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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    This is what Culture vs 40K threads devolve into.

    Philosophical wankery. I'm out.
    I can't help to find this intensely amusing.

    Who would have thought a WH40K thread could "devolve" much less into "philosophical wankery" -- or that such a phenomenon is sufficiently repeatable to be a common outcome!

    Mental note: next Philosophy Department cocktail hour, introduce the concept of "WH40K vs. The Culture" to the chair of the department
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    That's not a valid argument even if it is true.
    I don't think you know what I'm referring to.
    And because of forum rules, I cannot elaborate any further.

    It's not like a Corrupted Mind "loses" its Corruption just because it stops interacting with Reality. Corruption attacks the core of the being -- just because you stop licking the infected tissue doesn't mean the germs multiplying in your body go away.
    In order for you to make such a point, first I'd need canon that discusses what would happen if Necrons succeed in banishing the Warp. What happens to all the corruption that is already persisting in normal space? Do they continue existing and multiplying? Or do they gradually/instantly vanish like they just got gradually/instantly exorcised?

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Humans in the Culture are useful. They're a net asset for society and make the Culture stronger. They just aren't a more useful force than the minds.

    Does humanity need to be dominant to have a place in society? That seems like an odd idea.
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    ...and I honestly can't think of any non-Chaos chapter that directly enslaves planetary populations - at worst, they find feral/primitive cultures and deliberately choose not to uplift them, as part of keeping a recruit supply.
    I think the Marine Malevolent probably would if they could get away with it and possibly the Space Sharks on some Emperor-forsaken dirt world outside the Imperium's borders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    This is, IMHO, an unrealistic society (how do flawed men make perfect machines?) and its approach towards utopia frankly sickens me.
    With regard to how flawed men make perfect machines, the answer is they didn't. Flawed men made flaw machines initially, but the flawed machines made other less flawed machines and over generations of repeating this cycle of less flawed making lesser flawed, they ended up with perfect machines, or near-as.

    As for the post scarcity utopia of the Culture sickening you, may I ask what sort of post scarcity utopia you would find acceptable then?
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2012-09-26 at 05:10 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    At least the Chaos Cultist has a freaking spine (until the Daemons remove it that is ) and the power to change things around them. The ability to make decisions which matter, even terrible decisions, is at the core of what it means to be a moral agent. If you aren't even physically capable of harming someone else, in what way are you choosing not to? How is that a moral choice?

    Not that everyone should be gibbering murderers, but people need to decide what they value and pursue that course to whatever ends it comes to. Being ruled by fear or an imposed external morality may be comfortable but you might as well not be alive at all if you can't decide your own path to take.
    Are you seriously advocating the ability to perform murder as a right of humanity? And that people should be capable of performing it, so they can be all moral about not doing it? And that those are not capable of it, have meaningless lives? So, for example, my ninety-year old grandmother, who struggles to walk, let alone commit murder, is no longer a "moral agent", and, as such, "might as well not be alive?" That's not what you meant, was it?

    You want to talk about really meaningful decisions that involve life and death? Let's put it in perspective. How about this then: last Comic Relief, they was a video with David Tennant at an African hospital, where the doctors were having to make a decision as to which maleria baby died because they have four babies and only three oxygen masks to go around. That's about as terrible a decision as you could ever have to make, isn't it? You really wouldn't want to live in a world where no-one ever has to make that kind of heart-wrenching decision? Is your sense of self-determination that important it's worth that?



    And, one more time: in the Culture, people can choose their own destinies (up and including leaving the Culture, where outside, they can go and do things like literally gamble for people's lives), and they can do so with far more chances than Earth and certainly more than ANYONE in 40K. They can be doctors or join the equivilent of the armed forces (the SC), or inventors or rescue workers - and if you're saying those professions are not meaningful, then you're just flat-out wrong.

    (The Culture citizens could even spend their time arguing with people on their internet equivilent, if they wanted to...)

    On top of that, the Culture is emphatically not crime-free. So you could still commit murder in the Culture, it's just far more likely they'd catch you and punish you. (Which, astonishingly generously to me, might only merit being placed under permenant surviellance for the rest of your life so you couldn't do it again1.)

    And technically, you already ARE, to a degree, "ruled" by fear (of consequences, if you break the law) and an imposed external morality (that imposed by society).

    (And doubly so in 40K.)

    So is (part of) your objection to that is that the humans specifically must be in charge, because anything that is more intelligent/skilled/more moral than humans is automatically evil and/or untrustworthy, or that you inherently just don't like the thought of being told what to do by a nonhuman? (Though why that makes any difference to being told what to do by a human, or the God-Emperor of Mankind is lost on me.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    (how do flawed men make perfect machines?)
    Humans didn't.

    The Culture contains humans, but they were not it's founders, they were invited to join (or not) as were the other races present in it.

    Please, Oracle_Hunter, if you are going to make blanket statements about the Culture, at least have a quick glance at the the wikipedia page. TV Tropes is useful for many things, but not as a primary reference material without any other context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    The universe of The Culture has no use for Humanity: any achievements in art, science or philosophy a Human does could have been done (and better) by a Mind using an infinitesimal fraction of its vast intellect.
    (Firstly, emphatically the Minds do use humans for things they can't do (as well) themselves; one of their most important strategic planners during the was was a human.)

    Should we, then, clone Stephen Hawking, and use him forever to do all our physics thinking, because he can do it better than anyone else? Should we pick the best author in the world, and tell everyone else not to bother, because he's better at it? Only allow the world's best painter to paint?

    No?

    The artistic/creative contributions of a unique mind are always going to be valid. The mind of a sentient/sapient creature is unique, and the creative among them will think of things others didn't think of, regardless of how smart the others are. The Minds cannot think like every human who has ever existed; heck, they aren't even identical themselves. (And, for the record, the sanctity of one's own mind is as close to a fundemental law as the Culture have.) A Mind could not have composed Mozart. Neither could any human APART FROM Mozart himself. Nor could any human apart from Rich Burlew have written OotS. Other people, human or otherwise, could have written other things that were similar to them, as good, worse or maybe "better", but they could not have made them identical. Nor does the presence of something being "better" automatically or necessarily deminish the enjoyment value of something for it's own sake. (Especially as "better" is a very subjective term. Would OotS have been "better" if it had been illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci, as in the style of his paintings? I certainly don't think so; the choice of illustration fits the story ideally2.)

    I very much doubt even an especially lucky, skilled and determined Mind would be able to, say, write a story so perfect that appeals to everyone who reads it - at even if it did, it would not mean that no other story, before or since no longer mattered.

    Indeed, if anything, the Culture would allow far more room for artistic expression, since a) the artist can literally devote all their time and energy to it, without having to worry about food, work or rent, and b) given the size, scope and freedom of information in the Culture, you are likely to get more exposure to people who will appreciate it. Like the internet, only bigger.

    Galactic recognition by everyone might be much harder, but that's just because the more people there are, the higher the chances that someone is truly exceptional, so only the best of the best of the best would be likely to get that kind of exposure; but that is a factor of population size, too.

    (Also, there's bugger all room for artistic, scientific or philosphical expression of any kind in 40K; indeed, if we believe the grimest outlook as some people have been saying, doing so only gets you eaten by Chaos or executed as a heretic...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter
    But at its heart, this is a philosophical difference.
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    IMHO, civilization is Humanity's greatest glory and its ability to nurture the unique forms of expression that our brains provide (i.e. art, science, philosophy) means that the world -- perhaps the Universe -- is changed for our existence. Even if there are aliens there is always a chance that we can produce something they cannot; with the Minds they have already thought everything anyone could ever think. What use is Man in such a place?

    This is why I find Bank's "utopia" so appalling. The Machines are all-powerful nursemaids who keep people in a child-like state for their entire lives while occasionally playing with a favored few by involving them in their plans -- whether the humans like it or not. These plans seem to consist solely of finding other "less enlightened" civilizations and manipulating them in some way. Whatever the Minds do is always Right -- they are never wrong or mistaken in their actions. At worse they underestimate a foe before triumphing with even greater firepower.

    Yes, humanity has an endlessly pampered life but is that all there is? Is that all there should be?
    Secondly, the exceptional humans who actually contribute to art, science and philosphy have their equal equivilents in the Culture, regardless of species or physical form. As they do on Earth. And as for the rest, here and there both, the bulk of humanity, including very likely everyone on these forums are not going to change the universe anyway. (Probably not even Thanqol when he goes out one day a year and hands muffins to random strangers, because it's a nice thing to do. We might change some lives (hopefully for the better) by our actions and outputs, yes, if we're lucky, but not world-shaking events, not the "world" or the "universe".)

    And you're also assigning value to life that rests solely on making some nebulous contribution to something. What about all those people who's goal in life is to just to raise a family? Or be a medical professional? To help other people? They may save lives (but they could do that in the Culture, too), but never make any significant advances - or "expressions." Is that meaningless?

    Put it this way: if you are one of the lucky ones, the elite few, here, in 40K or the Culture, you will get to change the world. If you aren't one of the lucky ones, you aren't going to get to change the world, no matter how much you might wish you could, and it doesn't matter a frag which of the three you're in. (This doesn't mean it is wrong to try, just that you are statistically unlikely to be the one to succeed to that extent.)

    I think both you and Water_Bear appear (going from your prior statements in this thread) to have a somewhat... personal view of what defines "meaningful." Which is not necessarily shared by the majority of the population. (Especially those who have to struggle to eat, drink and find shelter everyday.) So sort of saying "if it's not my version of meaningful, the society is evil/abhorrent" is a bit disingenuous.



    1I think that's way too lenient, but then again, I think just not executing summarily people is too lenient, so...

    2Also, it would probably need a name-change.

    ...

    Okay, I will grant you, though, that it would be interesting to see OotS as interpreted as da Vinci-painted stick-figure comic... I don't think it'd be "better" though, just different.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2012-09-26 at 07:38 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    It's not exactly clear how Biotransfereance between organic bodies would work in 40k, because Biotransference has only happened once in 40k lore, and then it was organic to nonorganic, but I suspect what would happen is transferring between organic bodies tends to create new identical souls.
    Last edited by Squark; 2012-09-26 at 07:38 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    That's not what you meant, was it?
    No it wasn't.

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    What I meant was it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are doing it with full understanding of the consequences following your own values. Save people, kill people, make art, discover principles of nature, whatever.

    Most people are not going to be able or willing to make genuine choices on their own, that's an unfortunate (or fortunate depending on your outlook) fact of life. People who accept the value systems handed to them by society, or who follow those systems out of fear of punishment, are not choosing; they are just following the choices someone else made for them.

    Humans need the power to change the world for the better or worse, and the will to use that power, if they can be called truly alive. That capability is alive in our world, in the world of WH40K, in Star Trek, LotR, and almost every fictional universe which exists. Not everyone will take advantage of it, but the people who do are the ones who will shape their world's histories.

    That is what disgusts me about the Culture as it has been described to me repeatedly. It's a place where humans have neither the power (due to the Mind's overwhelming advantages) nor the will (due to their overpowering lusts) to make meaningful choices.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    On top of that, the Culture is emphatically not crime-free. So you could still commit murder in the Culture, it's just far more likely they'd catch you and punish you. (Which, astonishingly generously to me, might only merit being placed under permenant surviellance for the rest of your life so you couldn't do it again1.)
    Really? If true, that actually changes the game a little. Is this a weakness in the system that humans have learned to exploit, like a way they can actually beat the Minds, or is it just something they are allowed to do like a "one murder free" coupon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    I think both you and Water_Bear appear (going from your prior statements in this thread) to have a somewhat... personal view of what defines "meaningful." Which is not necessarily shared by the majority of the population. (Especially those who have to struggle to eat, drink and find shelter everyday.) So sort of saying "if it's not my version of meaningful, the society is evil/abhorrent" is a bit disingenuous.
    Morality isn't a popularity contest, you don't pick a value system based on how many people like it. Or rather, most people do pick their moralities that way, and that's horrible.

    I also love the "agree with me because people somewhere are starving" line you keep throwing out. Yes people are suffering, and have been pretty much as long as there have been people, what is the relevance of that? If you value the happiness of people, help them by whatever means necessary. If you value something else more, worrying about that is wasting time and mental energy.

    (If you're wondering, yes I do personally value keeping people healthy and fairly comfortable, and am a Transhumanist. I am not yet capable of making meaningful changes on those fronts, but I'm actively changing my capabilities through my education to correct that. I am also still somewhat fearful of punishment, though again that's something I've been working on.)

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Just to pick up on another unimportant comment from the middle of a larger Aotrs post;

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    (Also, there's bugger all room for artistic, scientific or philosphical expression of any kind in 40K; indeed, if we believe the grimest outlook as some people have been saying, doing so only gets you eaten by Chaos or executed as a heretic...)
    I'd say this is right on two out of three counts.

    However, there is plenty of room for artistic expression in the Imperium. Hell, in our last Deathwatch game we were joking about how we were exploring a very bare, utilitarian air-vent and you could tell because the buttresses weren't very ornate, there were only a few functional gargoyles and there weren't many frescoes.
    The setting drips with art, Imperial culture seems to prize it quite highly infact, enough that decorative features are seen as a necessary element of almost everything. There is plenty of room in such a culture for endless artistic expression. The catch of course is that it's going to be much more in the model of the Rennaisance (and basically every era other than our own) where religious art and patronage are the mainstay.

    And with the nature of the setting and the laws, Heretical Art is quite possible, but if that's your burning desire there's plenty of opportunity to indulge, either you go for the black market route or you accept commisions from Inquisitorial types and other higher ups (on account of stuff that may be taboo for the lesser man isn't going to trouble such people, I'd very much expect the same kind of double standards as the Victorian art collector was known for, collecting exotic ancient pornography whilst simultainiously decrying it for it's effects on lesser minds).

    Also worth noting, several Marine chapters are famed for their aesthetic concerns and pursuits, also. Least as far as I recall.

    I have no real input on the rest of your post, though, so carry on.

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    No it wasn't.

    [SPOILER]What I meant was it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are doing it with full understanding of the consequences following your own values. Save people, kill people, make art, discover principles of nature, whatever.

    Most people are not going to be able or willing to make genuine choices on their own, that's an unfortunate (or fortunate depending on your outlook) fact of life. People who accept the value systems handed to them by society, or who follow those systems out of fear of punishment, are not choosing; they are just following the choices someone else made for them.

    Humans need the power to change the world for the better or worse, and the will to use that power, if they can be called truly alive. That capability is alive in our world, in the world of WH40K, in Star Trek, LotR, and almost every fictional universe which exists. Not everyone will take advantage of it, but the people who do are the ones who will shape their world's histories.
    But people can choose to leave the Culture if they wish and frequently do. Excession mentions an entire civilization that detached itself after a moral disagreement about the Iridian war. This makes them much freer than 40K where trying to leave the I,perium will get you executed as a traitor.
    If you think people have more freedom of choice in the 40K universe you really haven't been paying attention.

    That is what disgusts me about the Culture as it has been described to me repeatedly. It's a place where humans have neither the power (due to the Mind's overwhelming advantages) nor the will (due to their overpowering lusts) to make meaningful choices.
    Nobody in this thread has described the Culture as this, nor can I imagine that anybody who read the books would. This does just seem to be a conclusion you're drawing on little to no evidence.

    Really? If true, that actually changes the game a little. Is this a weakness in the system that humans have learned to exploit, like a way they can actually beat the Minds, or is it just something they are allowed to do like a "one murder free" coupon?
    Case in point. You seem to be still clinging to this 'robotic overlords' idea. Culture citizens are not penned in, tagged or monitored or any such dystopian nightmare fuel. They live their lives and make mistakes. Nobody is trying to 'beat' the Minds because the Minds aren't oppressing or oppossing anyone

    I also love the "agree with me because people somewhere are starving" line you keep throwing out. Yes people are suffering, and have been pretty much as long as there have been people, what is the relevance of that?
    I'd say,IMHO, the relevance is describing a stable culture that has rid mankind of the horrors such as genocide, bigotry and starvation from time immemorial as 'disgusting' goes beyond foolish into willfully blind.

    Also worth noting, several Marine chapters are famed for their aesthetic concerns and pursuits, also. Least as far as I recall.
    Yeah the Emperor's Children especially and we all know how that worked out
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2012-09-26 at 09:36 AM.
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Yeah the Emperor's Children especially and we all know how that worked out
    Well, I was actually thinking of the Blood Angels, but I may be misremembering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    I'd say this is right on two out of three counts.
    One out of three. You can have plenty of philosophical differences. You just need to ensure that it doesn't argue with "The God-Emperor Is The God-Emperor" heading. Unless you're a First Founding Space Marine Chapter, who think The Emperor Is A Really Cool Guy, and that's it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinslayer View Post
    One out of three. You can have plenty of philosophical differences. You just need to ensure that it doesn't argue with "The God-Emperor Is The God-Emperor" heading. Unless you're a First Founding Space Marine Chapter, who think The Emperor Is A Really Cool Guy, and that's it.
    Or suggest that democracy, religious freedom, representation on the home world, not feeding thousands of people to the GE every year, etc are in anyway good ideas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    No it wasn't.
    Didn't think so.

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    What I meant was it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are doing it with full understanding of the consequences following your own values. Save people, kill people, make art, discover principles of nature, whatever.

    Most people are not going to be able or willing to make genuine choices on their own, that's an unfortunate (or fortunate depending on your outlook) fact of life. People who accept the value systems handed to them by society, or who follow those systems out of fear of punishment, are not choosing; they are just following the choices someone else made for them.

    Humans need the power to change the world for the better or worse, and the will to use that power, if they can be called truly alive. That capability is alive in our world, in the world of WH40K, in Star Trek, LotR, and almost every fictional universe which exists. Not everyone will take advantage of it, but the people who do are the ones who will shape their world's histories.

    That is what disgusts me about the Culture as it has been described to me repeatedly. It's a place where humans have neither the power (due to the Mind's overwhelming advantages) nor the will (due to their overpowering lusts) to make meaningful choices.
    And as I've been trying to say throughout, your and Oracle_Hunter's inferances about the Culture being a continuous Slaaneshi-style orgy is just flat-out wrong.

    That's not what it is like. Yes, some people in the Culture may want to do that (and indeed, even in-universe, how the detractors think it is); but some people want to do that sort of thing in ANY culture, including ours. The majority, it appears, do not.

    Specific example from the first book was the aforementioned woman doing (some of) the Culture's strategic analysis. When she wasn't doing that, she spent her time climbing mountains (with as little safety equipment as she thought she could get away with, leading to one instance where she nearly died due to an accident. ) There is a whole paragraph which I don't care to up in it's entirity to repeat, as to what she did after the events of the first book, and orgies was not among them. The short version is she apparently change sex several times - there's a big choice for you right there - had several children, worked as an emissery for a hundred years and later a teacher and disappered on a solo cruising holiday in space at the age of 407. Does that sound like a mindless, hedonistic drone to you?



    So what sort of choices are you taking about? What do you think is a meaningful choice?

    All of the things you mentioned above you can do in the Culture (except maybe murder, which you might be able to do - but I don't think you really should be able to do in ANY culture; free will be damned, there are some things people should just not be allowed to do1.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear
    Really? If true, that actually changes the game a little. Is this a weakness in the system that humans have learned to exploit, like a way they can actually beat the Minds, or is it just something they are allowed to do like a "one murder free" coupon?
    No, it's just a reflection of the fact Culture is not made up of non-mind-controlled people in a constant state of euphoria. Some of whom commit crimes of passion (meaning in the same sense as you would in modern day), because things like jealous and interpersonal conflicts still can occur.

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear
    Morality isn't a popularity contest, you don't pick a value system based on how many people like it. Or rather, most people do pick their moralities that way, and that's horrible.

    I also love the "agree with me because people somewhere are starving" line you keep throwing out. Yes people are suffering, and have been pretty much as long as there have been people, what is the relevance of that? If you value the happiness of people, help them by whatever means necessary. If you value something else more, worrying about that is wasting time and mental energy.
    The point I was trying to make is that it's all very well to talk about making difficult or moral meaningful choices while we're sitting here in the comfort of our houses with our internet connections; but saying things like "humans need the power to change the world for the better or worse, and the will to use that power, if they can be called truly alive" as a blanket statement applying to the entire race, and thus covering everyone, unilaterally, and thus implying people who are suffering like that don't have meaning in their lives because they are not making difficult moral choices (or the implied suggestion that making the sort of choices that no-one should ever have to make is a positive thing) is really kinda offensive. Neither you, nor I, nor anyone, has the right or authority to determine what makes someone else's life meaningful.

    My problem is not with the fact that you feel that way, but the fact that you seem to think everyone else should be held to that standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    I'd say,IMHO, the relevance is describing a stable culture that has rid mankind of the horrors such as genocide, bigotry and starvation from time immemorial as 'disgusting' goes beyond foolish into willfully blind.
    That as well, though that is as much a point about a post-scacity culture generally, than the Culture in general. (The Federation in Star Trek has broadly done the same.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    However, there is plenty of room for artistic expression in the Imperium.

    Also worth noting, several Marine chapters are famed for their aesthetic concerns and pursuits, also. Least as far as I recall.
    Good point, I concede to you on that one. *tips helmet*



    1If the metaphorical you is quite willing to say, "yeah, I'm Evil, I know what I'm doing is wrong, and I'm going to do it anway, bugger the consequences" then fine. Come and stand in the Evil Corner with me and "I'd totally make a virus that would wipe out all of life for the power kick holding it would give me" Davros. But just recognise it IS the Evil corner.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2012-09-26 at 10:10 AM.

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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    As for the post scarcity utopia of the Culture sickening you, may I ask what sort of post scarcity utopia you would find acceptable then?
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    Now, I do not know what such a society would look like but one which makes a good stab at it is in Heinlein's "Beyond this Horizon." Admittedly there are a lot of flaws and questionable assumptions in it but it has some good points:

    (1) The government allocates funds for pure research and projects that might enrich human existence.

    (2) Genetic selection is used to maximize pro-survival qualities (e.g. sound teeth, vibrant immune systems) but not for casual purposes (e.g. hair or skin color). The experts here are conservative in their approach.

    But most importantly is what it lacks. It doesn't have Physical Gods who can (and should) undertake every major challenge left in the Universe. It doesn't assume that its rulers' judgment is infallible and beyond reproach. Most importantly it is ruled by people and not angels.

    The really disgusting part of The Culture for me is that it assumes that hedonistic pursuits are the highest aim that people can have. Everything that contemporary humans would consider "great pursuits" is either done by the Minds directly or orchestrated by them -- and it should be. They are apparently so smart that they only need to use an infinitesimal amount of their capacity to keep society running and deal with external threats: they use the rest of it constructing and running elaborate simulations of Universes.

    It may be true that the books often use humans as viewpoints or claim they are in important roles but I have to ask why this would be the case? It can't be that the Minds are incapable of doing that work themselves -- they appear to have plenty of spare capacity -- and any entity capable of orchestrating the elaborate plots demonstrated in these stories surely has at least as much scope as the best human mind. The only reason I can imagine is that the Minds consider these challenges so far beneath them that it would be too boring to deal with.

    As such this "great pursuits" aren't really the domain of Man are they? No, they are the domain of Machines and Man should be left to having dual pregnancies and needlessly suicidal extreme sports. This conceit is obviously not espoused by The Culture itself but it is the logic the Universe runs on and that is what I find disgusting. I am as appalled with The Culture as I am with "Brave New World" and for similar reasons -- both societies remove "great pursuits" from the hands of Mankind.
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Oracle, what are these "great pursuits" you're talking about in this context?
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    In society as it is now, and any of the mentioned societies here, the vast majority of people can't make those meaningful choices. There's only a small group who can change things. Why would it matter whether that small group consists of humans or Minds? Other than the fact that Minds in the Culture generally make better choices and so the vast majority of beings who can't make those choices in any case have to suffer less.

    Wanting humans to rule just because they are humans is like wanting a specific subset of humans to rule just because they are that specific subset, and so on.
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Murska View Post
    Wanting humans to rule just because they are humans is like wanting a specific subset of humans to rule just because they are that specific subset, and so on.
    No, it really isn't.

    Humans are Humans; Minds are inhuman. As a member of the Human Race I, personally, would prefer there to be a special place for Humans in the future. There is no place for Humans in The Culture; they are playthings for the Minds and can pursue nothing more meaningful than hedonistic delight.

    The Culture would not be meaningfully different if you replaced every Human with a (not Uplifted) monkey or a dog. This bothers me.

    @Aotrs Commander -- As I alluded to earlier, "great pursuits" are activities and objectives that require brains uniquely different (I would say higher) than animals. Art, Philosophy and Science are three broad categories but you can include other bits if you will.

    In The Culture meatpuppets can do these sorts of things but there is no cause for them to do so -- the Minds can do it ever so much better. Seeing a meatpuppet as a "planner" or scientist in this society is much like seeing a dog fetch a beer from a cooler: it is impressive to see, but everyone knows that a different, more capable, species would be better suited to the task.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Strawman.

    I didn't say The Culture was a "nanny state;" I said it was one in which all that separates Humanity from the animals pales before the perfection of their Machine Masters. This is, IMHO, an unrealistic society (how do flawed men make perfect machines?) and its approach towards utopia frankly sickens me.

    Your definition of a "healthy society" includes that of Huxley's "A Brave New World" as their leaders are strong and their "society" is happy (chemically). Think on that one

    I have.

    And I have found BNW wanting, because if you remove one of those things, the whole thing will go crashing down. I can deal with much moral ambiguity if it leads to the betterment of all, but BNW, like 1984, is unsustainable. There is only so many resources in the latter, too much that can go wrong in the former.

    The Culture is also a very adaptable society, which is part of the reason they're such a healthy society. Really, whoever planned it was brilliant, being able to plan for every eventuality, and what's more, leave a system in place to plan for the unforseen. That's why the USA is so powerful, in fact-the deliberate ambuguity of the Constitution and the amendment process.


    Then you must also know that using Sorcery is inherently corrupting. Well done
    I also said that the Warp presence needed to be corrupted can be temporarily shed, so that it's impossible to be corrupted. It's how the Necrons avoid it.

    Speaking of the Necrons, Crypteks base their powers on arcane science rather than psykers-which means that the Culture can pursue that avenue of Weird Crap instead instead of sorcery. Oh, looky here, another avenue of corruption closed off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLai View Post
    I don't think you know what I'm referring to.
    And because of forum rules, I cannot elaborate any further.


    In order for you to make such a point, first I'd need canon that discusses what would happen if Necrons succeed in banishing the Warp. What happens to all the corruption that is already persisting in normal space? Do they continue existing and multiplying? Or do they gradually/instantly vanish like they just got gradually/instantly exorcised?
    Not entirely. It looked like you were making an appeal to majority and tradition which is a logical fallacy.

    Basically the argument everyone does/did it does not make it right. Or that's the way we've always done it also does not make it right. It doesn't make it wrong but that argument in of itself is invalid.


    The Necrons wouldn't banish the warp but cut off everyone from the warp leaving everyone else as emotionless nulls. The demons would lose power til they eventually burned out and disappeared and the warp would eventually become stable. That was Oldcrons though. The Newcrons don't have this as a goal I believe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinslayer View Post
    One out of three. You can have plenty of philosophical differences. You just need to ensure that it doesn't argue with "The God-Emperor Is The God-Emperor" heading. Unless you're a First Founding Space Marine Chapter, who think The Emperor Is A Really Cool Guy, and that's it.
    Well, zero out of three. Scientific advancement DOES happen, just usually at the high ranks of the Adeptus Mechanicus and they have to be VERY VERY CAREFUL to make sure that no heretical circuitry and the like is in the thing tha they're making. It's why there's so many different patterns of las weapons instead of just being 100% standard. Hell, the AdMech made a ship design not too long ago, although it's not very popular with the navy right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    No, it really isn't.

    Humans are Humans; Minds are inhuman. As a member of the Human Race I, personally, would prefer there to be a special place for Humans in the future. There is no place for Humans in The Culture; they are playthings for the Minds and can pursue nothing more meaningful than hedonistic delight.

    The Culture would not be meaningfully different if you replaced every Human with a (not Uplifted) monkey or a dog. This bothers me.
    And so the division between a Human and a Mind is somehow meaningful to you. You could perfectly well replace that argument with:

    "Subset A of humans is Subset A of humans; Subset B is not part of Subset A. As a member of Subset A I, personally, would prefer there to be a special place for Subset A in the future. There is no place for Subset A in Society; they are playthings for the Subset B and can pursue nothing more meaningful than hedonistic delight."

    Then you can decide that Subset A is people who simply aren't lucky/skilled enough to be part of the extremely small group able to make meaningful decisions, and Subset B is this small group.


    There will always be beings who are capable of making massive world-changing decisions and beings who can't. A system where those who'd make the best decisions are the ones given that capability is a good system. Whether or not those beings are humans, dogs, computers or deities is irrelevant.
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    No, it really isn't.

    Humans are Humans; Minds are inhuman. As a member of the Human Race I, personally, would prefer there to be a special place for Humans in the future. There is no place for Humans in The Culture; they are playthings for the Minds and can pursue nothing more meaningful than hedonistic delight.
    Are you aware the Culture are not exclusively humans ? They are a amalagam of many humanoid races and genetic tinkering has made interbreeding between these races possible so the majority are by now hybrids of several species.
    Not saying it would make a difference to your arguments
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    One question, which I have no way to answer due to having no familiarity with the Culture: can a human become a Mind, or a Mind-like intelligence? And if not, is the problem logistical, cultural, or legal?
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Murska View Post
    There will always be beings who are capable of making massive world-changing decisions and beings who can't. A system where those who'd make the best decisions are the ones given that capability is a good system. Whether or not those beings are humans, dogs, computers or deities is irrelevant.
    Irrelevant to you, perhaps, but not to everyone -- and certainly not to me.

    Like I said, philosophical differences

    @comicshorse -- I am aware of that yes, and it doesn't change the thrust of my argument. I would be as annoyed if the Minds were actually some sort of benevolent perfect alien overlords too. The muti-species nature of The Culture is yet another reason why I refer to their Organics as "meatpuppets," BTW.
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    I think its like the Light Parody of 40K.

    They pointed out that whilst The Darker galaxy is tougher, toughness cannot beat efficiency and advancement and better technology developments.

    Also on the Culture:

    From what I read on wikapedia the universe sounds awesome! Im essentially free from the control of AIs unless I do something bad or stupid and im free to pursue things of my own choice!

    Thats even better then what I have now!
    Last edited by Scowling Dragon; 2012-09-26 at 12:55 PM.

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    @comicshorse; If I remember rightly from Use Of Weapons, it's not just humanoid species. I recall a conversation between the protagonist and some kind of giant spider-creature who was also part of Special Circumstances.

    @Oracle_Hunter; Your problem with The Culture seems to boil down to "humans aren't in charge". I don't see any other way their society can't be called a utopia. Everyone is immortal, can do whatever they want, and has everything... But all this is run by hypersuperdupercomputers so it sucks?

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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by soir8 View Post
    @Oracle_Hunter; Your problem with The Culture seems to boil down to "humans aren't in charge". I don't see any other way their society can't be called a utopia. Everyone is immortal, can do whatever they want, and has everything... But all this is run by hypersuperdupercomputers so it sucks?
    It's a bit more nuanced than that.

    It isn't that Machines simply run The Culture, it is that there is no remaining "great pursuit" in which Mankind is best suited to pursue. Even if, in practice, the Machines permit humans to make Art or pursue Science it has no greater significance than that dog fetching a beer from a cooler: the Machines could do anything Man could do, but better and faster. This leaves Man to pursue hedonistic delight which is grand for a weekend but dispiriting (IMHO) as the sum end of Man's capabilities.

    As with anything, the line between Utopia and Dystopia must be drawn by the individual. Apparently the greatest objection to "Brave New World" amongst Culture-philes is that it "seems unsustainable" which -- again, IMHO -- is almost as depressing to hear as the world described by Huxley.

    As an aside, I also object to the premise underlying the "utopia" described by The Culture books: that hedonistic delight if the highest pursuit of individuals. Compare the utopias in The Culture with those in Heinlein's works for a stark contrast in the philosophical underpinnings of the two authors, if you have a free weekend
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    Looking at The Culture more thoroughly I still find it great, but I absolutely despise its foreign policy:

    It has no right to meddle in the affairs of other species. If they wan't help: sure. If they are about to destroy themselfes: OK.

    But otherwise NO! Its not right! Its not their right to play god with the lives of others unless they wan't them too.

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    Oracle Hunter:

    So whats so wrong with that? Its VICTORY. We WIN. YAY! Nobody is sad anymore! Its the thing we have reached for thousands of years!

    Whats if the AI minds used to be humans that downloaded to digital? is that better?

    Yes the AI is smarter then us. So what. Its not in-CHARGE of you.

    You can leave its control if you wan't.

    I see no problem with utopia if my personal rights are not infringed against.
    Last edited by Scowling Dragon; 2012-09-26 at 01:06 PM.

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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    I take it you aren't a big fan of the X-Men, Oracle...!



    @Urpriest: Don't know enough about the universe to be able to answer that question. But it ought to be possible, I would have thought, given the Culture's technology. (You'd probably have to undergo some sort of suitability screening, obviously same as you would for any position of authority, because you REALLY wouldn't want to put people like me (I.e. Evil) in that sort of position...!) I half-think I've heard it mentioned somewhere, but I could be talking out of my boney arse, so I'd have to defer to someone with more knowledge.
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    Default Re: The Culture v's 40kverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    It's a bit more nuanced than that.

    It isn't that Machines simply run The Culture, it is that there is no remaining "great pursuit" in which Mankind is best suited to pursue. Even if, in practice, the Machines permit humans to make Art or pursue Science it has no greater significance than that dog fetching a beer from a cooler: the Machines could do anything Man could do, but better and faster. This leaves Man to pursue hedonistic delight which is grand for a weekend but dispiriting (IMHO) as the sum end of Man's capabilities.

    As with anything, the line between Utopia and Dystopia must be drawn by the individual. Apparently the greatest objection to "Brave New World" amongst Culture-philes is that it "seems unsustainable" which -- again, IMHO -- is almost as depressing to hear as the world described by Huxley.

    As an aside, I also object to the premise underlying the "utopia" described by The Culture books: that hedonistic delight if the highest pursuit of individuals. Compare the utopias in The Culture with those in Heinlein's works for a stark contrast in the philosophical underpinnings of the two authors, if you have a free weekend
    Basically what Scowling Dragon said. The Culture is what humanity is generally trying to achieve. Every problem has been solved and now the only challenges which exist are those that we create for ourselves. Is it better that we just stop existing once this has happened?
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