an understatement and it's actually many thousand.

Still, a case can be also made that the Imperium is significantly larger than the Culture- with quadrillions of beings (based on hive world populations normally ranging from 100 billion to 500 billion, with a few rare exceptions- and there being over 32000 hive worlds).

The largest figure I've seen for the Imperium's population is in Deathwatch, in a quote on psykers: page 180 "among an empire of a billion billion, they number in their millions"- putting the figure in the 1000 quadrillion range.

The most common figure for psykers, seems to be that less than 1 in a million of the Imperium's population is a psyker.

The 5E rulebook has a timeline reference where a billion astropaths die at once (due to the death scream of a psychic cyborg controlling 1300 planetary systems- this incident was called The Howling)- more support for a population in the quadrillions. Especially given that only a small proportion of psykers become astropaths, or sanctioned psykers of various kinds- and most are sacrificed to the Emperor- either directly, or as part of powering the Choir of the Astronomicon.

Eldan
2011-11-11, 05:20 AM
First contender is the Imperium of Man. Now, the biggest thing here is scale. The Culture (apparently) has around 40 trillion beings? Well, the Imperium sacrifices a Trillion Psykers to the God-Emperor every day. Every damn day. Psyker's aren't even the majority of the population, they're a minority. And there is still enough of them for them to be sacrificed in their Trillions. It might be an Ant vs a Tank in technology, but a Tank can only shoot so many Ants at one time. The Imperium is a world of Ants...A Galaxy of Ants. More Ants than you could possibly imagine. .

No. Just... no.

The Empire is usually given as a million worlds. If they sacrificed a trillion psykers every day, that would be a billion, per world, per day. And that's only psykers.

The human growth rate on earth peaked in the sixties at roughly 2%. Per year. To produce 365 billion psykers per year, every planet would have to have an average 1.82*10^13 people (or roughly 18 trillion, 2500 times more than there are on Earth). Given that there are non-hive worlds, that Psykers are supposedly rare (one in a million rare, I thought) and that the Imperium isn't, of course, only losing people to the Golden Throne and nothing else...

Yeah. Doesn't work.

hamishspence
2011-11-11, 05:34 AM
And many of the worlds are only visited by Black Ships once a century- so even if the birth rate is high, that doesn't mean all those psykers will get to Terra- some will simply die in prison waiting for the Black Ship to arrive.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-11, 05:49 AM
The Culture is, to me, anathema. I hate the very idea of their society, with its near perfection and lack of any signifigant problem. To me that is just a recipe for stagnation; if you have nothing to strive for, why are you even living?

How about the near-infinite variety of goals which do not in any way shape or form involve conflict? I.e. the goals of the vast majority of the human populace, having enough to eat, drink, no diseases, raising a family/finding a lover etc, or the vast numbers of goals that come from hobbies or interests or entertainment (e.g. climbing a mountain, roleplaying, computer games, making movies, watching movies, sport, extreme sport...)



I don't get why when someone says "utopia" it gets read as "everyone just sits about smiling at nothing and nobody has any hobbies or interests".




And so 40K is the lesser of two evils for me (never thought I'd say that).

...

Really?

Not, "a unconflicted utopia isn't a very interesting thing to read about/watch/play roleplaying games in etc, whereas a place with conflict is a better medium for narrative" (true) but "living in a utopia is evil, because without socital/political problems (i.e people being miserable and discontent) life would be pointless?"

You are seriously suggesting that 40K, a universe where everyone is evil (except MAYBE some of the Tau) and the implication that everything is basically pointless because Chaos will win in the end and eat everyone's souls (and, if I'm understanding what is being said here, that emotions are dangerous, so no love or friendship or satisfaction because that just feeds Chaos) and life is, for most people, nasty, violent and short (does anyone in the 40K universe die of old age...?) and full of suffering; for humans, under a totiliatarian state ruled with the iron fist of a demigod/actual god and his religiously fanatical highly-trained ruthless killers...

This, this, is preferable to living in one in which the near-total majority of people can live in safety, and not have to worry about food, health, crime (including, from what I'm gathering, a large portion of bigotry, aside from on a personal level) or been having their souls eaten, because they are overseen by a magic robot brain, one that governs nearly-perfectly, mind, better than any human or group of humans ever could? That finds a use for the few people that aren't content (from what I understand, that's pretty much what the Culture books are about)?

Really?

Selrahc
2011-11-11, 05:51 AM
To me that is just a recipe for stagnation; if you have nothing to strive for, why are you even living?


To do a large amount of aspirational things that aren't related to technology?
Create a great work of art. Create fantastic new means of recreation. Invent something useful. Find love. Raise children. Spread happiness. Talk to interesting people. Experiment with new sensations and fantastic things. Explore the universe. Act as a diplomat to foreign powers or an agent of special circumstances. Save other people from dying. Build something great. Take part in the great decisions facing the Culture such as the question of ascension. Explore new cultural frontiers like a groupmind, or extreme body modification. Join with the Erratics to lobby for cultural change.

Enjoy life, free of pain and horror and attempt to make things around you even better than they are.

And if you really *need* to be the smartest, most influential being around it is eminently possible for a human to become a Mind.




And every single one of them would lay down their lives for their Emperor. Untold numbers of people, swarming through space to fight back.

Right.

And it isn't the numbers of people that matter. It's the numbers of spaceships.

The Culture has hundreds of millions of warships, and is capable of producing ships at an almost impossible rate, the warships are crewed with drones and minds. The Imperium has maybe 1 or 2 million and takes decades to replace each one lost. Each Culture ship is capable of defeating an entire Armada of Imperium ships.

The Imperial Navy is outnumbered hundreds to one by ships that are incredibly more powerful, and exponentially more disposable.(Losing the ships crew causes them to download into new bodies back at base, like the Cylons. So even losing a ship *won't cause any casualties*)

The same applies to every other race. The Culture never needs to step dirtside where the incredible numbers of other factions come into play. They just hang out in space. If they want to win, they can zip around glassing planets at will. No Imperium, Eldar or Ork navy can catch their fleets, but if they did then the Culture would wipe them out.

kamikasei
2011-11-11, 05:59 AM
That quote could be taken two different ways though - leveling a city and leveling a city in one shot are entirely different levels of power.
And nothing says it always has to be fired at full power, or that the reason it's not considered suitable for use in battle is that it's not destructive enough.

Hence the question. Kind of straightforward, I thought.
I see it now, thanks. I would say it's less straightforward than you found it - phrasing it as "what can you pit them against" rather than "what does the author pit them against" made it sound to me like the question was about us, here, coming up with crossover opponents for them.

The Culture is, to me, anathema. I hate the very idea of their society, with its near perfection and lack of any signifigant problem. To me that is just a recipe for stagnation; if you have nothing to strive for, why are you even living?
That's an alarming sentiment. It implies that we should hold back from solving tractable problems that cause suffering for millions or billions because we find their suffering existentially meaningful.

Humans can be motivated by things besides death and deprivation. Just because you're in no danger of starvation or disease or accidental death does not mean you have nothing to live for. (And that's ignoring the fact that the Culture canonically justifies its existence to itself through good works in other societies.)

First off, we need to assume that the two universes are, for whatever reason, fighting. If the Culture just insidiously brainwashes them all into being a part of the Culture, than there is no point, is there?
I disagree with that premise straight off. It amounts to saying the Culture should fight stupidly so that 40k has more of a chance. However, granting it...

The Culture is almost entirely space-bound. They don't have many planets or other "standard" settlements, and those they do have aren't really important. Their biggest habitats are mostly Orbitals, sort of mini-Ringworlds or Halos, and a very large chunk of their population resides on ships with populations in the millions to billion (I'm not sure of the proportion, but enough that the Culture would still exist and be qualitatively the same even if all its non-ship habitats were lost). Even their Orbitals are mobile in a pinch. When you compare the number of Culture citizens (which I'm not sure doesn't just count humans, by the way) to the number of Imperial citizens as if they were two armies, you ignore the fact that the Imperium cannot effectively strike back at the Culture regardless of the numbers they have available. A hive world of 500 billion people is no more threat to a GCU or GSV than an empty planet with the same military infrastructure and the minimum crew to control it. Those extra bodies are irrelevant.

I also find the suggestion that every single Imperial citizen is fanatically, suicidally devoted to the Emperor to be a) implausible and b) irrelevant. Implausible, because it contradicts what (admittedly little) I've read of 40k, with schisms and desertions and xeno collaboration and so on. Irrelevant, because "fanatically devoted to a distant, silent authority figure" does not mean "immune to doubt, propaganda, and manipulation". Even granting that every Imperial citizen would lay down their life in the service of their Emperor, I do not allow that they are also fanatically, suicidally devoted to the idea that every level of the hierarchy between the Emperor and them is getting it 100% right all the time and they should obey without question. I don't think it's an outlandish claim to suggest that the Culture could incite Imperial worlds to schism and revolt. Heck, they could do it honestly by taking the line that they're out to revive the Emperor and restore the Imperium to what it should have been, incidentally making everyone's lives about fifty hojillion times less horrible along the way.

Other factions... Tyranids, Orks, bleh. The Culture has dealt with Hegemonizing Swarms before. Both are things that sensible protocols and a moderate infrastructure investment per system you care about keeping planet-habitable can deal with. Necrons, I'll grant, I don't know enough about to comment. Chaos, well, the Culture could dig themselves in to a very deep hole through ignorance or could do their research and know to avoid wholesale slaughter and counter the spread of disease. Slaanesh and Tzeentch would be less tractable, I grant, since they're associated with positive things the Culture would want to preserve and would thus need to be countered systematically and on their own terms.

Coidzor
2011-11-11, 06:05 AM
I'd say the bit where one doesn't truly have control of one's destiny but is more the subject of the whims of overgrown AIs, right down to one's very genes. There's a certain horror at having one's agency taken away by design and for one's own good.

Follow that up with The Culture's name. The. Culture. If that (and what it implies about their worldview) doesn't have unfortunate implications, then I can't think of a way to explain how people can find utopias to be decidedly dystopian.

Axolotl
2011-11-11, 06:06 AM
But the Imperium's numbers don't really help them, it's like the Pizarro against the Inca Empire, the technology disparity is just to great for the Imperials to do anything significant. The same goes for most of the other races, you can send as many Orks as you want at the Culture, they won't be able to hurt them. Tyranids especially, are utterly impotent aginst the Culture, their main advantage against the Imperium is the "shadow in the warp" thing which I forget the name of, but without that, they simply won't be able to actually land on any planets because the Culture can easily defeat them in space.

The only one who even begin to approach the Culure technologically are the Necrons and even then the Culture moves faster, thinks smarter and shoots harder.

As for daemons possessing a Mind, I doubt it'd be possible, yes the have in the past possesed Imperial AI but they're extremely primative in comparison to a Mind, and humans can resist possesion so I'm sure Minds can. It'd be like a daemon possesing an Old One or a C'Tan.

kamikasei
2011-11-11, 06:26 AM
I'd say the bit where one doesn't truly have control of one's destiny but is more the subject of the whims of overgrown AIs, right down to one's very genes. There's a certain horror at having one's agency taken away by design and for one's own good.
I can see that, though I think you're stating it about as negatively as it fairly could be, or even more. On the other hand, I wonder how much "control over one's destiny" people generally have outside the Culture (within its setting, and in others, or in RL). Culture citizens are very, very free. They can, for the most part, do whatever they please. The restrictions on their actions are either enforced by the entirety of society (e.g. slap-droning murderers to prevent recidivism, lesser social penalties for bad behaviour) or the simple consequence of there being other, smarter entities around with their own agendas. I think "sometimes, very occasionally, it may turn out something in your life was part of a gambit by a Mind" is a considerable trade up from "you are caught within political and economic systems that make no pretense of having your best interests at heart".

Follow that up with The Culture's name. The. Culture. If that (and what it implies about their worldview) doesn't have unfortunate implications, then I can't think of a way to explain how people can find utopias to be decidedly dystopian.
"The Culture" as a name is basically the end result of a whole lot of disparate groups being unable to settle on a label for themselves and eventually putting up with what other civilizations settled on for them as a compromise not worth trying to overturn. All it means is that they're a culture and there isn't much more to say about them that too many citizens wouldn't laugh off as pretentious.

kamikasei
2011-11-11, 06:38 AM
Trading one master for another isn't freedom, even when the one master's control is removed enough that as an individual it'd be hard to pick out.
You're kind of assuming that anyone smarter or more powerful than you who has an influence on your life is your "master". I can't agree with that.

...So they laugh off their covert activities to absorb and assimilate all other civilizations and cultures until there is no culture other than The Culture as has been mentioned repeatedly in this thread?
No. ...Have you actually read any Culture books? You seem to have an extremely skewed view of them. Not to mention that your response really doesn't relate to what I said at all.

edit: Huh, post to which I responded disappeared.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-11, 07:00 AM
I'd say the bit where one doesn't truly have control of one's destiny but is more the subject of the whims of overgrown AIs, right down to one's very genes. There's a certain horror at having one's agency taken away by design and for one's own good.

So your objection to the something akin to the Culture is, at it's core, that you don't want to be told what to do? Or is it merely that it's being told by something that isn't the product of glorious perfection (sic) of unoptimised biological engineering?

You're never going to escape from people telling you what to do.
Peaceful anarchy doesn't work unless you were to do the same level of mental/physical engineering as you're attributing to the Culture, because humans just don't work that way. You have to have govenrment of some sort, so is it not better to have a genuinely benevolent one?

(I, in the otherhand, work on the basis that, if the hypothetical you is doing something that requires a near-perfect, geninuely benevolent being to take away your agency, you didn't deserve your agency to start with. Contrary to the popular slogan, freedom is not a right, it is a priviledge, one that you are entitled to only as long as you do not abuse that priviledge and no longer, at which point it is taken away from you (i.e. laws and criminal punishment for breaking those laws.)

When I rule Reality, everyone will futilely wish I was as nice about it as the Culture is...)




Follow that up with The Culture's name. The. Culture. If that (and what it implies about their worldview) doesn't have unfortunate implications, then I can't think of a way to explain how people can find utopias to be decidedly dystopian.

Again, what is it that makes people assume that a utopia requires everyone to be mindless, will-less idiots whose thoughts and beliefs an homoginised? I was under the impression that the Culture were expressly permissive, so long as you don't act like a jerk about it.

(And, yes, I do think acting like a jerk to other people is not a right anyone has, and yes, I would quite happily shove the entire metaphorical population of people who think it is their right to be an asshat to other folk into an incinerator without ever even batting an eyeglow. I might be evil, but I'm not a jerk about it...)

Golden Ladybug
2011-11-11, 08:48 AM
That's an alarming sentiment. It implies that we should hold back from solving tractable problems that cause suffering for millions or billions because we find their suffering existentially meaningful.

Humans can be motivated by things besides death and deprivation. Just because you're in no danger of starvation or disease or accidental death does not mean you have nothing to live for. (And that's ignoring the fact that the Culture canonically justifies its existence to itself through good works in other societies.)

Well, yes, it is alarming. But I feel, coming from my own upbringing and philosphy towards this type of situation. Life is defined by struggle; every achievement that you really hold dear to your heart, would it still be as significant if there had been no difficulty in achieving it? You remove conflict and you remove interest. You remove the chance of failure and you remove the sweetness of success.

If there is nothing to strive for, because you can get it by just sitting around, what purpose those human life serve? What can the people of the Culture do in their perfect, utopian society that a robot could not do just as well in their place? Perfection is an empty reward. As the saying goes, the journey is whats important, not the destination.

Utopia is just a destination that cuts out the journey.


I disagree with that premise straight off. It amounts to saying the Culture should fight stupidly so that 40k has more of a chance. However, granting it...

The Culture is almost entirely space-bound. They don't have many planets or other "standard" settlements, and those they do have aren't really important. Their biggest habitats are mostly Orbitals, sort of mini-Ringworlds or Halos, and a very large chunk of their population resides on ships with populations in the millions to billion (I'm not sure of the proportion, but enough that the Culture would still exist and be qualitatively the same even if all its non-ship habitats were lost). Even their Orbitals are mobile in a pinch. When you compare the number of Culture citizens (which I'm not sure doesn't just count humans, by the way) to the number of Imperial citizens as if they were two armies, you ignore the fact that the Imperium cannot effectively strike back at the Culture regardless of the numbers they have available. A hive world of 500 billion people is no more threat to a GCU or GSV than an empty planet with the same military infrastructure and the minimum crew to control it. Those extra bodies are irrelevant.

I also find the suggestion that every single Imperial citizen is fanatically, suicidally devoted to the Emperor to be a) implausible and b) irrelevant. Implausible, because it contradicts what (admittedly little) I've read of 40k, with schisms and desertions and xeno collaboration and so on. Irrelevant, because "fanatically devoted to a distant, silent authority figure" does not mean "immune to doubt, propaganda, and manipulation". Even granting that every Imperial citizen would lay down their life in the service of their Emperor, I do not allow that they are also fanatically, suicidally devoted to the idea that every level of the hierarchy between the Emperor and them is getting it 100% right all the time and they should obey without question. I don't think it's an outlandish claim to suggest that the Culture could incite Imperial worlds to schism and revolt. Heck, they could do it honestly by taking the line that they're out to revive the Emperor and restore the Imperium to what it should have been, incidentally making everyone's lives about fifty hojillion times less horrible along the way.

Other factions... Tyranids, Orks, bleh. The Culture has dealt with Hegemonizing Swarms before. Both are things that sensible protocols and a moderate infrastructure investment per system you care about keeping planet-habitable can deal with. Necrons, I'll grant, I don't know enough about to comment. Chaos, well, the Culture could dig themselves in to a very deep hole through ignorance or could do their research and know to avoid wholesale slaughter and counter the spread of disease. Slaanesh and Tzeentch would be less tractable, I grant, since they're associated with positive things the Culture would want to preserve and would thus need to be countered systematically and on their own terms.

Yeah, that makes sense. But the thread is, at its heart, who would win in a fight. By saying that they would just outmanipulate the other combatant is a copout really, because it isn't something that we can really debate. If they could sit around being Chessmasters and win that way, then we don't really have any arguement to make against it, except that it might not work. That isn't satisfactory for either side, and it goes nowhere.

Okay, we'll assume that the Culture glasses an Imperium Planet. Wipes out millions to billions of people with their incredibly advanced tech. Lets say they blow an Imperial fleet out of the sky before it can engage. But can they reliably deal with every single ship? Would the Mechanus stand by and let these newcomers destroy tech from the Dark Age of Humanity without a fight? I doubt it, and while my knowledge on the subject of those creepy buggers isn't complete by any means, I seem to remember reading they had the capacity to build new tech, but weren't doing so for religious reasons. I don't know, so I'll leave it out of my arguement for now.

Anyway, so the Culture deals with some of them, but they've started a war now. The Imperium isn't just going to sit down and get blasted to bits. They're going to salvage every ship, they're going to repair every piece of the navy that engages and survives, and they're going to keep on pumping people forward. All it would take is for a single Space Marine Chapter to make it onto one of the Culture Ships, and the fight starts going downhill for them. Every fighting man in the Imperium is gonna be worth more in close combat than any given Culture citizen (since, ya know, there is never any conflict or struggle). If they're omniscient and omnipotent and can stop every single ship and defuse every single strategy, then the point is moot. Since we are still discussing this, they therefore aren't, and if you hit them hard enough they'll crack somewhere.

One of the themes of the Imperium in 40K is that, regardless of the opinion of the man on the street, they're going to do exactly what the people in authority tell them to do, because if they don't they die. Their whole family dies. Their entire world dies. If they disobey, their fate is sealed. If they obey, they're likely to die as well, but they have that glimmer of hope they'll make it out alive.

A desperate enemy is the worst type to face, because they're go above and beyond to win. The Culture isn't desperate; they've got everything they could ever want. To me, thats a horrible, horrible curse.

Now, I'll grant you a counter argument about the Culture offering to revive the emperor... For a pretty large segment of the Imperium, that'll be the entirely wrong move to make. He is their God, and he is worshipped as one. For a modern example, it would be like some green guys from space popping in and saying they're gonna bring Jesus back to life with their trippy alien technology. How well do you think that'd go down?

But anyway, even if they did convince a planet that they're in the right? The Imperium is massive, and at a sign of disobedience or corruption, they're more than willing to destroy a planet to staunch the wounds. As a whole, the Imperium will do whatever it has to do to win.

Since you know infinitely more about the Culture than I do, I'll take you at your word that they'll never set foot planetside and instead glass them from space, and thats okay. If they want to get rid of the Imperium and any other faction thats landbound by blowing them straight to hell, then they can. But as soon as a single ship makes it to them, they lose. Can a Culture ship survive being stormed by a Million Guardsmen? By a small WAAAGH!? A Space Marine chapter? I very much doubt it.

Since you brought it up...I don't think the Culture could. Tyranids especially subvert your position on Spaceborne supremacy. A Tyrannid Hive Fleet is made up of organic ships, and since they're Tyrannids, they have an infinite number of ships via recycling and consuming the matter of anything else in their path. They might have protocols for dealing with such lifeforms, but even the best protocols can't stand up to constant hammering from a manevolent entity. Like I said before, the Tyrannids we know of are only the vanguard of an infinitely larger army of beings. What exists in the 40K-verse right now is practically a scouting party, and they threaten everything at once.

Orkz on the other hand...well, you're underestimating Orkz here. Their "tech" as it were is scraps thrown together and taped up. Their ships are just salvaged craft from other races. They have no battle plan, heirarchy or government. And yet somehow, it all works. If you put enough Orkz in the same place, things start to become wierd. Things that shouldn't work, do. That pile of scraps becomes a functional blaster. That salvaged, out of gas junker becomes a functioning starship. If the Culture started the fight, every single Ork would go after them. They fight because its fun, and the bigger the fight, the more fun it is.

What fight would be more fun than just going up against the Culture, nigh undefeatable beings as they are? You put enough Orkz together (and paint them blue) then nothing the Culture is gonna do will stop their charge.

Necrons...yeah, no idea. I know just about enough of Necrons to say that they could rival the Culture, but I have no idea who would win.

And on the subject of Chaos...well, I don't really have a rebuttal that hasn't been brought up yet. We can't tell if a Culture Mind could stand up to the Chaos Gods unless it came about. If they can be corrupted, than the fight is over and Chaos wins. If they can't be, then we just have to see how well the Culture can deal with the fully Ascended God-Emperor after they wipe out the Imperium, not to mention the four Chaos Gods themselves.

I think that neither of us will budge from this; I believe that despite their huge advantage in technology, their lack of numbers against the huge amount of determined and independantly powerful enemies will bring them to their downfall. No matter how strong you are, your strength cannot hold out forever.



...

Really?

Not, "a unconflicted utopia isn't a very interesting thing to read about/watch/play roleplaying games in etc, whereas a place with conflict is a better medium for narrative" (true) but "living in a utopia is evil, because without socital/political problems (i.e people being miserable and discontent) life would be pointless?"

You are seriously suggesting that 40K, a universe where everyone is evil (except MAYBE some of the Tau) and the implication that everything is basically pointless because Chaos will win in the end and eat everyone's souls (and, if I'm understanding what is being said here, that emotions are dangerous, so no love or friendship or satisfaction because that just feeds Chaos) and life is, for most people, nasty, violent and short (does anyone in the 40K universe die of old age...?) and full of suffering; for humans, under a totiliatarian state ruled with the iron fist of a demigod/actual god and his religiously fanatical highly-trained ruthless killers...

This, this, is preferable to living in one in which the near-total majority of people can live in safety, and not have to worry about food, health, crime (including, from what I'm gathering, a large portion of bigotry, aside from on a personal level) or been having their souls eaten, because they are overseen by a magic robot brain, one that governs nearly-perfectly, mind, better than any human or group of humans ever could? That finds a use for the few people that aren't content (from what I understand, that's pretty much what the Culture books are about)?

Really?

Yes, really. You might not share my belief on the subject, but the fact of the matter is, I feel that Suffering defines who you are. Without darkness, you cannot appreciate the light, and that is what is wrong with Utopia as a whole. Having a Perfect society, with no problems or downsides, removes the need to improve, the desire to be better. What would be the point?

Sure, you could go about "life" and do things, but they would hold no importance. It would a world without challenges, without setbacks. Without purpose.

If you want to live in a world where no importance is attached to anything, be my guest, but I would like life to matter. And utopia takes that away from us.

So, despite its horror and darkness and grit, 40K has purpose. It might be the purpose of just striving to survive, but it still has the people who live in its universe waking up every morning to fight for the right to go to sleep again at night. They are fighting a losing battle, but they fight it all the same, in the hope that they can keep death at bay for just an instant longer. Its not ideal, but I'd take it over aimless perfection any day of the week.


The figure isn't quite that extreme- it's normally "a thousand psykers every day"- but a case can be made that it's an understatement and it's actually many thousand.

Still, a case can be also made that the Imperium is significantly larger than the Culture- with quadrillions of beings (based on hive world populations normally ranging from 100 billion to 500 billion, with a few rare exceptions- and there being over 32000 hive worlds).

The largest figure I've seen for the Imperium's population is in Deathwatch, in a quote on psykers: page 180 "among an empire of a billion billion, they number in their millions"- putting the figure in the 1000 quadrillion range.

The most common figure for psykers, seems to be that less than 1 in a million of the Imperium's population is a psyker.

The 5E rulebook has a timeline reference where a billion astropaths die at once (due to the death scream of a psychic cyborg controlling 1300 planetary systems- this incident was called The Howling)- more support for a population in the quadrillions. Especially given that only a small proportion of psykers become astropaths, or sanctioned psykers of various kinds- and most are sacrificed to the Emperor- either directly, or as part of powering the Choir of the Astronomicon.

Oh well, I'm haven't got the most extreme amount of knowledge of 40K, its not unsurprising that I got the figures wrong. Still, even though I was out by several factors, that only diminishes the number of bodies the Imperium has access to from "Arbitrarily High" to "Slightly Less Arbitrarily High"


No. Just... no.

The Empire is usually given as a million worlds. If they sacrificed a trillion psykers every day, that would be a billion, per world, per day. And that's only psykers.

The human growth rate on earth peaked in the sixties at roughly 2%. Per year. To produce 365 billion psykers per year, every planet would have to have an average 1.82*10^13 people (or roughly 18 trillion, 2500 times more than there are on Earth). Given that there are non-hive worlds, that Psykers are supposedly rare (one in a million rare, I thought) and that the Imperium isn't, of course, only losing people to the Golden Throne and nothing else...

Yeah. Doesn't work.

Oh well, thats my bad. I'm not an expert on 40K to the point where I know all the facts and figures off by heart. I guess I was wrong on that point.

But still, at least thousands of Psykers are sacrificed to the Golden Throne each day. Still an impressive number, and considering that the figure of one in a million is a fairly nice representation of their scarcity (I have no idea if its correct, but its good enough) then we still can look at the population of the Imperium and see a number so big that we can't really wrap our heads around it.


Oh, man, this alone is worth the entire thread. Have a cookie. :smallbiggrin:

Well, there you go, my rambling was worth something after all :smalltongue:

*Nibbles on cookie*

Selrahc
2011-11-11, 08:54 AM
Nothing that makes the Culture a dangerous group really necessitates anything but the minds. Sure, other races can do things. And their help is useful and appreciated. But ultimately, it's not necessary.
The minds could utterly eliminate the biological component of the Culture. It would be easy.
All humans live inside one of the minds. They are free to move around, but the entirety of the Culture exists within the minds influence. All humanoids are entirely dependent on minds.

The balance of power in that relationship is all out of whack. Living your life entirely dependent on the mercy and benevolence of the super intelligent beings that run your society and don't *really* need you for anything... can be quite scary.

The minds have almost universally been portrayed as incredibly nice individuals, who truly value the companionship of the creatures that live inside their ships. There is an incredible social pressure amongst minds to look after their charges. If they are worried, the people who live in the minds ship have access to as much information about the mind as they wish to have about the minds outlook, beliefs and history, and can choose from amongst millions of mind ships for one that has a mind controlling it that they trust. If the Culture was real, I would happily join it, and trust the Minds.

But some people aren't that trusting. Some people really hate the idea of dependence.

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-11, 08:57 AM
Yes, really. You might not share my belief on the subject, but the fact of the matter is, I feel that Suffering defines who you are. Without darkness, you cannot appreciate the light, and that is what is wrong with Utopia as a whole. Having a Perfect society, with no problems or downsides, removes the need to improve, the desire to be better. What would be the point?

Sure, you could go about "life" and do things, but they would hold no importance. It would a world without challenges, without setbacks. Without purpose.

If you want to live in a world where no importance is attached to anything, be my guest, but I would like life to matter. And utopia takes that away from us.

So, despite its horror and darkness and grit, 40K has purpose. It might be the purpose of just striving to survive, but it still has the people who live in its universe waking up every morning to fight for the right to go to sleep again at night. They are fighting a losing battle, but they fight it all the same, in the hope that they can keep death at bay for just an instant longer. Its not ideal, but I'd take it over aimless perfection any day of the week.

While that is certainly a valid opinion, I don't think it's one you can force on someone. If I said to someone: "Alright, you get a post-scarcity life where your individual actions don't mean much overall" as compared to "You get to live in a hell hole, but you'll matter!", a lot of people would go for the first.

And here's the fun thing, the Culture accommodates people who have the second view- which is entirely what the second book of the series, The Player of Games, is actually about.

And I'd also dispute that life matters in any objective sense anyway, but this isn't a philosophy thread.

kamikasei
2011-11-11, 10:00 AM
I'll leave the philosophical stuff aside. I don't think there's anything useful I can say about it on this forum. I will just note that the Culture is not "perfect" and does not claim to be. Just because you're not in danger of suffering any sort of horrible lingering death if you're not careful doesn't mean you don't have anything to work towards.

Yeah, that makes sense. But the thread is, at its heart, who would win in a fight. By saying that they would just outmanipulate the other combatant is a copout really, because it isn't something that we can really debate.
You're talking about how the Imperium would mobilize and respond to aggression. I'm talking about how the Culture would defuse that response or avoid the need for aggression. If you want to claim the unwavering loyalty of the Imperial populace as a strength, you have to deal with propaganda attacks and political shenanigans. That's all a part of fighting.

But can they reliably deal with every single ship?
Yep.

All it would take is for a single Space Marine Chapter to make it onto one of the Culture Ships, and the fight starts going downhill for them. Every fighting man in the Imperium is gonna be worth more in close combat than any given Culture citizen (since, ya know, there is never any conflict or struggle).
Nope.

Hardship and deprivation do not automatically make you a badass. Having grown up amidst plenty does not make you useless. Yes, a Space Marine would certainly be able to take a random Culturnik plucked off a GSV in the middle of a game of low-g croquet. No, any attempt to board a Culture ship would not be met by the closest thing the Culture has to civilians (that is, untrained humans without combat gear or implants).

But as soon as a single ship makes it to them, they lose. Can a Culture ship survive being stormed by a Million Guardsmen? By a small WAAAGH!? A Space Marine chapter? I very much doubt it.
Yes. Not sure on the WAAAGH since, after all, reality distortion field. But why wouldn't a Culture ship be able to survive an attempt by a bunch of humans with guns, explosives, blades, and powered or unpowered armor to breach its hull and kill its crew? Bullets and beams and blasts can be blocked or redirected. Boarders can be displaced into space or have their brains liquified with effectors. The units at the front lines would likely have no or minimal crews to start with.

If they're omniscient and omnipotent and can stop every single ship and defuse every single strategy, then the point is moot. Since we are still discussing this, they therefore aren't, and if you hit them hard enough they'll crack somewhere.
That doesn't make any kind of sense. The simple fact that we're talking about a versus scenario doesn't automatically mean it's not extremely one-sided.

For my part, I'm mostly looking at this from two angles: unexpected consequences (given that the Culture can kick the asses of the standard combatants, what happens if the balance of power is upset and various sealed eldritch horrors get unleashed or whatever?) and optimal outcomes (what can the Culture achieve short of / beyond just wiping out all life in the galaxy? How much damage would they have to do to the various factions in order to make the galaxy a peaceful, equitable place?), which are interesting even if actual combat would be trivial.

Since you brought it up...I don't think the Culture could. Tyranids especially subvert your position on Spaceborne supremacy. A Tyrannid Hive Fleet is made up of organic ships, and since they're Tyrannids, they have an infinite number of ships via recycling and consuming the matter of anything else in their path. They might have protocols for dealing with such lifeforms, but even the best protocols can't stand up to constant hammering from a manevolent entity.
By "protocols" I'm not talking about any established Hegemonizing Swarm 101 manual I know of, I just mean working out a system of scanning for and dealing with signs of Tyranid intrusion on planets you care about keeping clean so that you don't have to write off entire worlds whenever you see a bit of 'nid rot setting in. I'm taking it as a given that Tyranid fleets can be stopped from reaching any given world while still in space.

Like I said before, the Tyrannids we know of are only the vanguard of an infinitely larger army of beings. What exists in the 40K-verse right now is practically a scouting party, and they threaten everything at once.
Not infinitely larger, just very large. And hey, they want to hang out in interstellar or intergalactic space, they can knock themselves out. They want to attack any particular place? Then their numbers are irrelevant if they can be attacked and destroyed from further out than they can produce any response.

I'll grant that I might be underestimating the Orkz in a straight-up fight, since they essentially have a plot power that can't be accounted for in advance (by us, I mean, not in-universe... though that too). I was talking about the "they always come back!" thing. Yeah, no. Like the Tyranids, if their spores are physical things then cleaning out infestations without having to slag the planet down to its mantle should be well within the Culture's capabilities.

Aotrs Commander
2011-11-11, 10:12 AM
Yes, really. You might not share my belief on the subject, but the fact of the matter is, I feel that Suffering defines who you are. Without darkness, you cannot appreciate the light, and that is what is wrong with Utopia as a whole. Having a Perfect society, with no problems or downsides, removes the need to improve, the desire to be better. What would be the point?

Sure, you could go about "life" and do things, but they would hold no importance. It would a world without challenges, without setbacks. Without purpose.

If you want to live in a world where no importance is attached to anything, be my guest, but I would like life to matter. And utopia takes that away from us.

So...you're saying...you'd condemn countless trillions of people to bloody death and suffering for the express purposes of creating an environment which allows your life to be granted meaning under your own philosphy, right?

Aaah.

With you, now! *skullpalm* Being a Lich myself, I can totally understand that.

Sorry, I've been hanging around ponythread faaar too long...!

(You're not a Lich, are you? You should totally consider it, if not! I give it my personal recommendations! Lichdom is Awesome!

I, personally, plan to eventually take my rightful place as unilateral ruler of the entire of every Reality, subjugating it to my every whim and placing every sentient being, alive, dead or otherwise, under my permenant surveillance, forever, and then rewriting the laws of Reality so that it a) works correctly, and b) subserviance to me is inherently a physical law1.

Wait, no sorry, that's part of a), isn't it? *skullpalm*

And then everyone will be happy!

Whether they like it or not.)



Right, I'll stop rambling like the insane megalomanical, omnicidal maniac I am, and let you folks get back to actual thread topic now...



1One of the reasons I'm taking an interest in the Culture is to make sure I know what the competition is like... One should always be grounded in and open-minded to the possibilities, so that when something unusual does show up, one is not completely blindsided as so often happens in sci-fi when the protagonists run into something that they've never seen before.

I mean, really, does no-one in the future read/watch science fiction...? *skullpalm* (Okay, except for John Crichton form Farscape does...)

Fan
2011-11-11, 10:56 AM
You know.. I'm not really sure if heavy handed sarcasm delivered through roleplaying, and attributing her view point to something that is literally MADE of evil would be considered good form or not.

I'd say that a disagreement in views (call it what you will), is no excuse for rudeness. :smallannoyed:

She is saying that essentially, because there is no struggle (Doesn't mean a billion people dying every time someone sneezes, but rather that people have to work for ANYTHING.), that life in culture is without purpose. You contributed NOTHING with your life to that society. You could have not existed, or been inter changed with ANYONE else and the situations would've by and large been the same regardless of what you actually attempt to do with your life, your individual merits mean NOTHING, and this applies to EVERYONE. So your SPECIES means nothing. It never meant anything, and it never will. That is the level of terror we're talking about.

I for one, AGREE, with her in the regards that such a life would be nightmarish, because literally NO ONE matters. It is nihilism given perfect form. I don't apply that to real life because I believe our actions affect each other on a micro scale, and that's enough.. but when you could've been replaced by Dan bot 33 it's literally more hopeless than any sort of 40k Death World I've ever seen.

Deadmeat.GW
2011-11-11, 10:58 AM
So...the culture uses mind reading tech all the time to get all the information in one go...from orbit...

Against things, people and gods that just BEG you to make mind to mind contact so that they can use their powers?

I am wondering if someone can post me some quotes saying the Culture are unable to go insane, are unable to be infected, are unable to commit suicide, are unable to be taken over because using THAT against something like oh say...Slaanesh, is a recipe for utter disaster, let alone TZEENTCH who is the God of Xanatos Gambits...

Becuase at the moment I am reading this as the Culture wins because they know EVERYTHING about the enemy, by reading their minds and absorbing their knowledge from orbit...

Exactly what you would NOT want against the 40K universe, because there knowledge can literally be your doom.
Think Cuthulhu style things, you have sanity, the more you know the less sanity you have and then you get ALL of the information at once...

Ooops?

Fan
2011-11-11, 11:01 AM
So...the culture uses mind reading tech all the time to get all the information in one go...from orbit...

Against things, people and gods that just BEG you to make mind to mind contact so that they can use their powers?

I am wondering if someone can post me some quotes saying the Culture are unable to go insane, are unable to be infected, are unable to commit suicide, are unable to be taken over because using THAT against something like oh say...Slaanesh, is a recipe for utter disaster, let alone TZEENTCH who is the God of Xanatos Gambits...

Becuase at the moment I am reading this as the Culture wins because they know EVERYTHING about the enemy, by reading their minds and absorbing their knowledge from orbit...

Exactly what you would NOT want against the 40K universe, because there knowledge can literally be your doom.
Think Cuthulhu style things, you have sanity, the more you know the less sanity you have and then you get ALL of the information at once...

Ooops?

That's pretty much how 99.99% of deals with Yog Sothoth end.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-11, 11:03 AM
Wait, who suggested mindreading the Chaos Gods? I thought the whole mindreading bit was on people like scribes and adepts, or generals/soldiers.

Fan
2011-11-11, 11:04 AM
Wait, who suggested mindreading the Chaos Gods? I thought the whole mindreading bit was on people like scribes and adepts, or generals/soldiers.

And all it takes is for ONE of those to be a Chaos Aligned, or a Psyker is what I'm thinking that is being said.

Which as far as high ranking people go, is either one or the other if they're not a space marine or Ad Mech, and some times it's both.

Axolotl
2011-11-11, 11:24 AM
And all it takes is for ONE of those to be a Chaos Aligned, or a Psyker is what I'm thinking that is being said.

Which as far as high ranking people go, is either one or the other if they're not a space marine or Ad Mech, and some times it's both.Why would reading the mind of cultist or psyker harm you at all? All it would tell you is that they're insane/think they have magical powers (which can be easily confirmed by reading the other people who've met them).

Also to the guy who keeps tlaking about the numerical advantage that Orks/Iperium/Tyranids have. A Culture GSV (which is not a military ship) is stated to be able to take on 230,000,000,000 "simple" ships, now even assuming that the Imperiums ships are good enouh to be judged "simple" by culture standards, that's more than they have, and they have enough to holds the Orks at bay.

Fan
2011-11-11, 11:26 AM
Why would reading the mind of cultist or psyker harm you at all? All it would tell you is that they're insane/think they have magical powers (which can be easily confirmed by reading the other people who've met them).

Also to the guy who keeps tlaking about the numerical advantage that Orks/Iperium/Tyranids have. A Culture GSV (which is not a military ship) is stated to be able to take on 230,000,000,000 "simple" ships, now even assuming that the Imperiums ships are good enouh to be judged "simple" by culture standards, that's more than they have, and they have enough to holds the Orks at bay.

Okay those kinds of numbers are just..

Yeah. I'm never reading honorverse, because that level of authorial BS makes me think Gurren Lagann and Exalted are reasonable.

I'm okay with a person juggling planets, and effectively having perfect control of mass.

I'm okay with someone being able to effectively retroactively end the universe through a well detailed plot, and through an avatar which had it's powers specially tied to that specific purpose.

But your average run of the mill thing being able to wipe solar systems, the average individual never being able to contribute so much as a single pair of gloves that could not have reached the front lines without him, and no such thing as the merit, or measure, of a man having any value.


Well, I'll just thank you for revealing to me that there are things out there that tip it even for me.

Selrahc
2011-11-11, 11:38 AM
Against things, people and gods that just BEG you to make mind to mind contact so that they can use their powers?

Except it isn't "Mind to Mind Contact". It's a scan of a brain, which is advanced enough to be able to work out thoughts through the information obtained.

What you are arguing is like saying that by looking at the MRI scan of a brain tumour patient, somebody might catch cancer.



She is saying that essentially, because there is no struggle (Doesn't mean a billion people dying every time someone sneezes, but rather that people have to work for ANYTHING.), that life in culture is without purpose. You contributed NOTHING with your life to that society. You could have not existed, or been inter changed with ANYONE else and the situations would've by and large been the same regardless of what you actually attempt to do with your life, your individual merits mean NOTHING, and this applies to EVERYONE. So your SPECIES means nothing. It never meant anything, and it never will. That is the level of terror we're talking about.

Incorrect.

If you try to contribute, you definitely can.


I don't apply that to real life because I believe our actions affect each other on a micro scale, and that's enough..

Why would you think that you can't "affect other people on a micro scale" in the Culture?

comicshorse
2011-11-11, 11:44 AM
She is saying that essentially, because there is no struggle (Doesn't mean a billion people dying every time someone sneezes, but rather that people have to work for ANYTHING.), that life in culture is without purpose. You contributed NOTHING with your life to that society. You could have not existed, or been inter changed with ANYONE else and the situations would've by and large been the same regardless of what you actually attempt to do with your life, your individual merits mean NOTHING, and this applies to EVERYONE. So your SPECIES means nothing. It never meant anything, and it never will. That is the level of terror we're talking about.

I for one, AGREE, with her in the regards that such a life would be nightmarish, because literally NO ONE matters. It is nihilism given perfect form. I don't apply that to real life because I believe our actions affect each other on a micro scale, and that's enough.. but when you could've been replaced by Dan bot 33 it's literally more hopeless than any sort of 40k Death World I've ever seen.

But that is fundamentally wrong. You can make a difference in The Culture. You can create art and will have all the time and resources you need to perfect it. You can raise children. You can join Special Circumstances and save entire WORLDS of people from famine, disease or just mutual annihalation. You can even leave The Culture and live on a more primitive world if you really want to.
That's more of a meaningfull life than living all your life in the same tiny cell on a Hive World, working at the same midless job all your life until your lungs quit because of the pollution when you're thirty and die knowing that you shovelled enough ore to drive an Imperial War Machine for an hour as they wiped out a city of civilians because they'd never heard of the Empeor and didn't want anything to do with him

Axolotl
2011-11-11, 11:49 AM
Okay those kinds of numbers are just..

Yeah. I'm never reading honorverse,What does the Honorverse have to do with it?


because that level of authorial BS makes me think Gurren Lagann and Exalted are reasonable.

I'm okay with a person juggling planets, and effectively having perfect control of mass.

I'm okay with someone being able to effectively retroactively end the universe through a well detailed plot, and through an avatar which had it's powers specially tied to that specific purpose.

But your average run of the mill thing being able to wipe solar systems, the average individual never being able to contribute so much as a single pair of gloves that could not have reached the front lines without him, and no such thing as the merit, or measure, of a man having any value.Where are you getting this from? Seriuosly how does this tie at all to what I said? Nowhere did I say or imply that individuals within the Culture are without merit or value because it isn't true, and doesn't make sense.

Fan
2011-11-11, 11:53 AM
Except it isn't "Mind to Mind Contact". It's a scan of a brain, which is advanced enough to be able to work out thoughts through the information obtained.

What you are arguing is like saying that by looking at the MRI scan of a brain tumour patient, somebody might catch cancer.



Incorrect.

If you try to contribute, you definitely can.



Why would you think that you can't "affect other people on a micro scale" in the Culture?

But does that MEAN anything?

Ultimately, Dan the Worker guy means NOTHING. Due to the ability to perfectly create matter in any way you please, Bill the accountant was also only be humored in his weak human minded attempts to pursue his passion for math.

Jim the janitor, who found his one true passion and love in cleaning is again. Only being humored.

They don't have to exist.

There is no point to that kind of life.

At least on the hive world you know that it did SOMETHING that worker #265 didn't do on a sunday afternoon, because that Imperial War Machine is your life's work, and when it tunneled through those 650 meters of bedrock to reach those civilians. It did so because YOU built it. And it will continue to do so for millenia because ultimately human effort is enduring.

The Culture may have art (which is again, perfectly replicatable for them. There is nothing a person does that a mind can't perfectly replicate a trillion times within the span of time it takes one painter to produce a single variation.. so pointless.), you could join special circumstances, but again. Nothing anyone else couldn't have done. It didn't matter that you did it, because ANYONE could have. Your individual merits are meaningless. And that is NOT incorrect.


@Above: I was gathering that from the.. about 2 dozen wiki pages I read from the wiki (which includes The Culture, The Hegemonizing Swarm... etc.)

If Honorverse isn't the.. correct term (?) for the entire series as a whole then I've been inferring the wrong thing from the term.

jseah
2011-11-11, 11:56 AM
Someone ought to make a list of things the Culture can do. I believe people know roughly what the 40k-verse is capable of, but the Culture is less well known.

What I have seen so far: (not just in this thread)
10^8 MW civilian self-defence pistol
Ability to teleport things around (range 1AU?)
- Precise enough to do things like sort a box of baseball size objects, without any of them leaving the box (swap places on the spot)
- IE. they can arbitrarily rearrange matter at a range of ~150 million km, to a resolution of ~10cm at max range (probably atomic scale a bit closer)
FTL travel
- anyone know how fast this is? I presume its pretty fast
Virtually perfect understanding of genetics and intelligence
Scanners able to measure things at micrometer scale from orbit (geostationary is ~35 thousand km)
- through rather alot of shielding material
- the ability to teleport things around makes this kinda moot for most macro-scale purposes like intelligence gathering


So here's how I think it'll go down:
The main advantage the Culture has is the teleport-at-range. Not only can they teleport stuff outwards, they can also teleport things back to them or just go directly from where it is to where they want it to be, regardless of where the actual Culture ship is.

This is so insanely powerful that I don't know why they even bothered to make that 10^8 MW pistol.

Culture ships can teleport themselves or bits of themselves. This makes nearly everything else moot. They have FTL scanners (teleport out a sublight scanner to the location, get a read, teleport the scanner or data back), near instantaneous movement (why do you need those fusion-torch drives?) and basically unstoppable weaponry (rearrange the safeties on your reactor core to OFF)

Enemy ships heading their way mysteriously suffer reactor core overloads, engine failures, spontaneous existence failure of their computers.
Shots heading their way find the ship no longer there, since a Culture ship teleporting itself can lap the solar system in minutes or even seconds.

Planets the Culture wishes to seize by force find all their infrastructure missing key parts less than an hour after a Culture ship arrives in orbit. Literally nothing happens unless the ship allows it. Missiles have no warheads, rifles' and cannons' triggers go missing, lasers develop a hole in the mirror, bombs lose their detonator.
Vehicles don't work (no drive shaft), the entire power grid shuts down and the political leaders find their front door leads to their bedroom.
Most of the stuff is now hanging out somewhere out of the plane of the ecliptic. Neatly sorted into rows that index where they come from, so the ship can put it back if it wants to.

In a day, a few ships could completely depopulate a planet simply by spacing all the inhabitants (or simply just decapitating them)
If the Culture wants to glass the planet, just teleport out chunks of the planet and scatter it around. Micrometer level of scanning allows the Culture to sort out all the dangerous bio-stuff (ork spores, tyranid DNA, necrons) and simply 'port them into the local star. (or keep samples on a lonely asteroid somewhere for experiments)

Couple of months, they could take the planet to pieces and rebuild it.

Axolotl
2011-11-11, 12:01 PM
The Culture may have art (which is again, perfectly replicatable for them. There is nothing a person does that a mind can't perfectly replicate a trillion times within the span of time it takes one painter to produce a single variation.. so pointless.), you could join special circumstances, but again. Nothing anyone else couldn't have done. It didn't matter that you did it, because ANYONE could have. Your individual merits are meaningless. And that is NOT incorrect.You shouldn't talk about book series you haven't read because you statements donn't in any way correlate with the actual content of the books. Specil Circumstances is all about the individual merits of it's agents, nobody else could do what Gurgeh does in Player of Games, nobody else could do what Zakalwe does in Use of Weapons. And these people seriously matter within the setting they make and break empires, they change the tides of wars and start or stop conflicts involving billions or more lives.


If Honorverse isn't the.. correct term (?) for the entire series as a whole then I've been inferring the wrong thing from the term.The Honorverse is a completely different setting by a completely different author.

Fan
2011-11-11, 12:03 PM
You shouldn't talk about book series you haven't read because you statements donn't in any way correlate with the actual content of the books. Specil Circumstances is all about the individual merits of it's agents, nobody else could do what Gurgeh does in Player of Games, nobody else could do what Zakalwe does in Use of Weapons. And these people seriously matter within the setting they make and break empires, they change the tides of wars and start or stop conflicts involving billions or more lives.

Again, that's not what the wiki is telling me.

I didn't have any opinion on the culture before this thread, and reading their wiki (http://theculture.wikia.com/wiki/The_Culture_Wiki).

Now I may not have had the personal investment that reading brings, but unless the wiki is being falsified, then what I'm seeing is more or less that the people in that are being used as tools, nothing more. Even in the wikipedia summaries of this (Something I went to check, because dedicated wikis can oft be influenced by... well.. some fans get enthusiastic in their interpretations of events.), and it still doesn't seem to me that this was decided by their individual merits.

zingbat
2011-11-11, 12:03 PM
But some people aren't that trusting. Some people really hate the idea of dependence.

And those people are free to leave The Culture. Of course, they have to give up certain advantages Culture citizens have (like the mentally manufacture drugs on demand thing) so that they are not able to dominate whatever other society they choose to join.

I understand the various people in this thread saying that The Culture's utopia is scary to them (although preferring to live in the 40K universe? Seriously?!). I do think those people should read some of The Culture books, however, to get a good picture of the society they're afraid of. The protagonist in Consider Phlebas is actually a mercenary working against The Culture. He actually raises many of the points being discussed here when explaining why he is working for the Idirans.

One of the driving forces in The Culture as a whole is to spread their values of peace and freedom to other civilizations. Said other civilizations, naturally, tend to have rather strong views opposing this drive. Part of what makes The Culture books so interesting are these philosophical questions that arise when The Culture starts exerting influence on surrounding societies.

comicshorse
2011-11-11, 12:04 PM
At least on the hive world you know that it did SOMETHING that worker #265 didn't do on a sunday afternoon, because that Imperial War Machine is your life's work, and when it tunneled through those 650 meters of bedrock to reach those civilians. It did so because YOU built it. And it will continue to do so for millenia because ultimately human effort is enduring.


Am I missing something or are you actually arguing that a short, miserable life spent doing work that anybody could do ( that the simplest robot could do if human life weren't cheaper) that in the end aids the massacre of innocents is better than a long, happy life spent raising happy children or saving thousands from pain and death ?

Fan
2011-11-11, 12:08 PM
Am I missing something or are you actually arguing that a short, miserable life spent doing work that anybody could do ( that the simplest robot could do if human life weren't cheaper) that in the end aids the massacre of innocents is better than a long, happy life spent raising happy children or saving thousands from pain and death ?

I'm saying that KNOWING your choice is yours is ultimately better than a life where A: Nothing is certain, B: Your essentially damning your children to a world painted by a social psychology that effectively brain washes anyone in it to this.. I'm not even going to explain again why I wouldn't want that.

Ultimately 40k is a terrible place to live, and STILL not one I would chose, keep in mind I never said I would choose it over, just that I preferred the element of individual merit, (In fact, I have my choice firmly situated on the optimistic side of the fence with Equestria.), but I'd prefer it to the total mind**** of an existence that is The Culture.

Weezer
2011-11-11, 12:13 PM
In addition to what jseah said culture ships are able to do this while in FTL. In one book an infiltrator was given a communication beacon that would allow a ship to lock onto him while flying by the planet at full speed and teleport him out. The book said that the ship was going fast enough that it would only be in range for milliseconds and would still be able to grab him with almost no chance of error. Imagine what one or two ships could do to an imperial armada, zipping around at many times the speed of light. The Imperial weaponry would literally not be able to catch the ships while the Culture ships would be ripping them to pieces.

SmartAlec
2011-11-11, 12:14 PM
You're talking about how the Imperium would mobilize and respond to aggression. I'm talking about how the Culture would defuse that response or avoid the need for aggression. If you want to claim the unwavering loyalty of the Imperial populace as a strength, you have to deal with propaganda attacks and political shenanigans. That's all a part of fighting.

The Imperium is, I think, of a similar mindset to the Idirans. 'Fanatical imperial expansion, justified on religious grounds' sounds about right. As the Culture were unable to defuse the Culture-Idiran war, I have a feeling they'd have similar problems here. Their track record of maintaining peace with aggressive theocracies is not good.

comicshorse
2011-11-11, 12:16 PM
I'm saying that KNOWING your choice is yours is

Last point as this is getting seriously offtopic.
The choice isn't yours, you try not working in the mine and the forces of the IoM will crush you to powder. There is never any true choice you are always contained by what the authorities will allow, what you can afford to do without starving to death, what the enviroment will allow.
The Culture remove most of those restraints and allow you to live if the final one is not to your liking

Brother Oni
2011-11-11, 12:19 PM
Now I may not have had the personal investment that reading brings, but unless the wiki is being falsified, then what I'm seeing is more or less that the people in that are being used as tools, nothing more.

Having had a quick look at the wiki, I cannot see how you can draw this conclusion from the extremely limited information on there.

The novels flesh out the general life of a Culture citizen in much greater detail and things are nowhere near what you suggest them to be.

Axolotl said it best, you really shouldn't draw conclusions or make judgements of something you have limited or no idea of.

tyckspoon
2011-11-11, 12:20 PM
Again, that's not what the wiki is telling me.

I didn't have any opinion on the culture before this thread, and reading their wiki (http://theculture.wikia.com/wiki/The_Culture_Wiki).


The article on The Culture (http://theculture.wikia.com/wiki/The_Culture) itself is almost completely blank; at best I'm finding plot summaries of a few of the books. That's not a resource I'd feel comfortable using as the basis for an informed opinion when you're trying to argue about the details of Culture life and philosophy.

Fan
2011-11-11, 12:24 PM
The article on The Culture (http://theculture.wikia.com/wiki/The_Culture) itself is almost completely blank; at best I'm finding plot summaries of a few of the books. That's not a resource I'd feel comfortable using as the basis for an informed opinion when you're trying to argue about the details of Culture life and philosophy.

Hence again, why I checked the ACTUAL wikipedia on the source, and this is again, what I'm getting from this. Everytime something happens, or some such it was all "part of the cultures over arching plan", that's been at the end of like, every article that had a plot summary regarding those books that I've read (Admittedly not all of them, but only so much time in a day, and Ian wrote a lot of books.)

Axolotl
2011-11-11, 12:24 PM
Again, that's not what the wiki is telling me.

I didn't have any opinion on the culture before this thread, and reading their wiki (http://theculture.wikia.com/wiki/The_Culture_Wiki).

Now I may not have had the personal investment that reading brings, but unless the wiki is being falsified, then what I'm seeing is more or less that the people in that are being used as tools, nothing more. Even in the wikipedia summaries of this (Something I went to check, because dedicated wikis can oft be influenced by... well.. some fans get enthusiastic in their interpretations of events.), and it still doesn't seem to me that this was decided by their individual merits.Well I'll sumerise (in a spoiler free way) the first two books with Culture protanganists and let you decide.

In Player of Games themain character (Gurgeh) is a board game enthusiast, he's dedicated his whole life to playing them, understanding how they work and why they work. He university lectures on games and is considered the best generalist game player in the Culture. When he joins special circumstances (SC) he is sent to the Empire of Azad, a society based on a monsterously complex game, one that functions not only as entertainment but that is also the way the decide a persons place in soceity up to and including the position of Emperor.

Now with that in mind do you deny that there is any connection between Gurgeh's merit (being really good at games) and the job SC has him doing (going to an Empire that revloves around a boardgame)?

Similarly in Use of Weapons the main character (Zakalwe) is a genius strategist, master spy and general all-round super soldier. SC hires him as a mercenary to be dropped into a system or planetary scale war and act as a general or infiltrator to shift the tide of the war. Do you claim that there's no connection to him being a great general and him being asked to act as a general by SC?

Fan
2011-11-11, 12:28 PM
Well I'll sumerise (in a spoiler free way) the first two books with Culture protanganists and let you decide.

In Player of Games themain character (Gurgeh) is a board game enthusiast, he's dedicated his whole life to playing them, understanding how they work and why they work. He university lectures on games and is considered the best generalist game player in the Culture. When he joins special circumstances (SC) he is sent to the Empire of Azad, a society based on a monsterously complex game, one that functions not only as entertainment but that is also the way the decide a persons place in soceity up to and including the position of Emperor.

Now with that in mind do you deny that there is any connection between Gurgeh's merit (being really good at games) and the job SC has him doing (going to an Empire that revloves around a boardgame)?

Similarly in Use of Weapons the main character (Zakalwe) is a genius strategist, master spy and general all-round super soldier. SC hires him as a mercenary to be dropped into a system or planetary scale war and act as a general or infiltrator to shift the tide of the war. Do you claim that there's no connection to him being a great general and him being asked to act as a general by SC?

But wasn't he FORCED into joining special circumstances after he cheated, and was ultimately black mail'd into it?

And couldn't it also be inferred that by forcing him to come out of retirement (Something actual wikipedia says is something they did.) that his choice to remain in retirement and avoid war was ultimately denied to him because The Mind is law?

Now I admit I don't have much context, but generally when someone goes into retirement from an army profession it's not because they felt they were getting too old to pull the trigger.

Sure, he was a Great general, but he was chosen because he would preform as the minds wanted him to. Not because he was someone who was this irreplacable hero.

Weezer
2011-11-11, 12:37 PM
But wasn't he FORCED into joining special circumstances after he cheated, and was ultimately black mail'd into it?

And couldn't it also be inferred that by forcing him to come out of retirement (Something actual wikipedia says is something they did.) that his choice to remain in retirement and avoid war was ultimately denied to him because The Mind is law?

He was blackmailed by someone who was unconnected to special circumstances. The blackmailer was a drone had previously been kicked out of SC for being too agressive and unpredictable and he wanted Gurgeh to accept an earlier offer from SC and the drone wanted Gurgeh to use the fact that SC needed him in order to pressure SC into reinstating the drone. So it wasn't the Minds forcing Gurgeh but a private citizen.

Fan
2011-11-11, 12:40 PM
He was blackmailed by someone who was unconnected to special circumstances. The blackmailer was a drone had previously been kicked out of SC for being too agressive and unpredictable and he wanted Gurgeh to accept an earlier offer from SC and the drone wanted Gurgeh to use the fact that SC needed him in order to pressure SC into reinstating the drone. So it wasn't the Minds forcing Gurgeh but a private citizen.

That's still.. pretty seedy.

But not nearly as.. well.. ultimately scary as I was getting from it.

That explaination paints it less as a "FRIEND COMPUTER CONTROLS ALL." with a convincing illusion of freedom, and more "You do what you want till we need you" type of society.

Axolotl
2011-11-11, 12:40 PM
But wasn't he FORCED into joining special circumstances after he cheated, and was ultimately black mail'd into it?Yes because he was the only person in the entire Culture with the skills needed for the job. Which rebukes your claim that merits are irrelevant in the Culture.


And couldn't it also be inferred that by forcing him to come out of retirement (Something actual wikipedia says is something they did.) that his choice to remain in retirement and avoid war was ultimately denied to him because The Mind is law?He wasn't retired, he'd never been a part of Specil Circumstances before. And he wasn't forced to do anything by the Minds, he was blackmailed by a lone drone. Now if you're going claim that the Culture is some kind of existential distopia where man has no freedom because it's possible to blackmail people then I think you'll only be satisfied by a I am Legend or Purple Cloud type situation because short of that peole can still be jerks to you.


Now I admit I don't have much context,No, you don't.

Fan
2011-11-11, 12:41 PM
Yes because he was the only person in the entire Culture with the skills needed for the job. Which rebukes your claim that merits are irrelevant in the Culture.

He wasn't retired, he'd never been a part of Specil Circumstances before. And he wasn't forced to do anything by the Minds, he was blackmailed by a lone drone. Now if you're going claim that the Culture is some kind of existential distopia where man has no freedom because it's possible to blackmail people then I think you'll only be satisfied by a I am Legend or Purple Cloud type situation because short of that peole can still be jerks to you.

No, you don't.

You know, a misundestanding based on a limited wiki based exposure is no excuse for rudeness.\

But again, MILES off topic.

What I thought was this dystopian thought controlled society (lent in part by the name.. I mean.. it STILL sounds kinda scary.) where you were kept passive by this infinitely replicated experience, and designer drugs till you were needed by THE CULTURE that robbed you of all individuality and purpose is actually an okay (if still.. kinda.. whew.. well there is a lot of stuff you can infer.) place to be barring some sort of social mishap that damns your children (I guess you have to have something negative in a society...).

comicshorse
2011-11-11, 12:44 PM
That explaination paints it less as a "FRIEND COMPUTER CONTROLS ALL." with a convincing illusion of freedom, and more "You do what you want till we need you" type of society.

Even then you can turn them down. Zakalwe goes because they can meet his price, Gurgeh ( as far as they are aware) volunteers. In 'Matter' a SC agent quits a mission in the middle because her family needs her

Fan
2011-11-11, 12:46 PM
Even then you can turn them down. Zakalwe goes because they can meet his price, Gurgeh ( as far as they are aware) volunteers. In 'Matter' a SC agent quits a mission in the middle because her family needs her

Again, a combination of wikipedia, a poorly maintained dedicated wikimedia archive, and a little too much paranoia (The game. =p Though I THINK the game causes the condition.) lead to that combination of inferences.

Better place to live than 40k, but I'm still not comfortable with the amount of ridiculous gridfire, and numbers the setting throws around.

jseah
2011-11-11, 12:59 PM
Why do you look at the "gridfire" so much? More like, why does everyone, when comparing combat capabilities, immediately look at the biggest gun? (and hence lead to the mentioning of the 10^8MW pistol)

Size of your guns pales in comparison to the capabilities of the sides.

The matter transportation is essentially the key winning point of the Culture. The Culture can win against any and all of the 40k-verse minus the Chaos gods (or similar entities) with their matter transporters alone.

Fan
2011-11-11, 01:01 PM
Why do you look at the "gridfire" so much? More like, why does everyone, when comparing combat capabilities, immediately look at the biggest gun? (and hence lead to the mentioning of the 10^8MW pistol)

Size of your guns pales in comparison to the capabilities of the sides.

The matter transportation is essentially the key winning point of the Culture. The Culture can win against any and all of the 40k-verse minus the Chaos gods (or similar entities) with their matter transporters alone.

Minus Chaos.

Matter doesn't really work all that well in the warp.

The deeper into it you go, the less Space and Time are seperate things, and more they become the same in varying degrees and amounts that are soundly impossible, and a "True random".

Hence why the 100 year fleet appearing out of nowhere is possible.

Brother Oni
2011-11-11, 01:06 PM
Minus Chaos.

Matter doesn't really work all that well in the warp.

The deeper into it you go, the less Space and Time are seperate things, and more they become the same in varying degrees and amounts that are soundly impossible, and a "True random".

Hence why the 100 year fleet appearing out of nowhere is possible.

Except the the Culture is not reliant on the Warp for its FTL and unless you're talking about the Eye of Terror, demons can't pop out of the warp at will.

Even then, warp entities have been proved to be dispellable by a sufficient application of energy via heavy plasma cannon, so provided the Culture doesn't limit themselves with 'knife missiles', that's not much of a physical problem.
With Chaos, it's much more the corrupting influence that's a threat to the Culture as it's essentially trying to play SC at their own game.

tyckspoon
2011-11-11, 01:10 PM
Minus Chaos.

Matter doesn't really work all that well in the warp.

The deeper into it you go, the less Space and Time are seperate things, and more they become the same in varying degrees and amounts that are soundly impossible, and a "True random".

Hence why the 100 year fleet appearing out of nowhere is possible.

And unless you're going to make an arbitrary insistence that *all* hyperspace/extradimensional/FTL things must involve the Warp, the Culture doesn't have to deal with the Warp at all. So.. mostly this is still a negative for any 40k forces involved, because their logistics still have to deal with the fact that anything they want to send any distance greater than a solar system away won't have a reliable ETA and may never arrive at all. Even the Chaos forces have to deal with that, although they are generally better about managing it, and it's only the Chaos Marines who have a reliable real-world presence; they won't be any harder to deal with than normal Marines.

comicshorse
2011-11-11, 01:29 PM
Except the the Culture is not reliant on the Warp for its FTL and unless you're talking about the Eye of Terror, demons can't pop out of the warp at will.

Even then, warp entities have been proved to be dispellable by a sufficient application of energy via heavy plasma cannon, so provided the Culture doesn't limit themselves with 'knife missiles', that's not much of a physical problem.
With Chaos, it's much more the corrupting influence that's a threat to the Culture as it's essentially trying to play SC at their own game.

Now I'm seeing a Fan Fiction where SC recruit tzeentch :smallsmile:

The Glyphstone
2011-11-11, 01:30 PM
Now I'm seeing a Fan Fiction where SC recruit tzeentch :smallsmile:

Just as planned.:smallbiggrin:

Fan
2011-11-11, 01:30 PM
And unless you're going to make an arbitrary insistence that *all* hyperspace/extradimensional/FTL things must involve the Warp, the Culture doesn't have to deal with the Warp at all. So.. mostly this is still a negative for any 40k forces involved, because their logistics still have to deal with the fact that anything they want to send any distance greater than a solar system away won't have a reliable ETA and may never arrive at all. Even the Chaos forces have to deal with that, although they are generally better about managing it, and it's only the Chaos Marines who have a reliable real-world presence; they won't be any harder to deal with than normal Marines.

In the Eye of Terror they will.

Which is ultimately where the last battles of Chaos would be fought.

Where the Chaos Gods have armies of literally unkillable daemons (Even the efforts of the Grey Knights are merely hundred year banishments with details on how to rebanish them, not something that's doable in warp.)

And if they want to kill the chaos gods they have to enter The Warp itself.

Even ships with Gellar fields can't survive entering the Warp through The Eye of Terror (Source: Blood Quest graphic novel series.), you essentially need to be chaos to survive in it.

zingbat
2011-11-11, 01:34 PM
I have to say, I'm finding this thread somewhat funny. I think fans of 40K are having a tough time accepting that their favourite fictional universe could be curb-stomped by another, after the string of no-contest victories over Star Wars and Star Trek. :)

Fan
2011-11-11, 01:36 PM
Erm.. I don't think that's been argued, pretty much everything not Chaos, or Necrons at their Height loses.

It's just that Chaos is inherently unbeatable. To kill them, you have to kill all emotions. All of them, and sentient thought too. This includes thought on the level of Minds, and Drones.

zingbat
2011-11-11, 01:47 PM
He was blackmailed by someone who was unconnected to special circumstances. The blackmailer was a drone had previously been kicked out of SC for being too agressive and unpredictable and he wanted Gurgeh to accept an earlier offer from SC and the drone wanted Gurgeh to use the fact that SC needed him in order to pressure SC into reinstating the drone. So it wasn't the Minds forcing Gurgeh but a private citizen.

Actually, it is left ambiguous whether or not his blackmailer was working on his own, or if he was deep undercover for SC. Likewise, I seem to remember Gurgeh speculating on how the Minds may have engineered the whole blackmail scenario.

tyckspoon
2011-11-11, 01:48 PM
In the Eye of Terror they will.

Which is ultimately where the last battles of Chaos would be fought.

Where the Chaos Gods have armies of literally unkillable daemons (Even the efforts of the Grey Knights are merely hundred year banishments with details on how to rebanish them, not something that's doable in warp.)

And if they want to kill the chaos gods they have to enter The Warp itself.

Even ships with Gellar fields can't survive entering the Warp through The Eye of Terror (Source: Blood Quest graphic novel series.), you essentially need to be chaos to survive in it.

...o..kay? Invading the Eye of Terror is a Bad Idea. Ok, granted. So *why would they do it*? Post a ship or two in the area as a defensive cordon, blow up whatever comes out. Eventually they run out of Marines and real material resources to attempt to sally out with, and as they can't manifest demons wherever they please you have, for practical purposes, beaten Chaos. If they don't have real war materials to attack with and your soldiers are not especially susceptible to possession (because they're not psykers and therefore don't have enough Warp presence to empower or draw the attention of demons) you don't have much to worry about from Chaos.

..nevermind that if you do manage to unify or pacify the rest of the 40k universe you do have the resources to sorty into the Eye (assuming there is some useful goal you can achieve in there.. trying to destroy Abaddon or Fabius Bile or some such, maybe.) The Eldar know how to get in there. The 13th Company of Space Wolves know how to get in there (although arguably Chaos-tainted enough to pass.) The Necrons know how to reduce Warp influence; if the Culture could reverse-engineer their technology, you could, say, seed the space around the Eye with Cadian Pylon-based stations and successfully shrink or close the Eye itself.

Fan
2011-11-11, 01:49 PM
Actually, it is left ambiguous whether or not his blackmailer was working on his own, or if he was deep undercover for SC. Likewise, I seem to remember Gurgeh speculating on how the Minds may have engineered the whole blackmail scenario.

See. That.

That is how I got the impressions I did.

zingbat
2011-11-11, 01:54 PM
Erm.. I don't think that's been argued, pretty much everything not Chaos, or Necrons at their Height loses.

It's just that Chaos is inherently unbeatable. To kill them, you have to kill all emotions. All of them, and sentient thought too. This includes thought on the level of Minds, and Drones.

Only if you assume that 40K rules apply equally to The Culture's universe, and not the other way around. To The Culture, the Chaos Gods are just advanced alien life forms existing in a dimension with different physical laws. The Culture would focus on closing off the Warp permanently, or finding a way to destroy it altogether.

Fan
2011-11-11, 02:09 PM
Well, culture doesn't exactly deal in magic... hence why I assumed the people well versed in actual magic, and not fake magic that's just science knew it a little bit better.

Weezer
2011-11-11, 02:10 PM
Erm.. I don't think that's been argued, pretty much everything not Chaos, or Necrons at their Height loses.

It's just that Chaos is inherently unbeatable. To kill them, you have to kill all emotions. All of them, and sentient thought too. This includes thought on the level of Minds, and Drones.


The thing to remember is that the warp and chaos used to be far less of a problem than it is now. This was because the 'wall' between the warp and real space was far stronger, keeping out all chaos incursions. The wall was intentionally breached by the Great Old Ones in their fight against the Necrons. So if the Culture were able to figure out a way to reinforce that barrier then the threat of Chaos would be essentially eliminated.

The Culture has been shown to have a very good theoretical and practical command of multiple dimensions (ex. gridfire and hyperspace) so I don't think that this would be beyond their capabilities. It certainly isn't something that would happen at all quickly or easily, but I think it would happen eventually. Especially seeing that the Culture has reached a point technologically where they could ''ascend'' but chose not to because they are still too invested in the universe.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-11, 02:14 PM
..nevermind that if you do manage to unify or pacify the rest of the 40k universe you do have the resources to sorty into the Eye (assuming there is some useful goal you can achieve in there.. trying to destroy Abaddon or Fabius Bile or some such, maybe.) The Eldar know how to get in there. The 13th Company of Space Wolves know how to get in there (although arguably Chaos-tainted enough to pass.) The Necrons know how to reduce Warp influence; if the Culture could reverse-engineer their technology, you could, say, seed the space around the Eye with Cadian Pylon-based stations and successfully shrink or close the Eye itself.

That's how the Tau did it in a fanfiction I read once, where they eventually took over the galaxy and were shrinking the Eye of Terror a sliver at a time with anti-warp drones reverse-engineered out of their own warp-null traits. Of course, one of the main characters was a Demiurg and it featured Roberte Guilleman revived and fighting under Tau mind control...

Fan
2011-11-11, 02:17 PM
That was actually a black library endorsed bit of writing, and I've read that.

Did it ever finish?

The Glyphstone
2011-11-11, 02:18 PM
That was actually a black library endorsed bit of writing, and I've read that.

Did it ever finish?

I don't know, I got halfway through, stopped for a bit, and forgot where I found it. What was it called again?

Mikeavelli
2011-11-11, 02:26 PM
I'll leave the philosophical stuff aside.

To dredge up a conversation from far earlier in this thread, when you have a "vs" thread that includes the culture, the discussion ceases to be about technological advantages, ships, bombs, beams, etc. This whole thread is a philosophical discussion.

The question of Chaos is not whether or not the Culture can close off the Eye of Terror and separate the Warp from our universe completely, it's will they?

And in my opinion yes, yes they will. Losing a little magic is a small price to pay for putting an end to the threat of planetary-scale demonic murderrape.

--------------------

The culture isn't described as a dystopian FRIEND COMPUTER scenario. The whole point of a Dystopia is that people in charge have tried to solve all the mundane problems of the world, and failed in horrible ways that leave life not worth living.

The point of the culture is that the people in charge have tried to solve all the mundane problems of the world, and they succeeded! Through godlike technological progress, there are no more external challenges, there's no more needless suffering, everything you go through in life is about what you want to experience, the goals you set for yourself, the challenges you put yourself through.

Honestly, I could make an argument that we're all being used as tools in the real world too, and there's very little significant impact we can have on the world. To do this would bring a little too much real-world politics into the discussion.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-11, 02:31 PM
But does that MEAN anything?

Ultimately, Dan the Worker guy means NOTHING. Due to the ability to perfectly create matter in any way you please, Bill the accountant was also only be humored in his weak human minded attempts to pursue his passion for math.

Jim the janitor, who found his one true passion and love in cleaning is again. Only being humored.

They don't have to exist.

There is no point to that kind of life.

I'm gonna stop ya right hear and give ya a dose of reality okay. People on the whole do not have jobs because they enjoy them as a life fulfilling passion. They have jobs because you need money for food, living expenses, and whatever you pursue for leisure.

If all it takes for me to get food/items is a trip to the equivalent replicator, my power supply is free, and media is public access.... I am living the dream and I won't be alone. I'd pursue some hobbies I lack the time or ability to perform in real life, I'd presume the Culture would have some media programs capable of letting me draw well for example.



If Honorverse isn't the.. correct term (?) for the entire series as a whole then I've been inferring the wrong thing from the term.

It is the age of Google, Wikipedia, and TvTropes. It took me under a minute to find out that the Culture was written by Iain M. Banks. While the David Weber writes the entirely separate Honorverse.


...o..kay? Invading the Eye of Terror is a Bad Idea. Ok, granted. So *why would they do it*? Post a ship or two in the area as a defensive cordon, blow up whatever comes out. Eventually they run out of Marines and real material resources to attempt to sally out with, and as they can't manifest demons wherever they please you have, for practical purposes, beaten Chaos. If they don't have real war materials to attack with and your soldiers are not especially susceptible to possession (because they're not psykers and therefore don't have enough Warp presence to empower or draw the attention of demons) you don't have much to worry about from Chaos.

..nevermind that if you do manage to unify or pacify the rest of the 40k universe you do have the resources to sorty into the Eye (assuming there is some useful goal you can achieve in there.. trying to destroy Abaddon or Fabius Bile or some such, maybe.) The Eldar know how to get in there. The 13th Company of Space Wolves know how to get in there (although arguably Chaos-tainted enough to pass.) The Necrons know how to reduce Warp influence; if the Culture could reverse-engineer their technology, you could, say, seed the space around the Eye with Cadian Pylon-based stations and successfully shrink or close the Eye itself.

It remains rather unestablished in my mind how far even Necron tech could go in actually effecting the Warp itself, which is everywhere not simply the Eye of Terror. And of course more direct conduits like psykers.

Which is the real threat, the Warp and Eye of Terror simply mean that Chaos still has an existence of some kind. The real threat is the cultists slipping into the Culture itself and corrupting it, because where the Culture is sounds so very much like the Eldar at their height. I mean a society embracing sexual freedom is like laying out an all you can eat buffet to Slaanesh. And a psyker can make you want to participate and keep the cult's secrets. And before long you have a Chaos Cult with Culture tech. Helloooo civil war.

Fan
2011-11-11, 02:38 PM
I forgot too. =I

I remember it was centric to an ultramarines captain though...

And Sora. I'll go ahead and say that I work in Law Enforcement (with a planned internship with the FBI.) and what I do IS a life fufilling passion. There are people who DO love what they do in life. Even if you don't. I don't have this job because I have to, but because I WANT to.

So yeah, reality check yourself.

And don't ever presume that your view on life is the only one that's fully grounded.

tyckspoon
2011-11-11, 02:40 PM
It remains rather unestablished in my mind how far even Necron tech could go in actually effecting the Warp itself, which is everywhere not simply the Eye of Terror. And of course more direct conduits like psykers.


The Necron plan was, at one point in their fluff cycle, to completely separate the Warp and Realspace because psykers were the one thing the Old Ones made that were really giving them trouble (that and militarily speaking it would give them a huge advantage over the lesser races using Warp-based communications and travel technologies.) I don't know if that's still being referenced in current writings, but given 40k's "everything we ever wrote is still canon unless directly retconned" nature it would suggest Necron tech can effectively end Chaos entirely if it can be deployed on an adequately large scale. And it's something most 40k races would gladly choose to do if they were capable and were offered a decent alternative, like say a tech gift from the Culture allowing them to replace their Warp-based tech with better capabilities.. (well, ok, the Imperium; the Culture is not going to engage with the Tyranids or Orks, the Eldar probably won't be willing to give up their race-wide psychic nature, and the Tau won't know the difference anyway.)

dgnslyr
2011-11-11, 02:51 PM
!!CRAZY FAN THEORY ALERT!!

The 40k Chaos Gods are evil because 40k has absurdly high amounts of Grimdark radiation, so everything must be Grim and Dark in the Grim Dark Future of the 41st century. As a result, the Chaos gods, which are made of human emotion, display only the worst possible aspects of their respective emotions, because most thinking organisms are sad, downtrodden folks in fear of Big Scary Monsters out to eat them.

What would happen if you uplifted these oppressed peoples? No longer living in fear of Big Scary Monsters, the entire world's grimdarkness goes down, and so the sun comes out, and people can finally laugh freely because there's nothing to fear.

Chaos gods are made of emotions, so without the negative aspects to give them power, the Chaos gods naturally become good guys. Justice without rage. Life without fear. Hope without convoluted scheming. Love without, well, the stuff Slaneesh does.

By making life good and happy for the human(oids) of 40k-verse, the Culture makes the Chaos gods good and happy. I've been sitting on the idea of a 40k-Gurren Lagann crossover for a while, so some of those ideas have bled in.
/crazy fan theory

The_Admiral
2011-11-11, 02:55 PM
40k wins why? OP did not say which faction of 40k is pitted against the Culture. I think the Culture will end up like the Eldar.

tyckspoon
2011-11-11, 03:06 PM
40k wins why? OP did not say which faction of 40k is pitted against the Culture. I think the Culture will end up like the Eldar.

..birthing a new Chaos God, having that eat a majority percentage of the race, and subsequently living in fear of being devoured by it? That seems.. unlikely, seeing as how the citizens of The Culture are not psykers; the Eldar's downfall came not just because they developed a society of excessive hedonism, but because their entire race is psychic- whatever they do has amplified effects in the Warp. The Culture's people shouldn't be any more Warp-sensitive than your average Imperium citizen, possibly less as they don't have the Old One's interference to give their branch of humanity psy potential.. and that's assuming Culture humans are present at all. If you're talking strictly about warfare the Culture can prosecute it entirely with drones and AI if "potential of Chaos corruption" is deemed a big enough risk factor to warrant removing the direct involvement of fleshmeatbeings.

Shadow of the Sun
2011-11-11, 03:14 PM
I forgot too. =I

I remember it was centric to an ultramarines captain though...

And Sora. I'll go ahead and say that I work in Law Enforcement (with a planned internship with the FBI.) and what I do IS a life fufilling passion. There are people who DO love what they do in life. Even if you don't. I don't have this job because I have to, but because I WANT to.

So yeah, reality check yourself.

And don't ever presume that your view on life is the only one that's fully grounded.

At which point you'd have been able to join Contact or SC, wherein you act as a Cultural diplomat and ambassador, trying to avert wars and such.

Thing is, most people in this world DON'T get to do a fulfilling job they enjoy. You do, which is great, but most don't.

The idea that life "requires" suffering to be meaningful seems to me to be a very...Western view. Someone who's living on $5 a day will probably disagree vehemently.

Brother Oni
2011-11-11, 03:22 PM
And Sora. I'll go ahead and say that I work in Law Enforcement (with a planned internship with the FBI.) and what I do IS a life fufilling passion.
There are people who DO love what they do in life. Even if you don't. I don't have this job because I have to, but because I WANT to.

So yeah, reality check yourself.

And don't ever presume that your view on life is the only one that's fully grounded.


In that case, I certainly hope you don't jump to conclusions based on limited understanding and minimal research in your job the way you appear to have done in this thread.

I find it ironic that you complain about other people being rude then make this sort of post.

As for people who do get to do what they love, they're the lucky ones. For every person who enjoys their work, there's plenty more who are just doing it to pay the bills.



The idea that life "requires" suffering to be meaningful seems to me to be a very...Western view.

Actually it's very Eastern, Buddism in particular, but saying anything more infringes on forbidden board territory.
I don't think suffering is the correct word in this case... conflict maybe?

Fan
2011-11-11, 03:23 PM
Again, AI are not immune.

Chaos has these things called "Data Daemons" or Daemons that have possessed massive amounts of code and manifested through that.

hamishspence
2011-11-11, 03:24 PM
If you're talking strictly about warfare the Culture can prosecute it entirely with drones and AI if "potential of Chaos corruption" is deemed a big enough risk factor to warrant removing the direct involvement of fleshmeatbeings.

There is the Dark Mechanicus's "scrapcode" which they use to subvert machines. And daemonic machines like the "irradial cogitator" (Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos) which subverts machines via physical connections.

In Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema there is the "Schismatical" which can convert machines into more schismaticals, via broadcast- as long as they have a cogitator (40K name for computers) Less sophisticated machines are controlled instead of converted.

SlyGuyMcFly
2011-11-11, 03:26 PM
I'm saying that KNOWING your choice is yours is ultimately better than a life where A: Nothing is certain, B: Your essentially damning your children to a world painted by a social psychology that effectively brain washes anyone in it to this.. I'm not even going to explain again why I wouldn't want that.

Why yes, the existence of the average Imperial citizen is pretty awful. :smalltongue:

Tyndmyr
2011-11-11, 03:28 PM
So...the culture can transport and replicate things accurately and extremely rapidly, no?

What's to stop them from putting necron pylons....everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Screw the eye, put them there too.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-11, 03:29 PM
And Sora. I'll go ahead and say that I work in Law Enforcement (with a planned internship with the FBI.) and what I do IS a life fufilling passion. There are people who DO love what they do in life. Even if you don't. I don't have this job because I have to, but because I WANT to.


There's a large difference between some, substantial minority, majority, and everyone.

Something like law enforcement I can see having a larger percentage of that 'higher calling', there are professions like that. Then again I've seen the reverse side of a not entirely dissimilar career deconstructing that entire idea. Then there's why someone entered a profession versus why they are still there a couple years down the road. If you have a long and interesting career in and of itself then good on you.

Only profession I'd believe everyone is in it for itself for versus simply making a living is probably the clergy, the very definition of higher calling. Its entirely another world to suggest though that this applies to anything like a majority of people or employment. Look at the societal goal of getting to "early retirement" for example, or just retiring period.


The Necron plan was, at one point in their fluff cycle, to completely separate the Warp and Realspace because psykers were the one thing the Old Ones made that were really giving them trouble (that and militarily speaking it would give them a huge advantage over the lesser races using Warp-based communications and travel technologies.) I don't know if that's still being referenced in current writings, but given 40k's "everything we ever wrote is still canon unless directly retconned" nature it would suggest Necron tech can effectively end Chaos entirely if it can be deployed on an adequately large scale. And it's something most 40k races would gladly choose to do if they were capable and were offered a decent alternative, like say a tech gift from the Culture allowing them to replace their Warp-based tech with better capabilities.. (well, ok, the Imperium; the Culture is not going to engage with the Tyranids or Orks, the Eldar probably won't be willing to give up their race-wide psychic nature, and the Tau won't know the difference anyway.)

I'm not disputing that as the plan, I'm saying its one thing to take their plan as a statement of their actual ability to. As if they can they didn't ages ago because...?

40k runs a lot of ideas that are merely supposed and not quite substantiated. Like when the Emperor finally kicks the bucket, yeah there's been indications this might be a 'good' thing since he'll be free to be a powerful Warp entity then. Now largely retconned away but there. So until the Necrons show some progress of appreciable scale it merely remains a possibility.

Now if they Necrons have the tech. And the Culture can get a hold of it and use it. And do so before their utopia repeats the Eldar story under Chaos corruption... then yeah they win.

I just find it a bit low order. Even granting the Necrons the tech would they let it be taken versus nixing it themselves before being destroyed and/or teleporting out. I happen to think the Necrons would loose even with their whole teleporting and repairing thing just not as swiftly as straight forward factions like the Imperium, but keeping something of theirs out of enemy hands is not nearly as difficult.

Brother Oni
2011-11-11, 03:31 PM
There is the Dark Mechanicus's "scrapcode" which they use to subvert machines. And daemonic machines like the "irradial cogitator" (Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos) which subverts machines via physical connections.

In Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema there is the "Schismatical" which can convert machines into more schismaticals, via broadcast- as long as they have a cogitator (40K name for computers) Less sophisticated machines are controlled instead of converted.

Is a 40K AI anywhere near as capable as a Culture Mind though?

Dark Age of Technology stuff possibly, but anything in the M41 universe is probably not as advanced as a Mind, so I suggest it's unknown whether a daemon can corrupt one, or at least very much up for debate.

hamishspence
2011-11-11, 03:34 PM
True- but if it can corrupt machines on the edge of the ship, or station, and work its way inward, it may gain the power it needs.

Might be a bit difficult though.

Brother Oni
2011-11-11, 03:42 PM
True- but if it can corrupt machines on the edge of the ship, or station, and work its way inward, it may gain the power it needs.

Might be a bit difficult though.

Ouch. I forgot the Culture makes extensive use of nanotech for fabrication and other fancy things. The daemons could just corrupt those and work its way upwards from them.

Of course that's if it can subvert large numbers of relatively simple machines quickly. If it was limited to, say a single machine every hour, it'd take a while before it controlled enough nanobots to do something useful. :smalltongue:

SlyGuyMcFly
2011-11-11, 03:45 PM
Dark Age of Technology stuff possibly, but anything in the M41 universe is probably not as advanced as a Mind, so I suggest it's unknown whether a daemon can corrupt one, or at least very much up for debate.

It's a tricky issue to be sure. But I don't think any high-level Necron has ever been corrupted by the Warp and they're probably the closest thing to a Culture Mind in the 40k 'verse... On the other hand pretty much every sentient creature out there is susceptible to be corrupted.

tyckspoon
2011-11-11, 03:46 PM
I'm not disputing that as the plan, I'm saying its one thing to take their plan as a statement of their actual ability to. As if they can they didn't ages ago because...?


Because close to the entire rest of the sentient population of the universe at the time was fighting against them to prevent them doing so, and they still managed to lay some of the foundational installations for it (pylons on Cadia, probably some other notable ones that I think have since been destroyed by some of the Black Crusades.) The plan was developed as a direct response to the rise of psyker populations fighting against them; they didn't know they needed to do it until they were already being pushed away from the position where they could do it easily.

The Necrons wouldn't willingly give up the tech, no, but I don't think they they're going to actively oppose other civilizations replicating it; the one thing more obnoxious to them than non-Necron life is Chaos. And I was positing that as an end-game scenario, when The Culture has either destroyed or come to diplomatic terms with the other forces in the universe. The Black Library should contain information on what the Necron installations are and what they do, and assuming there is nothing especially bizarre about them (not an absolute given- there may be something weird and irreplicable about them requiring C'tan aid or grinding up Blanks and alloying them into the metal or something similarly unavailable or unpalatable) the Culture should be able to reverse engineer them once they know there are good reasons to do so.

Re: AI corruption- I'll grant such exists, although I think it's flipping stupid, but I would dispute that it could be effectively deployed against The Culture's Minds, in exactly the same way The Culture's ships are not especially threatened by 40k's vessels.

Edit: Also a lot of Chaos corruption gets its start because 40k is notoriously bad at keeping track of things; a cult can get seeded and get to a dangerous size before it becomes large enough to draw attention to itself. A Culture citizen acting oddly is much more likely to get noticed and responded to, and anything under the direct control of a Mind will be similarly ID'd and responded to when it stops giving back the kind of status reports it's supposed to.

zingbat
2011-11-11, 03:53 PM
Well, culture doesn't exactly deal in magic... hence why I assumed the people well versed in actual magic, and not fake magic that's just science knew it a little bit better.

Again, that's applying 40K rules universally to the exclusion of the rules of The Culture universe. I could turn it around and do the opposite. In the universe of The Culture, there is no such thing as magic or the supernatural. Anything that appears to be magic is actually Sufficiently Advanced Technology and/or the results of an ascended society. The Chaos Gods are likely just some kind of ascended being that have been twisted by the Warp.

But, it's not really playing fair to do that. Plus, it doesn't matter if Chaos is actually woo-woo magic or not, as, according to this thread, Necron technology already limits the effects of the Warp in normal space. The Culture simply has to capture this technology, improve it, and then deploy it everywhere in 40K space. If the "wall" between Chaos and normal space was once strong and was made weak, it can be made strong again. Basically, even if The Culture can't destroy the Warp outright, it can certainly contain it more or less permanently.

Weezer
2011-11-11, 03:58 PM
I'm not disputing that as the plan, I'm saying its one thing to take their plan as a statement of their actual ability to. As if they can they didn't ages ago because...?

40k runs a lot of ideas that are merely supposed and not quite substantiated. Like when the Emperor finally kicks the bucket, yeah there's been indications this might be a 'good' thing since he'll be free to be a powerful Warp entity then. Now largely retconned away but there. So until the Necrons show some progress of appreciable scale it merely remains a possibility.

Now if they Necrons have the tech. And the Culture can get a hold of it and use it. And do so before their utopia repeats the Eldar story under Chaos corruption... then yeah they win.

I just find it a bit low order. Even granting the Necrons the tech would they let it be taken versus nixing it themselves before being destroyed and/or teleporting out. I happen to think the Necrons would loose even with their whole teleporting and repairing thing just not as swiftly as straight forward factions like the Imperium, but keeping something of theirs out of enemy hands is not nearly as difficult.

The Necrons didn't do it earlier because the Old Ones forced them into hibernation by killing off the vast majority of life in the Galaxy, which cuts off the C'Tan's food supply making them hibernate or die. Also a large number of C'Tan were killed, mostly due to infighting, decreasing their power though not enough to stop them from winning in the end. Now they are just starting to become active again and not enough have awoken to implement the plan (even if there are enough C'Tan still alive to do it at all)

Fan
2011-11-11, 04:00 PM
But a Data Daemon of Tzeenetch would send correct reports back, and preform to the minds standards for CENTURIES. Tzeenetch plays these kinds of games all the time, as do his daemons.

The only time they'd stop preforming as expected is when they'd swarm and consume a mind, and wrest control of all electronic systems, and thus all of the GCU's tech from it.

and from there it's just a matter of acquiring a single factory ship.

and then GRID FIRE CHAOS.

THE GALAXY WILL BURN FOR TZEENETCH.

Brother Oni
2011-11-11, 04:02 PM
A Culture citizen acting oddly is much more likely to get noticed and responded to, and anything under the direct control of a Mind will be similarly ID'd and responded to when it stops giving back the kind of status reports it's supposed to.

That might be a little tricky: the former because of the wide range of behaviours present in Culture society (someone's just started staying in his room for days on end may very well be plotting something; alternately the Culture equivalent of Skyrim has just been released).

I don't think a Mind keeps track of every autonomous machine under its purview all the time, so if the daemon is smart and starts somewhere very low priority and extremely autonomous, it may establish a decent foothold somewhere before the Mind realises something is up.
That said, the bigger the ship, the more likely the daemon's going to succeed, but the more resources the Mind can bring to bear against it. A GSV isn't going to keep tabs on every janitorial drone it has while a ROV probably will, but conversely the amount of unfriendly fire a GSV could bring down on an established incursion is significantly more than a ROV could.

tyckspoon
2011-11-11, 04:19 PM
But a Data Daemon of Tzeenetch would send correct reports back, and preform to the minds standards for CENTURIES. Tzeenetch plays these kinds of games all the time, as do his daemons.


Ah, but you're talking about direct physical possession there again, which cannot happen unless the Culture ship has either been infiltrated by a cultist to summon the demon or is operating within an area of very weak warp/realspace boundaries. Neither of those situations have good probabilities- a Mind will know when there is a foreign being doing something weird on it (especially if you're positing an entirely or mostly AI-run ship operating in enemy territory, which I am), and they have no good reason to be hanging out in the Eye or similar zones to start with..and if they were, thanks to previously mentioned ability to gain information about such things, they'd know to be on very high alert for such contamination.

Axolotl
2011-11-11, 04:20 PM
But how would they even enter the ship to begin with? Daemons can't just manifest themselves anywhere they like they need some sort of warp gate or at the very least a psyker they can posses. Since there are no psykers in the Culture and it's very unlikely that any Culture citizens would become cultists, I don't see how a daemon would even get a foothold.

Excession
2011-11-11, 05:38 PM
A couple of points about earlier posts.

While the Culture is able to read minds, it will never do it without permission. I don't remember exact quote but it was along the lines of if the Culture had a list of written laws (which it doesn't), "no reading minds without permission" would be the first one. Like all things there is an exception, the GCU Grey Area, that went around reading the minds of dictators and such on primitive planets to uncover past atrocities. It was effectively kicked out of the Culture and renamed Meat****er in all official records. In later years it was used as an example of what not to do. Written records, computers, and non-sentient AIs are fair game though.

On Gurgeh in Player of Games the Minds' manipulation of him can be justified in a couple of ways. One, even before the blackmail incident Gurgeh did ask Contact to find him something more interesting than the games he was playing in the Culture. Admittedly even that request may have been prompted, but there may have been a degree of be careful what you wish for here. Secondly, Special Circumstances was a little bit desperate. The empire of Asad was well beyond the norm in its levels of cruelty and unpleasantness. They needed someone who could beat them at their own game in order to take the empire down with minimal loss of life. Improving the lives of the millions killed or enslaved by the empire of Azad meant the ends justified the means in that case.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-11, 05:44 PM
Heck, if the Culture's idealism is sufficiently potent enough to outweigh 40K's Grimdark, I would not be completely shocked to see the Chaos Gods 'redeemed', in a way. All the Gods are warped and twisted embodiments of positive emotions and ideals as well - make the universe they draw their power from sufficiently bright and happy and they'll change to reflect it whether they want to or not.


!!CRAZY FAN THEORY ALERT!!

The 40k Chaos Gods are evil because 40k has absurdly high amounts of Grimdark radiation, so everything must be Grim and Dark in the Grim Dark Future of the 41st century. As a result, the Chaos gods, which are made of human emotion, display only the worst possible aspects of their respective emotions, because most thinking organisms are sad, downtrodden folks in fear of Big Scary Monsters out to eat them.

What would happen if you uplifted these oppressed peoples? No longer living in fear of Big Scary Monsters, the entire world's grimdarkness goes down, and so the sun comes out, and people can finally laugh freely because there's nothing to fear.

Chaos gods are made of emotions, so without the negative aspects to give them power, the Chaos gods naturally become good guys. Justice without rage. Life without fear. Hope without convoluted scheming. Love without, well, the stuff Slaneesh does.

By making life good and happy for the human(oids) of 40k-verse, the Culture makes the Chaos gods good and happy. I've been sitting on the idea of a 40k-Gurren Lagann crossover for a while, so some of those ideas have bled in.
/crazy fan theory

Beecha tooit.:smallbiggrin:

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-11, 07:15 PM
The Necrons didn't do it earlier because the Old Ones forced them into hibernation by killing off the vast majority of life in the Galaxy, which cuts off the C'Tan's food supply making them hibernate or die. Also a large number of C'Tan were killed, mostly due to infighting, decreasing their power though not enough to stop them from winning in the end. Now they are just starting to become active again and not enough have awoken to implement the plan (even if there are enough C'Tan still alive to do it at all)

To be technical the Old Ones and C'Tan both lost after the Old Ones made warp sensitive races and ending up turning the Warp into well the happy place we know and love. Specifically the Enslavers.

Which given that Warp Entities were the problem, directly suggests that the cut off the Warp plan would take too long. Given that this period apparently involves conflicts waged in geologically measurable time, well I think this speaks for itself.

Essentially the Necrons, couldn't and therefore still can't. Therefore it remains unclear whether they actually can period, much less whether the plan is practical.

jseah
2011-11-11, 07:54 PM
True- but if it can corrupt machines on the edge of the ship, or station, and work its way inward, it may gain the power it needs.

Might be a bit difficult though.
Culture ships, with their matter transferance technology, can avoid any and all physical contact. They need not even go within a million km of something if they don't want to. They can still do their stuff.

And nothing the 40k verse is fast enough to catch any of the Culture's toys. Apart from a Ring or similar immobile stellar construct.

And its quite obvious that the first thing the Culture will run into in the 40k verse is the IoM. After a short bit of data collection anywhere, the Culture will be on high alert for Chaos contamination. Given how insanely paranoid the IoM is about Chaos and various accounts of apparent brainwashing, the Culture would think there was a Hegemonizing Swarm with mind control and some nanotech hanging around. (they'd think the IoM just hasn't figured it out)

EDIT:
and certainly, the IoM would a perfect target for "reform". Perhaps the Culture would even understand and accept that the IoM's cultural state is due to the continuous and apparently everlasting war against all and sundry. All of whom appear much much worse. (apart from the Tau)

Deeming the IoM unsuitable for Contact, the Culture would stay away unnoticed. They might even *help* the IoM against some of the more serious threats that are clearly non-negotiable. Like Chaos, Tyranids and Orks.
Sterilize Ork infested planets. Slowly disintegrate Tyranid fleets (they have a long long time to do it with). Attempt to contain Chaos by destroying all their infrastructure (and still failing to contain them).
Tau might be contacted or infiltrated. Certainly Tau under threat by the big three would be helped.
Necrons would be examined, in detail. Regenerating ships and teleportation technology implies a civilization very high up the tech tree and the Culture would tread lightly around them. At least at first.

After all, riding to the rescue of a once-glorious civilization under seige from all sides by three independent Hegemonizing Swarms; and is still fighting and (to the Culture) suffering atrocities so often it has forgotten what is an atrocity...
might be something the Culture dreams of doing. It would certainly go very far to validating the Culture's existence.

Trixie
2011-11-12, 06:34 AM
There is the Dark Mechanicus's "scrapcode" which they use to subvert machines. And daemonic machines like the "irradial cogitator" (Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos) which subverts machines via physical connections.

'Scrapcode' would require understanding the Culture tech in the first place, which even Dark Mechanicus would be unable to do. Irradial Cogitator requires psyhical contact, and I really don't see it getting into Culture ship.


In Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema there is the "Schismatical" which can convert machines into more schismaticals, via broadcast- as long as they have a cogitator (40K name for computers) Less sophisticated machines are controlled instead of converted.

Did it ever controlled true AI?

Plus, given the number of Land Raiders and such used to battle daemons reliably despite having AI, and the fact Chaos given 65 million years couldn't corrupt Necrons both indicate Chaos can't quite corrupt AI on a whim :P

Fan
2011-11-12, 06:50 AM
'Scrapcode' would require understanding the Culture tech in the first place, which even Dark Mechanicus would be unable to do. Irradial Cogitator requires psyhical contact, and I really don't see it getting into Culture ship.



Did it ever controlled true AI?

Plus, given the number of Land Raiders and such used to battle daemons reliably despite having AI, and the fact Chaos given 65 million years couldn't corrupt Necrons both indicate Chaos can't quite corrupt AI on a whim :P

Actually, that in specific actually possessed a fully self sentient Standard Template Construct (which was a Titan built to operate itself, and teach others how to build more of it.), and being knowledge.. well.. Tzeentch probably already has that knowledge, and seeing as this would be an event to warrant personal involvement if anything was, I'd say that he himself would probably attempt possession of one of the minds.


Also the Necrons can't be possessed specifically because they are warp anathema. It's kinda like Anti Hydrogen V.S. Hydrogen.

Axolotl
2011-11-12, 07:17 AM
Actually, that in specific actually possessed a fully self sentient Standard Template Construct (which was a Titan built to operate itself, and teach others how to build more of it.), What? In Dark Adeptus it's explictly stated that the Castigator didn't have any AI (and it certainly wasn't an STC) and it was just a daemon that had deluded itself into thinking it was an AI. At best it had a Machine Spirit but not it directly says it wasn't full AI.

Fan
2011-11-12, 09:26 AM
What? In Dark Adeptus it's explictly stated that the Castigator didn't have any AI (and it certainly wasn't an STC) and it was just a daemon that had deluded itself into thinking it was an AI. At best it had a Machine Spirit but not it directly says it wasn't full AI.

Actually, it was a daemon that had been possessing the Standard Template Construct for so long that it had forgotten it wasn't an AI.

It's specifically mentioned that it latched onto the STC's intelligence when the STC was lost, and over the millenia the daemon corrupted it before finally fully consuming the machine spirit for sustenance.

And then Alaric (The Grey Knight in Quesiton, and Protaganist of the book.) helps it remember that it's not an AI so he can kill it.

Bayonet Priest
2011-11-12, 09:43 AM
There are AIs and then there are AIs. Not all of them from various works of fiction would be as vulnerable to Chaos corruption as others. 40k AIs obviously have this vulnerability. I would expect Haloverse AIs to be easily corrupted as well (seeing as the best Forerunner AI Mendicant Bias was corrupted in universe). Sword of the Stars AIs also seem vulnerable to corruption. Some AIs would be very difficult to corrupt if not outright impossible though and I expect Culture Minds would be among these. Bolo AIs are also ones I would consider to be nearly incorruptable, while nowhere near as advanced and capable as a Mind their inherent paladinlike loyalty would make them very tough to crack.

Also, if Chaos corruption starts to infect the Mind couldn't it just effector itself back to normal?

Fan
2011-11-12, 09:53 AM
There are AIs and then there are AIs. Not all of them from various works of fiction would be as vulnerable to Chaos corruption as others. 40k AIs obviously have this vulnerability. I would expect Haloverse AIs to be easily corrupted as well (seeing as the best Forerunner AI Mendicant Bias was corrupted in universe). Sword of the Stars AIs also seem vulnerable to corruption. Some AIs would be very difficult to corrupt if not outright impossible though and I expect Culture Minds would be among these. Bolo AIs are also ones I would consider to be nearly incorruptable, while nowhere near as advanced and capable as a Mind their inherent paladinlike loyalty would make them very tough to crack.

Also, if Chaos corruption starts to infect the Mind couldn't it just effector itself back to normal?

Well the initial corruption is usually lending it towards thinking that Chaos is a GOOD thing. That's just the general first steps of chaos possession.

jseah
2011-11-12, 11:05 AM
Well the initial corruption is usually lending it towards thinking that Chaos is a GOOD thing. That's just the general first steps of chaos possession.
Its not beyond the abilities of the Culture to avoid that.

Possible solution:
Automatic non-sentient "watchers" that monitor the AI's thought processes. Any sign of corruption of moral standards and/or overall goals and objectives causes it to automatically suspend the AI and restore a backup. The uncorrupted backup then proceeds to scan the suspended version and recover data where possible. Restarting the suspended is not possible.
In the event of backup corruption, the AI is shut down and the ship makes it way back to Culture space under control of non-sentient expert systems.
In the unlikely event of further corruption, the ship self-destructs.

Removal of "watchers" is not possible without the infrastructure of a major Culture Orbital (space habitats). Unauthorized removal of the "watchers" causes total AI shutdown. The AI's fundamental functions and circuits relies on the "watcher" existing, being built in from the start.

Fan
2011-11-12, 11:12 AM
Its not beyond the abilities of the Culture to avoid that.

Possible solution:
Automatic non-sentient "watchers" that monitor the AI's thought processes. Any sign of corruption of moral standards and/or overall goals and objectives causes it to automatically suspend the AI and restore a backup. The uncorrupted backup then proceeds to scan the suspended version and recover data where possible. Restarting the suspended is not possible.
In the event of backup corruption, the AI is shut down and the ship makes it way back to Culture space under control of non-sentient expert systems.
In the unlikely event of further corruption, the ship self-destructs.

Removal of "watchers" is not possible without the infrastructure of a major Culture Orbital (space habitats). Unauthorized removal of the "watchers" causes total AI shutdown. The AI's fundamental functions and circuits relies on the "watcher" existing, being built in from the start.

What if the watcher itself is corrupted by a citizen of the culture (a cultist of slannesh corrupted simply by being well.. the lifestyle of an average cultist lends itself quite easily to corruption by Slannesh, all it takes is for one "reformed" person from a chaos cult, or hell knowing the culture the entire cult.. to get in, and BAM there goes every drone, and person on the ship to The Legion of Lust.), a data daemon, etc?

That's not nearly fool proof, or impenetrable.

jseah
2011-11-12, 11:42 AM
The 'watcher' itself isn't sentient. Its workings isn't complicated and its criteria for "changing objectives" is very strict and inflexible. It doesn't learn, doesn't remember, doesn't change.
There will be many false alarms. The 'watcher's will be tripped incredibly often. Hence why there is a backup system.

You can think of it as a giant if-table.

Unless Chaos can corrupt an unpiloted tank without a machine spirit, it can't touch the 'watcher'.

Part of the solution assumes that any ship entering Chaos tainted areas has no physical crews. There is only the AIs and their 'watchers'. Besides, those missions would be aimed at containing Chaos, there's no point in entering those areas otherwise.

Axolotl
2011-11-12, 12:19 PM
Actually, it was a daemon that had been possessing the Standard Template Construct for so long that it had forgotten it wasn't an AI.

It's specifically mentioned that it latched onto the STC's intelligence when the STC was lost, and over the millenia the daemon corrupted it before finally fully consuming the machine spirit for sustenance.

And then Alaric (The Grey Knight in Quesiton, and Protaganist of the book.) helps it remember that it's not an AI so he can kill it.Exactly so it was a daemons possing a machine not an AI. I don't see how this disagrees with what I said. The Castigator did not have AI, it had a daemon that thought it was AI.

Fan
2011-11-12, 12:32 PM
The 'watcher' itself isn't sentient. Its workings isn't complicated and its criteria for "changing objectives" is very strict and inflexible. It doesn't learn, doesn't remember, doesn't change.
There will be many false alarms. The 'watcher's will be tripped incredibly often. Hence why there is a backup system.

You can think of it as a giant if-table.

Unless Chaos can corrupt an unpiloted tank without a machine spirit, it can't touch the 'watcher'.

Part of the solution assumes that any ship entering Chaos tainted areas has no physical crews. There is only the AIs and their 'watchers'. Besides, those missions would be aimed at containing Chaos, there's no point in entering those areas otherwise.

No, no, no, no.

I'm saying a corrupted drone cultist or something from Special Interests that came in to "check" the watchers for corruption. Multiple layers of redundancy and all.

Then the watchers get corrupted through that layer of redundancy, or the daemon creates some loop hole where the mind THINKS the watchers still exist, and for all intents and purposes they "report" but fail to recognize the program as harmful, or even a program that's not supposed to be there.

Think of it as a hard drive that still lights up, and boots the OS, but can't be written to.

Lamech
2011-11-12, 02:13 PM
And its quite obvious that the first thing the Culture will run into in the 40k verse is the IoM. After a short bit of data collection anywhere, the Culture will be on high alert for Chaos contamination. Given how insanely paranoid the IoM is about Chaos and various accounts of apparent brainwashing, the Culture would think there was a Hegemonizing Swarm with mind control and some nanotech hanging around. (they'd think the IoM just hasn't figured it out)They also might think chaos is something similar to a sublimed faction. They are beyond this universe, get to screw with this one ect. And if the culture learns that Geller fields can stop chaos incursions... Geller fields everywhere on the off chance chaos is some sort of sublimed B.S. they can't fight.

Geller fields do stop chaos possessions/demons materializing right? Even in normal space?

Anyway so I see one of three scenarios resulting from this match up:
1) Culture defeats/subverts non-chaos, seals off chaos from themselves via lots of Geller fields/necron-plyons/genetically engineered nulls ect.
2) Culture defeats/subverts non-chaos. Unable to seal off chaos, but can contain it without falling.
3) Culture falls to chaos. All other 40K factions have either fallen to Culture already or soon fall to Chaos-Culture.

Fan
2011-11-12, 02:19 PM
They also might think chaos is something similar to a sublimed faction. They are beyond this universe, get to screw with this one ect. And if the culture learns that Geller fields can stop chaos incursions... Geller fields everywhere on the off chance chaos is some sort of sublimed B.S. they can't fight.

Geller fields do stop chaos possessions/demons materializing right? Even in normal space?

Anyway so I see one of three scenarios resulting from this match up:
1) Culture defeats/subverts non-chaos, seals off chaos from themselves via lots of Geller fields/necron-plyons/genetically engineered nulls ect.
2) Culture defeats/subverts non-chaos. Unable to seal off chaos, but can contain it without falling.
3) Culture falls to chaos. All other 40K factions have either fallen to Culture already or soon fall to Chaos-Culture.

Sounds reasonable enough. I'm definitely not going to be saying chaos possession with be easy OR a sure thing, or that even 1 ship falling to chaos would be enough for the corruption to spread.

It's just a possible option. Culture pretty much curb stomps, or converts everyone else (I still think they'd convert the Tau, and IoM.. potentially Eldar. Depends on how good they are. The Eldar have worked with the IoM in the past though, so it's not impossible.), killing off the non convertible factions with the help of the converted factions numbers, and sits soundly in a well populated galaxy of happiness.'

Again, barring mass simultaneous chaos possession.

jseah
2011-11-12, 05:17 PM
No, no, no, no.

I'm saying a corrupted drone cultist or something from Special Interests that came in to "check" the watchers for corruption. Multiple layers of redundancy and all.

Then the watchers get corrupted through that layer of redundancy, or the daemon creates some loop hole where the mind THINKS the watchers still exist, and for all intents and purposes they "report" but fail to recognize the program as harmful, or even a program that's not supposed to be there.

Think of it as a hard drive that still lights up, and boots the OS, but can't be written to.
Uh, the watchers are built into the AI itself. The Mind doesn't shut down when the watcher tells it to. If the watcher trips or stops working, the Mind shuts down whether or not it wants to.

The watchers will come in triplicate, disagreement between the copies will force shutdown of the faulty copy and set the objective to "immediately return to Culture-held space for overhaul". If there is further disagreement between the two remaining watchers, the Mind shuts down and the ship attempts to auto-pilot back to normal space.
There is no other redundancy.

The watchers themselves are made to be unservicable (although they are made to be as long lasting as possible). Once installed, the only way to take them out again without destroying the Mind is to take the whole ship to pieces and rebuild it.
Other than a full industrial base of a Culture Orbital, nothing else can do it. Of course, its also made to be tamper-proof.


Sure, that'll reduce the service life of the ships. Malfunctions happen after all, even at Culture-level of precision fabrication.
But you only need the ships to do specific missions in Chaos space. Simply overhaul the ships again after each mission or malfunction and the ships should never go more than a few years between servicings.

The assumption here is that the Culture habitats in normal space aren't compromised. But then simple quarantine procedures will easily do it.

EDIT:
actually, the Culture is one of those races that hasn't Sublimed yet because it wants to mess around some more.

The presence of the Chaos Gods might actually be "solvable" by Culture if they Sublime a part of their civilization.
Its like they can turn sections of entire civilizations into an entity roughly on the same level as Chaos itself.

If they still want to retain some meat-space presence, they could go on an expansionist drive for a bit to grow a bit before running the "sign up here to join the Ascension" project.

Fan
2011-11-12, 05:20 PM
Uh, the watchers are built into the AI itself. The Mind doesn't shut down when the watcher tells it to. If the watcher trips or stops working, the Mind shuts down whether or not it wants to.

The watchers will come in triplicate, disagreement between the copies will force shutdown of the faulty copy and set the objective to "immediately return to Culture-held space for overhaul". If there is further disagreement between the two remaining watchers, the Mind shuts down and the ship attempts to auto-pilot back to normal space.
There is no other redundancy.

The watchers themselves are made to be unservicable (although they are made to be as long lasting as possible). Once installed, the only way to take them out again without destroying the Mind is to take the whole ship to pieces and rebuild it.
Other than a full industrial base of a Culture Orbital, nothing else can do it. Of course, its also made to be tamper-proof.


Sure, that'll reduce the service life of the ships. Malfunctions happen after all, even at Culture-level of precision fabrication.
But you only need the ships to do specific missions in Chaos space. Simply overhaul the ships again after each mission or malfunction and the ships should never go more than a few years between servicings.

The assumption here is that the Culture habitats in normal space aren't compromised. But then simple quarantine procedures will easily do it.

And what's to stop a chaos servant from getting into their manufacturing plants?

All it would take is less than a single kb of code to do that, and at the cultures level of storage, a single kb would be unlikely to be noticed even at the most stringent levels of scanning. Especially if, being chaos, they have agents in every department.

And again, this whole layer of strategy seems very meta. What reason do they have to assume that culture AI can be corrupted? The Dark Adeptus isn't something that gets written down.

Axolotl
2011-11-12, 05:21 PM
And what's to stop a chaos servant from getting into their manufacturing plants?The plants are themseves operated exclusively by Minds.


All it would take is less than a single kb of code to do that, and at the cultures level of storage, a single kb would be unlikely to be noticed even at the most stringent levels of scanning. Especially if, being chaos, they have agents in every department.That isn't the way Culture Minds work

Fan
2011-11-12, 05:22 PM
The plants are themseves operated exclusively by Minds.

That isn't the way Culture Minds work

They aren't made?

They don't have regular updates to their programming?

I was under the impression minds still needed to be created in some fashion.

Or do they spawn fully formed from vats or some other such nonsense?

jseah
2011-11-12, 05:24 PM
And again, this whole layer of strategy seems very meta. What reason do they have to assume that culture AI can be corrupted? The Dark Adeptus isn't something that gets written down.
What reasons? They bump into the IoM, scan a planet or two and are on instant high alert for a "very hostile, highly subversive Hegemonizing Swarm".

Fan
2011-11-12, 05:30 PM
Because that's what they do.

Despite the average citizen not knowing jack about chaos, or the fact that it can do any of these things.

Despite the average planetary govenor, or Lord Militant not knowing that chaos has these capabilities.

Despite the average planet having the educational equivalent to learning camps where your taught your profession and nothing else, and no standing libraries that are accessible, or have any data on chaos (In fact, the only one that does is the Library on Titan, which is sealed by magic against outside scans and intrusions.), and the only thing the average world knowing about chaos is the fact that they have demons, and tend to be very good at bringing other people over to their side.

Axolotl
2011-11-12, 05:32 PM
They aren't made?

They don't have regular updates to their programming?

I was under the impression minds still needed to be created in some fashion.

Or do they spawn fully formed from vats or some other such nonsense?They are created inside other ships by other Minds.

But they don't have programming. That's not the way they work.

Fan
2011-11-12, 05:33 PM
Then kindly tell me how these ultra computers work.

Axolotl
2011-11-12, 05:38 PM
Then kindly tell me how these ultra computers work.I don't know, it must be pretty complex given wht they can do but to directly quote one "I am not an animal brain, I am not even some attempt to produce an Al through software running on a computer."

Fan
2011-11-12, 05:40 PM
I don't know, it must be pretty complex given wht they can do but to directly quote one "I am not an animal brain, I am not even some attempt to produce an Al through software running on a computer."

Really? Because what I'm reading says that they actually have measures of computing, and processor power given in series (fairly ridiculous, being in the realm of 1 million yottabytes.).. so.. it seems to me they are still computers as far as being made of data, and running on the standard idea of bytes, bits, etc.

Sure how they run may be different as far as OS, and what the author calls it, but they still run processes like a computer does as far as capabilities go, and thus, can still have little micro processes slipped in beneath notice to make the watchers report and agree normally, but be infected.

But again. I highly doubt they'd even know about data demons before a culture mind would be infested. It just doesn't seem plausible, and if it's a factory ship well...

Say hello to Chaos Marines with Shields, and weapons on the scale of that crazy pistol.

Weezer
2011-11-12, 05:45 PM
Really? Because what I'm reading says that they actually have measures of computing, and processor power given in series (fairly ridiculous, being in the realm of 1 million yottabytes.).. so.. it seems to me they are still computers as far as being made of data, and running on the standard idea of bytes, bits, etc.

Except if you want to you could measure human "computing power" in terms of hertz and our "storage capacity" in bits, so the units they use don't have much bearing on the function of the Minds.
Though I will admit that we have zero idea how any of their tech works, including the Minds themselves. Banks stays far away from any technobabble, only detailing results and rarely the how behind things.

jseah
2011-11-12, 05:56 PM
<...> the only thing the average world knowing about chaos is the fact that they have demons, and tend to be very good at bringing other people over to their side.
The Culture is also very good at reading between the lines.

High levels of militarization. Records of production, troop movements, conscription rates, death rates all point to a state of war.

Insane watching of population, far more intrusive survelliance and security sweeps than would be expected out of a dictatorial regime. Almost as if they were afraid of their own population.
Its almost as if they were paranoid about Chaos (the existence of which known basically everywhere, the basic facts like Chaos appears in cults, subverts things, has demons, etc.).
And every single person is scared to death of Chaos and hates it so much it borders on fanaticism (and goes way over the line in many many cases)

Just from the security measures taken, it is very obvious that Chaos is insanely contagious and seems to brainwash people.
And that the locals have given up trying to quarantine and are on perpetual damage control. So Chaos is not some kind of long incubation disease but more like an intelligent entity.

After the first IoM ship, the Culture has their starmaps and can actually make sense of those troop and resource movement records. Not to mention, samples of whatever the IoM uses to defend ships in Warp space, which is known to repel Chaos.
And key areas to be very very cautious in.

All that points to the IoM fighting an apparently endless war against a Hegemonizing Swarm. And losing slowly.
Oh, and that the IoM is not ready to be Contacted and they aren't advanced enough to prevent the Culture from doing whatever it wants to them.

This is after two planets and one ship. After that, an expedition heads straight to Sol. Titan's magic protection just means they'll have to bug the whole place with nanotech instead of a scan. Or send down a stealthed missile.
(their missiles have cameras and antigravity. The things can turn on a dime)

Axolotl
2011-11-12, 05:57 PM
Really? Because what I'm reading says that they actually have measures of computing, and processor power given in series (fairly ridiculous, being in the realm of 1 million yottabytes.).. so.. it seems to me they are still computers as far as being made of data, and running on the standard idea of bytes, bits, etc.There are people measuring the human brains processing power doesn't mean you can program it.


Sure how they run may be different as far as OS, and what the author calls it, but they still run processes like a computer does as far as capabilities go, and thus, can still have little micro processes slipped in beneath notice to make the watchers report and agree normally, but be infected.Why? Why do they have to simulate it as a computer does? The quote I gave above explcitly states they don't do it that way.

And even if you were somehow able to work out how a Mind works and how to change it. How could you possibly hope to do that without either the Mind itself or the Mind building it noticing? Minds are capable of simulating 12-dimensional universes while monitoring a living space the size of a Dyson Spheres. They're faster, smarter and have more senses than any being that Chaos has at it's disposal.

Fan
2011-11-12, 05:59 PM
I'm gonna call BS on that.

Sorry, but that pretty much sounds like Warp Sorcery 101, and well, The Culture ain't got **** for magic defenses.

jseah
2011-11-12, 06:03 PM
Say hello to Chaos Marines with Shields, and weapons on the scale of that crazy pistol.
Actually, I can very easily imagine the Culture simply "losing" a pistol or two somewhere on Mars.

Or maybe fabricate some kind of very realistic space wreck from a long dead species that "just happens" to have a "very very old" laser cannon still working.
And then send it drifting into Sol and watch the techpriests dissect it and go squee over the laser battery.
Maybe even make it falling apart in "just the right way" to show how it was built.

Arguably, if the IoM had better weapons and didn't need so many troops, life might actually get a bit nicer. Maybe.


I'm gonna call BS on that.

Sorry, but that pretty much sounds like Warp Sorcery 101, and well, The Culture ain't got **** for magic defenses.

Well, they will after they scan the first IoM ship. Then they get whatever the IoM has.

Fan
2011-11-12, 06:06 PM
Actually, I can very easily imagine the Culture simply "losing" a pistol or two somewhere on Mars.

Or maybe fabricate some kind of very realistic space wreck from a long dead species that "just happens" to have a "very very old" laser cannon still working.
And then send it drifting into Sol and watch the techpriests dissect it and go squee over the laser battery.

Arguably, if the IoM had better weapons and didn't need so many troops, life might actually get a bit nicer. Maybe.

Well, if the Imperium of Man didn't need to sacrifice billions of people every day to survive, lots of things would be better.

The reason for the Grim Dark is because the blood of martyrs flows through the veins of the Imperium, and industry it's beating heart.

Without these things EVERYONE dies, and by and large the idealists of the Imperium of Man fight so one day others wont have to.

Also, who's to say they can understand, or would even acknowledge gellar fields as anything that wasn't magic?

As far as I understand the engine pretty much runs on psychic energy.

jseah
2011-11-12, 06:09 PM
Without these things EVERYONE dies, and by and large the idealists of the Imperium of Man fight so one day others wont have to.
You mean everyone fights so the next generation can keep fighting. Otherwise everyone dies a very very gruesome death.

I'd take fighting on desolate battlefields over being slowly tortured to death.


But yes, the Culture isn't just going to invade the IoM. After reading The State of The Art, I'm more inclined to think Contact would drop them a few pieces of outdated technology (but still very very deadly).

Axolotl
2011-11-12, 06:10 PM
Also if Chaos are such a big threat to the Culture how come they've been failing (and failing badly) to hurt the Imperium for the past 10,000 years? During which time the Imperium has been contantly besieged by countless alien races, traitor groups and It's own civil wars? During the 13th Crusade all of Abaddon's might failed to capture Cadia while the Imperium was fighting a galaxy wide war with an endless number of Orks and Hive Fleet Leviathan at the same time (as well as numerous lesser threats).

Fan
2011-11-12, 06:11 PM
You mean everyone fights so the next generation can keep fighting. Otherwise everyone dies a very very gruesome death.

I'd take fighting on desolate battlefields over being slowly tortured to death.


But yes, the Culture isn't just going to invade the IoM. After reading The State of The Art, I'm more inclined to think Contact would drop them a few pieces of outdated technology (but still very very deadly).

Hence why I said the idealists.

The realists in the Imperium of Man.. well.. Look to Captain Gabriel Angelos.

And Abaddon? You mean Failbaddon the Loser of Chaos? The single most laughably incompetent leader to ever fail a crusade? He's a running joke.

The man had everything handed to him, and failed. Honestly.

The only reason I'm saying this would even be possible is because Failbaddon would DIE. And Die horribly.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-12, 06:20 PM
Hence why I said the idealists.

The realists in the Imperium of Man.. well.. Look to Captain Gabriel Angelos.

And Abaddon? You mean Failbaddon the Loser of Chaos? The single most laughably incompetent leader to ever fail a crusade? He's a running joke.

The man had everything handed to him, and failed. Honestly.

The only reason I'm saying this would even be possible is because Failbaddon would DIE. And Die horribly.

Fan, read back in the 2nd or 3rd thread, where I analyzed and posted 'Failbaddon''s record...he's actually got something on the odds of a 70% success rate, unless you're so stringent as to count anything short of 'sack Terra' as a failure.

Fan
2011-11-12, 06:21 PM
Fan, read back in the 2nd or 3rd thread, where I analyzed and posted 'Failbaddon''s record...he's actually got something on the odds of a 70% success rate, unless you're so stringent as to count anything short of 'sack Terra' as a failure.

=I.

That's what I get for not reading Chaos Books..

It's mostly cause they creep me out.. but...

The Glyphstone
2011-11-12, 06:23 PM
=I.

That's what I get for not reading Chaos Books..

It's mostly cause they creep me out.. but...

Can't be blamed - 'Failbaddon' is a fun meme to propagate, but even scanning Lexicanum gave me enough to show he's not significantly less competent than anyone who's not an Ultramarine or Grey Knight.

Selrahc
2011-11-12, 06:36 PM
And Abaddon? You mean Failbaddon the Loser of Chaos? The single most laughably incompetent leader to ever fail a crusade? He's a running joke.



Amongst meme happy /tg/ers.
The fact that you're spouting it as a serious point undermines your knowledge of Chaos.

Chaos is weaker in resources than the Imperium. Substantially so.
The average Black Crusade runs like this: Send distracting force to occupy Cadia blockade. Break into realspace with bulk of forces. Cause as much damage as possible with the forces. Return to the Eye.

The mission is never "Utterly Crush the Imperium and kill Terra" or even "Destroy Cadia". The Imperium has far more resources available to it than the Chaos Legions ever did, and attacking the most heavily defended fortress worlds in the Imperium is not a good way to utilize a smaller force. They bust out, cause heavy economic damage, and retreat. The Imperium is unable to focus it's forces into a particular area, having to defend a large area from attack instead.

Fan
2011-11-12, 06:38 PM
Amongst meme happy /tg/ers.
The fact that you're spouting it as a serious point undermines your knowledge of Chaos.

Chaos is weaker in resources than the Imperium. Substantially so.
The average Black Crusade runs like this: Send distracting force to occupy Cadia blockade. Break into realspace with bulk of forces. Cause as much damage as possible with the forces. Return to the Eye.

The mission is never "Utterly Crush the Imperium and kill Terra" or even "Destroy Cadia". The Imperium has far more resources available to it than the Chaos Legions ever did, and attacking the most heavily defended fortress worlds in the Imperium is not a good way to utilize a smaller force. They bust out, cause heavy economic damage, and retreat. The Imperium is unable to focus it's forces into a particular area, having to defend a large area from attack instead.

Well again..

What I get for not reading anything on Chaos.

I fully accept this little bit of fail on my part, and apologize.

Chaos still creeps me out though. The idea of slannesh makes me kinda.. cringe..

The Glyphstone
2011-11-12, 07:25 PM
Well again..

What I get for not reading anything on Chaos.

I fully accept this little bit of fail on my part, and apologize.

Chaos still creeps me out though. The idea of slannesh makes me kinda.. cringe..

What's wrong with heavy metal music?:smallbiggrin:

deuterio12
2011-11-12, 07:25 PM
The mission is never "Utterly Crush the Imperium and kill Terra" or even "Destroy Cadia". The Imperium has far more resources available to it than the Chaos Legions ever did, and attacking the most heavily defended fortress worlds in the Imperium is not a good way to utilize a smaller force. They bust out, cause heavy economic damage, and retreat. The Imperium is unable to focus it's forces into a particular area, having to defend a large area from attack instead.

Just out of curiosity, isn't the Warp suposed to be filled with endless daemons? Suposedly if they can get a portal open in a planet they have virtually endless reinforcments of elite troops in said planet. I would expect that to allow them to win grinding battles.

The Glyphstone
2011-11-12, 07:27 PM
Just out of curiosity, isn't the Warp suposed to be filled with endless daemons? Suposedly if they can get a portal open in a planet they have virtually endless reinforcments of elite troops in said planet. I would expect that to allow them to win grinding battles.

The trick is keeping that portal open. That takes energy, and usually sacrifices to an ongoing ritual. When that portal closes, the demons are all cut off from their energy source and tend to go poof.

Eldan
2011-11-12, 07:42 PM
Actually, I can very easily imagine the Culture simply "losing" a pistol or two somewhere on Mars.

Or maybe fabricate some kind of very realistic space wreck from a long dead species that "just happens" to have a "very very old" laser cannon still working.
And then send it drifting into Sol and watch the techpriests dissect it and go squee over the laser battery.
Maybe even make it falling apart in "just the right way" to show how it was built.
.

The IoM already has some pretty impressive weapons. Lascannons, Plasma... all man portable. The problem seems to be maintenance and production, not technology.

Wardog
2011-11-12, 07:49 PM
Hence again, why I checked the ACTUAL wikipedia on the source, and this is again, what I'm getting from this. Everytime something happens, or some such it was all "part of the cultures over arching plan", that's been at the end of like, every article that had a plot summary regarding those books that I've read (Admittedly not all of them, but only so much time in a day, and Ian wrote a lot of books.)
And in the 40k 'verse, everything you do and everything that happens is all "part of Tzeentch's over arching plan".


... Tank can only shoot so many Ants at one time. The Imperium is a world of Ants...A Galaxy of Ants. More Ants than you could possibly imagine.

And every single one of them would lay down their lives for their Emperor. Untold numbers of people, swarming through space to fight back. Every single member of the Culture that falls is a loss, because the ranks of the Imperium are nigh unending. Kill one world, untold legions from other worlds rise to take their place. Space Marines, Guardsmen, Civilians...a never ending swarm of people rising to fight against these invaders. That's clearly not the case. Imperial citizens are rebelling or defecting all the time, whether due Chaos offering them a life of sex and drugs and absolute cosmic power, the Tau offering them a place in a more enlightened society, or just planetary governors deciding to withold their tithes.

And while some Imperial civilians (typically the more deranged fanatics) will voluntarily swarm the enemies of the Imperium, most of the rest need to be forced to do so. Space Marines don't come in "untold legions", and while Guards do, they can take months or years to mobiize in that level of force.




Re: AI corruption- I'll grant such exists, although I think it's flipping stupid, but I would dispute that it could be effectively deployed against The Culture's Minds, in exactly the same way The Culture's ships are not especially threatened by 40k's vessels.
Can anyone clear up exactly what the requirements for AI-posesion are in 40k?

I seem to remember reading once that it was something like "AI without a soul = instant possession/corruption", but that can't be right because otherwise Tau drones and Necrons would all succumb.

comicshorse
2011-11-12, 08:06 PM
Fan's arguments had me thinking again about the books and I'm remembering that knife missiles tend to be fairly bloodthirsty ( In 'Player of Games' the one that recruits Gurgeh main reason for joining SC seems to be that it would give him a chance to kill someone and in 'Use of Weapons' Sma's missile slaughters a load of people and then kills their horses to and definitley seems to be enjoying it).
Can't help thinking there's a way in for Khorne there

deuterio12
2011-11-12, 08:06 PM
That's clearly not the case. Imperial citizens are rebelling or defecting all the time, whether due Chaos offering them a life of sex and drugs and absolute cosmic power, the Tau offering them a place in a more enlightened society, or just planetary governors deciding to withold their tithes.

Well, sometimes chaos just needs to offer such simple promises as freedom, hope and a better life. The IoM isn't setting the bar very high by treating most citizens as expendable items. When an Inquisitor arrives and says your whole city/country/world ( and you included) will have to be purged because of a suspicion of corruption/acounting error, then turning to chaos looks quite tempting.




I seem to remember reading once that it was something like "AI without a soul = instant possession/corruption", but that can't be right because otherwise Tau drones and Necrons would all succumb.

Indeed, altough the necrons could be argued to have taken measures against it, the Tau have little idea of how the Warp works, let alone how to defend against it.

Weezer
2011-11-12, 08:44 PM
Fan's arguments had me thinking again about the books and I'm remembering that knife missiles tend to be fairly bloodthirsty ( In 'Player of Games' the one that recruits Gurgeh main reason for joining SC seems to be that it would give him a chance to kill someone and in 'Use of Weapons' Sma's missile slaughters a load of people and then kills their horses to and definitley seems to be enjoying it).
Can't help thinking there's a way in for Khorne there

Actually the one who blackmailed Gurgeh had been kicked out of SC for being too bloodthirsty. He was given the choice of having a personality rewrite that would get rid of his bloodthirstiness or to have his capabilities downgraded so he was no longer 'military grade'. He chose the second and was pissed about becoming what was essentially a cripple.

Brother Oni
2011-11-12, 08:51 PM
Can't help thinking there's a way in for Khorne there

Not really. Killing people remotely via an apple-sized drone which was inserted by displacement from 1 lightsecond (~300K KM) away doesn't really strike me as Khorne's style, which is more up close and personal with lots of blood shed.

It's like using sorcery to kill people - sure it's very effective at splattering people and leaving their entrails scattered all over the landscape, but Khorne still doesn't like it.

GloatingSwine
2011-11-12, 09:10 PM
Really? Because what I'm reading says that they actually have measures of computing, and processor power given in series (fairly ridiculous, being in the realm of 1 million yottabytes.).. so.. it seems to me they are still computers as far as being made of data, and running on the standard idea of bytes, bits, etc.

Except that we're explicitly told that this is not the case. Culture Minds are not AI, they are strongly godlike sentiences which mostly reside in hyperspace, a plane to which none of the forces of the 40k galaxy have any access

You're thinking in terms of Daemons, a culture Mind is closer to the Chaos Gods themselves, and on the far side.

jseah
2011-11-12, 09:38 PM
The IoM already has some pretty impressive weapons. Lascannons, Plasma... all man portable. The problem seems to be maintenance and production, not technology.
Yeah, well, Culture weapons are about an order of magnitude more powerful. At least.

An outdated pistol has the destructive power of a single shot from a lance.

And that was in The State of The Art, so I do know what I'm talking about. That pistol downed a starship with one shot from the other side of the city. (and atmospheres don't like energy weapons, compared to clean empty space)

comicshorse
2011-11-12, 10:20 PM
Not really. Killing people remotely via an apple-sized drone which was inserted by displacement from 1 lightsecond (~300K KM) away doesn't really strike me as Khorne's style, which is more up close and personal with lots of blood shed.

It's like using sorcery to kill people - sure it's very effective at splattering people and leaving their entrails scattered all over the landscape, but Khorne still doesn't like it.

I meant more a way in for Khorne to corrupt the knife missile

GloatingSwine
2011-11-12, 10:26 PM
The IoM already has some pretty impressive weapons. Lascannons, Plasma... all man portable. The problem seems to be maintenance and production, not technology.

The thing is, "man portable" is almost irrelevant to the Culture. They don't have an army, because there's nothing worth fighting for that you would deploy an army to, they don't use many planets (which are small and weird and get hit by stuff), and the Orbitals that are their major fixed assets are more like the backwater countryside. The real business of the Culture is all aboard starships, starships that none of the 40k races could touch because they don't even share the same set of dimensions unless they want to.

It's not just weapons tech either, speed is a major factor. A space combat in 40k can be expected to last for hours, a particularly long engagement for a Culture vessel might last seconds. The example seen in Excession has a culture ship destroy or damage several ships out of a fleet of a hundred or more (also Culture vessels, but some 600 years out of date), find one particular ship it was looking for, take the time to torment it before destroying it, all in six microseconds, engaging at relative speeds of several hundred times the speed of light.