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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016  (Read 21349 times)

JimC

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #100 on: 21 Jul 2016, 23:35 »

I think you could equally argue that Alice' town, maybe the whole planet is deliberately and by choice maintained at a Green activists dream level of a balanced low energy input low output society. There are, I think, hints of that in Alice's early speeches to  Ardent.
There's a lot not made plain about how the society works, but it could be argued that it's liable to take as much intelligence and organisation to maintain a static balanced low input society apparently without significant hunger or disease as it does to maintain our unbalanced expansion.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #101 on: 21 Jul 2016, 23:39 »

The reason why there has been no rebound is a strong cultural aversion to doing so.

I've got the feeling that, post-Blink, those still on Earth were mostly either technophobic or technology-ambivalent. They blamed technology for the war and the losses of The Blink and wanted to use only the bare minimum that they needed. The rest was cast aside. I wouldn't be surprised if, as in A Candicle for Lebowitz, those with technological skills were lynched and scientific and technical libraries were mostly destroyed.

Five thousand years later, technology above early industrial age is considered magic and those who use it witches and wizards.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #102 on: 22 Jul 2016, 00:16 »

Technology aversion lasted 5000 years?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #103 on: 22 Jul 2016, 00:20 »

No, it became normalised into the culture to the point where no-one even questions it anymore when the elders tell the horror stories about what the 'tech-magic' did in the past and how the know-it-alls had to be exiled into space to stop them from causing trouble with it.

Of course, coverage isn't 100% - Ellie's archeophiles are proof of that but they are probably still considered eccentrics at best or heretics at worst.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #104 on: 22 Jul 2016, 00:37 »

Technology aversion lasted 5000 years?

Easy.  See Butlerian Jihad for another fictional take on the concept.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #105 on: 22 Jul 2016, 00:57 »

The reason why there has been no rebound is a strong cultural aversion to doing so.

I've got the feeling that, post-Blink, those still on Earth were mostly either technophobic or technology-ambivalent. They blamed technology for the war and the losses of The Blink and wanted to use only the bare minimum that they needed. The rest was cast aside. I wouldn't be surprised if, as in A Candicle for Lebowitz, those with technological skills were lynched and scientific and technical libraries were mostly destroyed.

Five thousand years later, technology above early industrial age is considered magic and those who use it witches and wizards.

Maybe for a few centuries, but it doesn't take long for people to forget when all they have is ancient books to reference or worse oral tradition.  I think JimC is right about some other force being at work.  Perhaps some secretive organization that maintains this level of development and thwarts any attempts to improve it.  Perhaps they were the ones that stole Gavia's nanotechnology.  As such Earth might be similar to the Star Trek episode "The Return of the Archons," but without cloaked lawgivers and purge festivals.  Regardless it's not the people who maintain this, but so called guardians.  Alice and Sedna don't appear to be a part of it, but they may be sympathetic since they actually can remember how terrible things were before the blink. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #106 on: 22 Jul 2016, 04:42 »

I think JimC is right about some other force being at work.  Perhaps some secretive organization that maintains this level of development and thwarts any attempts to improve it.
I wasn't thinking external forces at all...
We mustn't forget that for most of human history people have tended to live in much the same way as their grandfathers did, and been reasonably content to do so.  If you posit a society in which there are social pressures not to expand population or use extra resources, and life isn't too bad, then I don't see why that shouldn't be static for a prolonged period. Plenty of examples in history or even geography where societies have been essential static and stable until external factors change them...

We can speculate that the people have plenty of stories from history of the terrible things that happen if society or individuals get too greedy and try to expand and develop. If you wanted to think pejoratively then its a kind of crab bucket, but if in fact  life is good in the crab bucket, no-one starves, no-one gets killed in wars, all the rest, it could have a definite appeal.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #107 on: 22 Jul 2016, 04:51 »

I think JimC is right about some other force being at work.  Perhaps some secretive organization that maintains this level of development and thwarts any attempts to improve it.
I wasn't thinking external forces at all...
We mustn't forget that for most of human history people have tended to live in much the same way as their grandfathers did, and been reasonably content to do so.  If you posit a society in which there are social pressures not to expand population or use extra resources, and life isn't too bad, then I don't see why that shouldn't be static for a prolonged period. Plenty of examples in history or even geography where societies have been essential static and stable until external factors change them...

We can speculate that the people have plenty of stories from history of the terrible things that happen if society or individuals get too greedy and try to expand and develop. If you wanted to think pejoratively then its a kind of crab bucket, but if in fact  life is good in the crab bucket, no-one starves, no-one gets killed in wars, all the rest, it could have a definite appeal.

True, but not all civilizations choose to live that way and it's usually the ones that seek advancement and improvement that tend to conquer those that prefer to live simplistically. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #108 on: 22 Jul 2016, 05:45 »

Also true. But Alice's village has something that the pacifist pastoralists of history didn't, and that's Alice to defend them. I expect any low-tech army (and by low-tech I mean pre-20th century tech) that went up against Alice would quickly find itself decimated. Even a higher-tech army would find itself in a crisis of leadership as everyone above the rank of lieutenant suddenly found themselves dead at the hands of an unstoppable super-soldier assassin. This puts a severe brake on any wannabe conqueror.

And yes,  I think Alice really is that good.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #109 on: 22 Jul 2016, 06:22 »

No culture has been static for 1000 years. Neandertals maybe, but never Homo sapiens sapiens.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #110 on: 22 Jul 2016, 06:30 »

Maybe for a few centuries, but it doesn't take long for people to forget when all they have is ancient books to reference or worse oral tradition.  I think JimC is right about some other force being at work.  Perhaps some secretive organization that maintains this level of development and thwarts any attempts to improve it.  Perhaps they were the ones that stole Gavia's nanotechnology

I'm inclined to agree with that assessment.  I also think that many of those like Alice are the ones that provide enforcement, even if they're not involved with the cabal and unaware of what its actual aims are.  5000 years is a *lot* of institutional memory, and given Alice's flashbacks (likely quite common), she'd be very easy to push into doing so even without any serious effort at manipulation.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #111 on: 22 Jul 2016, 06:44 »

No culture has been static for 1000 years. Neandertals maybe, but never Homo sapiens sapiens.
Not even in, say, the Amazon  basin or other places where people live with a Stone age culture?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #112 on: 22 Jul 2016, 07:41 »

I don't think we can talk to much in generalities here. The sample size is just to low. So far we've seen Alice's village, who she kept control over. And the Archeaophiles. Or at least one of them.  The rest of what we know of the world pretty much comes from Alice, so we are only seeing things through her viewpoint. There are other villages out there, but we don't know how often they interact with each other or what they are like. It is known that Alice keeps tight control of technology in her village though. She won't even let them mess with something as relatively simple as an electric well pump. If something goes wrong with it, they come to her to fix it. Though they are smart enough to figure it out. Basically, it looks like she has made sure her village is dependent on her, and has shown she's willing to use threats to enforce her will. So I'm not sure we can take her village as a sample of what the rest of the world is like.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #113 on: 22 Jul 2016, 11:49 »

No culture has been static for 1000 years. Neandertals maybe, but never Homo sapiens sapiens.
Not even in, say, the Amazon  basin or other places where people live with a Stone age culture?

I do not know how much is known about them. But in those places where we have found artifacts spread over long periods, there is always development.
« Last Edit: 23 Jul 2016, 05:38 by KOK »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #114 on: 22 Jul 2016, 12:07 »

Also true. But Alice's village has something that the pacifist pastoralists of history didn't, and that's Alice to defend them. I expect any low-tech army (and by low-tech I mean pre-20th century tech) that went up against Alice would quickly find itself decimated. Even a higher-tech army would find itself in a crisis of leadership as everyone above the rank of lieutenant suddenly found themselves dead at the hands of an unstoppable super-soldier assassin. This puts a severe brake on any wannabe conqueror.

And yes,  I think Alice really is that good.

So do I, but unless there are others like Alice throughout the world some settlements would evolve into city-states and begin to expand.  Foolish conquerors might try to invade Alice's village while the wise would just be content to conquer everything around it and leave it alone.  There's still a lot we don't know and while it's possible for there to be more immortals than Alice as we can see with Sedna they have philosophical differences and it might be quite possible that a few immortals could take it upon themselves to be more proactive in aiding humanity recover from the blink.  Moreover, they would be evenly matched.     
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #115 on: 22 Jul 2016, 12:41 »

Technological and cultural advancement usually evolve to fill a need, be it more resources, more safety, whatever. I think if you research those cultures that still most operate on stone age technical and cultural levels you'll find that they primarily exist in areas where food is plentiful and safety is not a major concern. They continued the same basic lifestyle because it functions adequately and no major shifts have been necessary to sustain the society.  If the post-Blink world supplies everything the people need in terms of food, safety, and health/longevity, then it's entirely reasonable that no major technological advances have thus far been made.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #116 on: 23 Jul 2016, 09:17 »

If the post-Blink world supplies everything the people need in terms of food, safety, and health/longevity, then it's entirely reasonable that no major technological advances have thus far been made.
Add to that the higher tech just doesn't work, apparently.

Now, electricity must work on some level, or there'd be no point to the windmill we met Alice on. No sign of internal or external combustion engines, though. Nor any sign of a communications net; not even telegraphs. I haven't even seen signs of moveable type. All those are things any civilization would immediately adopt, once invented.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #117 on: 23 Jul 2016, 10:08 »

Telegraphs, even "line of sight" things like the Clacks in Discworld require a group powerful and wealthy enough to not only create them, but keep others from breaking them down.  The dig site certainly has the technological means to create such things, and may even be able to communicate point to point with certain other groups, but almost certainly has no means to project the power needed for any communications network beyond what sneakernet chocobos struthis are capable of doing.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #118 on: 24 Jul 2016, 12:15 »

500 years of technological stasis, aided by guardians with magic powers, I could buy.

5000, no way.  5000 years ago, Proto-Indo-European tribes, in groups about as large as Alice's village, were inventing the wheel.  Within a few centuries, the chariot had spread across Europe, and tribes who had them were victorious, starting a few millennia of territorial war and expansion partly driven by increasingly clever technology. China was inventing silk. Greece was developing bronze.

Within 2500 years we had the Roman Empire, the Zhou dynasty, the development of writing and accounting. Things just accelerated after that. I don't think it's because of need -- it is just with that much time, things keep on changing.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #119 on: 24 Jul 2016, 15:03 »

Actually the wheel probably came into existence more like 12000 years ago if not earlier in a simplified form. Egypt was in its early  stages of discovery about 7000 years ago. It isn't until the last 150 years that progress has been at ridiculous speed.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #120 on: 25 Jul 2016, 00:55 »

Add to that, that up until the 1800s, most people worldwide (yes, even in Europe) were still living in 'primitive' isolated communities, speaking local dialects, interacting little with the outside world. Change is inescapable, but the basic tools remain functionally the same. Technological change came from outside, via trade routes and societal superstructures (which don't seem to exist in AG). The people of the village probably wouldn't have built the water pump or the wind turbine without Alice.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #121 on: 25 Jul 2016, 05:15 »

Strip is up!

And for anyone who thinks Alice just threatens people to get what she wants here's proof that she can strike a good bargain. 

We don't know just yet what the plan is, but more than likely Ardent will upgrade whatever rocket they find and Alice will pilot it. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #122 on: 25 Jul 2016, 05:22 »

Frankly, if someone like Alice promised me gold, I'd scratch it when I got it. I'm not saying that she'll cheat Ellie; she'll just give her a list of storage dumps where there is less likely to be easy-to-use and military-applicable stuff. She'll protect Ellie and her people; it's her nature. She'll protect them from themselves if she has to.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #123 on: 25 Jul 2016, 05:31 »

This does seem to put the kibosh on the idea that Ellie's another immortal.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #124 on: 25 Jul 2016, 05:46 »

Frankly, if someone like Alice promised me gold, I'd scratch it when I got it. I'm not saying that she'll cheat Ellie; she'll just give her a list of storage dumps where there is less likely to be easy-to-use and military-applicable stuff. She'll protect Ellie and her people; it's her nature. She'll protect them from themselves if she has to.

Keep in mind only Ardent has the ability to upgrade whatever he has into a state of the art weapon of mass destruction.  Once he and everyone else leave it doesn't matter if Ellie and her crew find a stealth bomber.  They wouldn't have the fuel to get it to fly as well as replacement parts for everything else that decayed after 5000 years. 
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #125 on: 25 Jul 2016, 06:00 »

I'm not thinking of a stealth bomber; Sedna has shown it is possible to get even complex weapons back to working condition using just locally-available materials. I'd really prefer them not to find a bunker filled with mortar launchers or towed light artillery pieces. This is especially the case in that Ellie has confirmed that they sell on these toys, likely caring little about what they were meant to do and for what purpose the buyers want them.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #126 on: 25 Jul 2016, 06:10 »

So it appears the plan is to find a old rocket and get Ardent to "upgrade" it to working order. This, along with Chekhov's Beacon that Alice left back at the town gives me pause: what if the Praeses planned this all along? Ardent upgrades the rocket, and instead of becoming a nice space shuttle to get the kids back into orbit, it becomes an ICBM that attacks Alice's town in revenge for the new crater on the moon...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #127 on: 25 Jul 2016, 12:35 »

Yea, this seems like a really bad idea, Alice. Granting 19th century humans access to post-singularity military tech is a disaster waiting to happen. Not if, when.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #128 on: 25 Jul 2016, 12:45 »

I'm not thinking of a stealth bomber; Sedna has shown it is possible to get even complex weapons back to working condition using just locally-available materials. I'd really prefer them not to find a bunker filled with mortar launchers or towed light artillery pieces. This is especially the case in that Ellie has confirmed that they sell on these toys, likely caring little about what they were meant to do and for what purpose the buyers want them.

Sedna has the knowledge to restore the weapons they find to working order.  No one else does.  It wouldn't be any different than finding a box of muskets.  Unless someone knew how to make gunpowder and musket balls it's just a metal tube with a wooden handle.   
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #129 on: 25 Jul 2016, 15:06 »

Frankly, if someone like Alice promised me gold, I'd scratch it when I got it. I'm not saying that she'll cheat Ellie; she'll just give her a list of storage dumps where there is less likely to be easy-to-use and military-applicable stuff. She'll protect Ellie and her people; it's her nature. She'll protect them from themselves if she has to.

Yeah, I can see her doing that.  Though the others have mad the point that it seems only Sedna has a working knowlege of how to get modern weapons working again.  I'd suspect what Alice wrecked was only a small percentage of what they've actually dug up with Sedna taking a sampling for her own purposes while the rest have been broken down and recycled for their metallic content and a small sampling going to whatever sort of Museum or display they may be running.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #130 on: 25 Jul 2016, 17:52 »

An equivalent of the Promethean Bacon

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #131 on: 25 Aug 2016, 15:29 »


We don't know just yet what the plan is, but more than likely Ardent will upgrade whatever rocket they find and Alice will pilot it.

That's the plan, of course. But it's got nearly as many holes in it as Ellie's version.
* How do they know that, even upgraded well enough to get into orbit, it's accurate enough to find and safely dock with an earth-orbit habitat? (heck, he might have upgraded the thing into an interplanetary or interstellar craft, which automatically blows right by the low earth orbit)
* How do they know it will have a way to return to Earth?
* How will Alice (or any of them) know which habitat to look for? There are hundreds. They might be marked with big letters, I suppose.

* If Alice assumes the Praesides on Ardent's habitat are hostile, why would they allow her to dock? Or if so, to leave?
« Last Edit: 25 Aug 2016, 16:13 by retrosteve »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - July 2016
« Reply #132 on: 26 Aug 2016, 07:11 »

That's the plan, of course. But it's got nearly as many holes in it as Ellie's version.
* How do they know that, even upgraded well enough to get into orbit, it's accurate enough to find and safely dock with an earth-orbit habitat? (heck, he might have upgraded the thing into an interplanetary or interstellar craft, which automatically blows right by the low earth orbit)
* How do they know it will have a way to return to Earth?
* How will Alice (or any of them) know which habitat to look for? There are hundreds. They might be marked with big letters, I suppose.
* If Alice assumes the Praesides on Ardent's habitat are hostile, why would they allow her to dock? Or if so, to leave?
Not as bad as that I don't think... We know there is both human operated teleportation* ( http://www.alicegrove.com/post/107925637899/exposition-finally ) and direct teleportation by the Praeses ( http://www.alicegrove.com/post/109265187514/hello-is-it-me-youre-looking-for ) and we know that both, quite probably with the same technology base, are capable of delivering ardent and Gavia safely from orbit to earth, and both had an expectation of being able to return the same way. So it seems pretty certain that there's inter habitat transportation.

From Alice' point of view she only has to get the kids into orbit and they are Someone Else's Problem. Its perfectly reasonable to assume the Praeses will recover them from their before life support gives out. And even if Alice does have to go up there the tech that sent the kids down can presumably send her down.



* if not teleportation something functionally identical
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