Tad Williams' Message Board

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'
-    Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Welcome to the message board for tadwilliams.com. All comments are welcome, whether kudos or brickbats. However, please bear in mind that Tad would like this to be a friendly, civil message board, at least in the relations between users. We reserve the right to remove postings, or even ban postings, from anyone who crosses the boundary of reasonable taste. Basically, you can argue vigorously with someone, but watch your language, okay? We have a lot of young readers as well as grown-ups, so please show them some respect.

But the main requirement here is: have fun.


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#1 2014-04-20 09:29:34

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

d'Arcadia (Dread)

In 2056, somewhere halfway between Senegal and Florida, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean - amongst the desolate wasteland of the high seas, deliberately far from coastal waters of any other sovereign nation - lies Dark Arcadia, a honeycomb platform sporting a UTC-2 timezone and a population of a few hundreds of thousand crackpots. It's a marvel of technology, capable of resisting the worst of the weather and feeding most of its inhabitants without imports.

They call themselves a meritocracy.

Outsiders call them voluntary slaves of a transparent dictatorship.

Their polycentric law is in private hands, as is all dispute resolution. If it can't be solved privately, it's escalated to the Archon - the political figurehead the inhabitants feel superficially 'represents' them as a nation in those international discussions where they cannot be asked as individuals, that they can point to as to declare "See? We're not anarchists, we have a government, you don't need to give us one," a character whose infinite power on paper leaves a sour taste in the mouths of all foreigners.

In practise, his power is limited by the people's one uniting belief:

"Treason in anarchy is to say: Give me control of your life and I will protect you."


--

This place serves two purposes:

The first is that this is meant to be a place where people can spin crazy political ideas. I don't mean the sort of crazy you can find in standard political bickering, but really, really crazy. Stuff like:

- what would it be like if people weren't allowed to keep their children for themselves and adoption was the only way to expand a family?

- what would it be like if identity was a fluid rather than a static concept - what would that mean for legislation, how would you 'identify' a criminal without tools like ID cards and static names and with augmentations muddying the waters?

You don't have to believe in those ideas yourself. In fact, it's probably best if you don't. This is a safe place to throw around completely bizarre or openly cruel notions and just see if you can collectively make the underlying society reasonably plausible under scrutiny, even and especially if you want absolutely nothing to do with the resulting 'working society', yourself.

The idea is to collaborate, sometimes against all odds. If you want to tear ideas apart, The Halls of Hmmm... are where to go. This is where you can go to get help in fleshing out societies you want to use for stories, for roleplay, for mental exercise in the absurd or the raw extent of human flexibility, or for seasteads... not for your local jurisdiction (regardless for what reason).

The other, "lesser" purpose, bound to produce more posts (if any), is for people to have a place to ramble about roleplaying characters and settings (of their own or of others) they're particularly fond of. I predict I'll be quote-dropping quite a few things from my IRC stories, roughly right until the point where you all get sick of them... and then some more. :)


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#2 2014-04-20 09:58:57

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Dread wrote:

- what would it be like if people weren't allowed to keep their children for themselves and adoption was the only way to expand a family?

This is a pretty recent idea of mine and I'm wondering if an interesting plot could be plucked out of that. I'm curious whether a society like that might manage to not die out if the right incentives and disincentives were given - and how raising children might be affected. Is it more likely to work as a society of crazy individualists not bound to their families by biology, or as something breeding totalitarian control of others even in other matters? I've not quite managed to figure out what's more likely and some brainstorming would be awesome. Maybe I can use it as a plot point somewhere.


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#3 2014-04-20 10:26:06

Kenan
Pilgrim
From: Gothenburg, Sweden
Registered: 2005-06-19
Posts: 8986
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Dread wrote:

- what would it be like if people weren't allowed to keep their children for themselves and adoption was the only way to expand a family?

I think I would need to know the reason behind this decision to start figuring out how this society works.

Is it a society that does this so that the children will be free of their neurotic parents who want to see their own dreams fulfilled through their children?

Also, if it's obligatory to give your children up for adoption, can you be forced to adopt them, or what happens to "excess children"?

I do think we are programmed as children to imitate our parents and elders, to see what works and not, which is why I think we are likely to pick up a fair amount of traits and preconceptions from whoever brings us up.

But let's say adults can choose who to adopt. Some/many would go for the gifted and healthy children. There's a risk we may get segregated more based on physical and mental properties than now. And society may work like in Gattaca.

If they were not allowed to choose who to adopt, then only those who really want a child and don't care about the child's preconditions would do it. This, I think, would nurture a society of equality, and would maybe also create a world where people go there own way.

*ponders*


Wouldn't the plural form of Olaf be Olaves? ;) - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

#4 2014-04-20 14:15:01

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Kenan wrote:

I think I would need to know the reason behind this decision to start figuring out how this society works.

The base idea was to have a policy that would more radically battle overpopulation that even a one-child policy does now (or would, now, in theory, if it were absolute) - and yet not cause a society to die out completely.

Basically, if people cannot keep the children they conceive, the standard biological urges to have children might be reduced to a minimum. You'd think long and hard before deciding to ask someone else to conceive a child for you. That's the theory. I'm running with that as a given. The question is more what else happens in a society like that - that's a fiercely controlling law.

How is it enforced?
When do people decide to have children?
How do they treat their children?
How does the procedure to ask for a child work?

Kenan wrote:

Is it a society that does this so that the children will be free of their neurotic parents who want to see their own dreams fulfilled through their children?

That wouldn't be the underlying idea, but I've had a similar thought that this might potentially be an interesting side-effect. I don't know if the urge to see one's own dreams fulfilled through one's adopted children wouldn't be even worse if one had no way to have children of "one's own".

I'm having some troubles with it chiefly because I'm not a children-person. *laughs* I never understood why people actually want kids, so I'm hitting a design brick wall trying to emphasise with this 'even crazier' society.

Kenan wrote:

Also, if it's obligatory to give your children up for adoption, can you be forced to adopt them, or what happens to "excess children"?

In the original design of the idea (but you're absolutely right, I should have mentioned it!), it'd be illegal to conceive a child that wasn't requested. At least that seemed like the most straight-forward solution to me. What would happen to children conceived regardless... I am entirely unsure, honestly. Even crazy things like "forced abortion" wouldn't get rid of the problem (from the perspective of this society) entirely, so there'd have to be a final fallback for this sort of thing.

Kenan wrote:

But let's say adults can choose who to adopt. Some/many would go for the gifted and healthy children. There's a risk we may get segregated more based on physical and mental properties than now. And society may work like in Gattaca.

Nah, I'm not interested in emulating Gattaca with this. :) You'd have to keep the kid you got. No nitpicking about its physical features. Not allowed. 8D


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#5 2014-04-20 14:48:26

bumadax
Pilgrim
Registered: 2001-06-11
Posts: 9791
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Another crazy idea: government implementing energy caps. Often, industry argues that they're only after even more reserves of fossil fuels because there is such high (and rising) demand. What if government just stepped in and said "**** your demand, we're taking climate change seriously." Some places would have to be spared, like hospitals (turning off the power for even a day could kill lots of people). But I don't know how it would be enforced and how it might impact the lives of everyday people who just want to keep their food refrigerated.

Last edited by bumadax (2014-04-20 14:48:54)

 

#6 2014-04-20 15:24:36

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

bumadax wrote:

Another crazy idea: government implementing energy caps. Often, industry argues that they're only after even more reserves of fossil fuels because there is such high (and rising) demand. What if government just stepped in and said "**** your demand, we're taking climate change seriously." Some places would have to be spared, like hospitals (turning off the power for even a day could kill lots of people). But I don't know how it would be enforced and how it might impact the lives of everyday people who just want to keep their food refrigerated.

Good one. I think I can bake that into Wildcard somewhere. It reminds me a bit of the water caps you get in places like South Africa and Australia. Granted, they're soft caps, in the sense that you just need to pay significantly more when you go over the cap (as far as I distantly recall... this is from ages ago, I haven't been in South Africa in what feels like forever!), but the underlying notion's not that different. :)


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#7 2014-04-20 16:48:38

Kenan
Pilgrim
From: Gothenburg, Sweden
Registered: 2005-06-19
Posts: 8986
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Some quick thoughts.

Dread wrote:

The question is more what else happens in a society like that - that's a fiercely controlling law.

How is it enforced?
When do people decide to have children?
How do they treat their children?
How does the procedure to ask for a child work?

Enforced by forcing pregnant people to live in birth-hospitals for the last few weeks until expected birth date. Child immediately taken care of. Maybe C-section with induced coma so parent doesn't get emotional at birth and having the child taken away.

Maybe you're only viable to adopt if you have also given birth?

People treat children like precious jewels. Terribly afraid to lose them. Spending a lot of time with their child, for safety, sentimental reasons, and education/upbringing


Wouldn't the plural form of Olaf be Olaves? ;) - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

#8 2014-04-20 17:48:45

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

If population control is the concern, I rather like the idea of enforced contraception for everyone, and those who want to procreate would have to petition the ruling government for the privilege to do so (pass certain tests, meet certain requirements, etc), and maintain the privilege of keeping and raising that child by passing some sort of annual review.  Those who fail the annual review would have their child taken away and given to another who meets the necessary requirements but are unable to procreate on their own (sterile couples or single people).


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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Proud Member of the Log Brigade

 

#9 2014-04-20 18:24:14

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

bumadax wrote:

Another crazy idea: government implementing energy caps. Often, industry argues that they're only after even more reserves of fossil fuels because there is such high (and rising) demand. What if government just stepped in and said "**** your demand, we're taking climate change seriously." Some places would have to be spared, like hospitals (turning off the power for even a day could kill lots of people). But I don't know how it would be enforced and how it might impact the lives of everyday people who just want to keep their food refrigerated.

The idea of mechanical refrigeration has been around for about 250 years (I think) but it's only been broadly available to individuals for about 100 years or so.  Sure, the lack of convenient refrigeration would suck to those of us who expect large quantities of ice with our beverages, but would it truly affect survival?  I don't think so.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

Scrollbearer
Proud Member of the Log Brigade

 

#10 2014-04-21 00:46:16

Kenan
Pilgrim
From: Gothenburg, Sweden
Registered: 2005-06-19
Posts: 8986
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

I woke up with the idea that to control birth/population the authorities might introduce a chemical agent that inhibits contraception in some way. They could put in the water, give a mandatory pill, surgically implant a pump, whatever. And then, when people want and get the right to conceive they have to get the antidote or whatever... which of course is likewise controlled.

Alternatively babies are now grown in laboratories since people cannot be trusted not to have an "early c-section" and sell the baby. Pimps are now using prostitutes both to sell sex to customers and sell resulting babies on a world-wide black market.


Wouldn't the plural form of Olaf be Olaves? ;) - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

#11 2014-04-21 03:16:57

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Kenan wrote:

Enforced by forcing pregnant people to live in birth-hospitals for the last few weeks until expected birth date. Child immediately taken care of. Maybe C-section with induced coma so parent doesn't get emotional at birth and having the child taken away.

How do you stop people giving birth in an alley?

Perhaps it doesn't matter, though, and only the fallback is important - I did already acknowledge there'd be "unfortunate loopholes" after all. 8D

Kenan wrote:

Maybe you're only viable to adopt if you have also given birth?

I'm not sure if that wouldn't undermine the idea - people would give birth and then 'swap' children? So they'd get the biological warm fuzzy feelings that come with the pregnancy and the child. I am not sure if that might be an issue, though; it might not be.

Kenan wrote:

People treat children like precious jewels. Terribly afraid to lose them. Spending a lot of time with their child, for safety, sentimental reasons, and education/upbringing

'Terribly afraid to lose them' sounds like a key idea there. I like it. I'll take it. :) Thank you!


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#12 2014-04-21 03:23:50

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

cyan wrote:

If population control is the concern, I rather like the idea of enforced contraception for everyone, and those who want to procreate would have to petition the ruling government for the privilege to do so (pass certain tests, meet certain requirements, etc), and maintain the privilege of keeping and raising that child by passing some sort of annual review.  Those who fail the annual review would have their child taken away and given to another who meets the necessary requirements but are unable to procreate on their own (sterile couples or single people).

Hmm, while I love aptitude tests in fiction, I'm not sure I'm on board with an annual review for this particular one. I did initially envision this as a sort of society where everyone could still have children, they'd just be disincentivised in ways that's deemed least cruel by society - no social pressure (by design), no extra financial burden ('child tax' or comparable), no huge loops to jump through.

I do like the idea in general, mind, though I've seen it before (in serious politics, even). Thanks for your thoughts!

cyan wrote:

The idea of mechanical refrigeration has been around for about 250 years (I think) but it's only been broadly available to individuals for about 100 years or so.  Sure, the lack of convenient refrigeration would suck to those of us who expect large quantities of ice with our beverages, but would it truly affect survival?  I don't think so.

That's evil. I love it. <3 8D


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#13 2014-04-21 03:31:01

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Kenan wrote:

I woke up with the idea that to control birth/population the authorities might introduce a chemical agent that inhibits contraception in some way. They could put in the water, give a mandatory pill, surgically implant a pump, whatever. And then, when people want and get the right to conceive they have to get the antidote or whatever... which of course is likewise controlled.

Oh, oh, that reminds me of a plot in Stargate SG-1. :D But I love it, it's nice and evil. Though there's one caveat, since I don't imagine this to be a world-wide thing (as much as that would arguably make it more efficient, and I'm sure there are international efforts to get it underway in other nations, but diplomacy is going to have to solve that one ;3)... you need to make it not apply to tourists. Maybe something that fades on its own if not taken regularly?

On the other hand, what happens if people decide to import their water from somewhere? Is water import illegal?

Similarly, what happens to people that live abroad?

*...kicks these problems, I like the idea, go away, problems* 8D

Kenan wrote:

Alternatively babies are now grown in laboratories since people cannot be trusted not to have an "early c-section" and sell the baby. Pimps are now using prostitutes both to sell sex to customers and sell resulting babies on a world-wide black market.

I think I'd actually like there to be a black market, just not to crazy proportions. That's another reason I'm not hugely for a parental aptitude test in this - if there's too much red tape, especially red tape that can fail, you'll end up with a really cancerous black market, and I just want a small one that allows for nice occasional horror stories. :D


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#14 2014-04-21 07:09:33

Kenan
Pilgrim
From: Gothenburg, Sweden
Registered: 2005-06-19
Posts: 8986
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Dread wrote:

How do you stop people giving birth in an alley?

Perhaps it doesn't matter, though, and only the fallback is important - I did already acknowledge there'd be "unfortunate loopholes" after all. 8D

Registered pregnancies with follow-ups.
Authorities: We have a medical statement saying you got pregnant 9 months ago. Where is the child?
Person: I miscarried 5 months ago.
A: If you cannot produce a medical statement to prove it you are liable to go to prison up to 5 years.
P: *produces faux medical statement*/*goes to jail*

For now, I'm going to drop the thought that there might be a connection between who produces offspring and who adopts. It doesn't seem to work.

Kenan wrote:

People treat children like precious jewels. Terribly afraid to lose them. Spending a lot of time with their child, for safety, sentimental reasons, and education/upbringing

'Terribly afraid to lose them' sounds like a key idea there. I like it. I'll take it. :) Thank you!

*nods* And anything people fear to lose is something you can hold against them. Which makes people with kids into control freaks, which may suggest a society with a lot of Big Brother tendencies. More than we have now.

Dread wrote:

Though there's one caveat, since I don't imagine this to be a world-wide thing (as much as that would arguably make it more efficient, and I'm sure there are international efforts to get it underway in other nations, but diplomacy is going to have to solve that one ;3)... you need to make it not apply to tourists. Maybe something that fades on its own if not taken regularly?

On the other hand, what happens if people decide to import their water from somewhere? Is water import illegal?

Similarly, what happens to people that live abroad?

*...kicks these problems, I like the idea, go away, problems* 8D

Maybe tourists get the "antidote treatment" when they pass customs on their way out? Easy fix, I think :) And they might not be able to visit when they are pregnant, that could cause all sorts of medical problems.

Does the populace know it's in the water? Maybe the authorities are doing it all secretly. Or just in a secret way

If we're just talking about one nation/state/community functioning this way, the black market could be on the same level.


Wouldn't the plural form of Olaf be Olaves? ;) - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

#15 2014-04-21 14:15:32

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Kenan wrote:

Registered pregnancies with follow-ups.
Authorities: We have a medical statement saying you got pregnant 9 months ago. Where is the child?
Person: I miscarried 5 months ago.
A: If you cannot produce a medical statement to prove it you are liable to go to prison up to 5 years.
P: *produces faux medical statement*/*goes to jail*

I think I want to avoid the jail hammer, but I'm still unsure how the fallback looks, exactly. Maybe families that breed without demand are 'politely' exiled - made to emigrate to a different nation. My first instinct was the child would just be taken away, but I'm not even sure about that - that's a lot of stress. Not that emigration isn't stress, but then they've at least got each other.

(I should probably add I'm not really wanting a dystopia, just something bizarre and different. That's slightly owing to that I don't "believe" in dystopias - I think mankind is too flexible for that.)

Kenan wrote:

*nods* And anything people fear to lose is something you can hold against them. Which makes people with kids into control freaks, which may suggest a society with a lot of Big Brother tendencies. More than we have now.

Hmm. I'm going to have to roll that one around my head a bit more. I'd rather not have a totalitarian society out of this if it can be avoided. (It might not be avoidable, though.)

Kenan wrote:

Maybe tourists get the "antidote treatment" when they pass customs on their way out? Easy fix, I think :) And they might not be able to visit when they are pregnant, that could cause all sorts of medical problems.

Ooh, visit-while-pregnant is one heck of a nightmare headache. XD I smell a story...!

Kenan wrote:

Does the populace know it's in the water? Maybe the authorities are doing it all secretly. Or just in a secret way.

I do want the society to be open about it. :) Making people sterile without announcing it just seems really cruel to me (I say that as a vhemt.org supporter in real life)... but I've got a low bar for what I consider cruel (ironically, given what I do to characters!), so this isn't necessarily a useful gauge! Perhaps a better reason not to do it in secrecy is because that trope's been done to death. (I think? Or I've watched all the wrong/right things...)


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#16 2014-04-21 17:14:37

bumadax
Pilgrim
Registered: 2001-06-11
Posts: 9791
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

cyan wrote:

bumadax wrote:

Another crazy idea: government implementing energy caps. Often, industry argues that they're only after even more reserves of fossil fuels because there is such high (and rising) demand. What if government just stepped in and said "**** your demand, we're taking climate change seriously." Some places would have to be spared, like hospitals (turning off the power for even a day could kill lots of people). But I don't know how it would be enforced and how it might impact the lives of everyday people who just want to keep their food refrigerated.

The idea of mechanical refrigeration has been around for about 250 years (I think) but it's only been broadly available to individuals for about 100 years or so.  Sure, the lack of convenient refrigeration would suck to those of us who expect large quantities of ice with our beverages, but would it truly affect survival?  I don't think so.

Good point. What did people do to keep foods longer before refrigeration?

 

#17 2014-04-21 18:55:17

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

bumadax wrote:

cyan wrote:

bumadax wrote:

Another crazy idea: government implementing energy caps. Often, industry argues that they're only after even more reserves of fossil fuels because there is such high (and rising) demand. What if government just stepped in and said "**** your demand, we're taking climate change seriously." Some places would have to be spared, like hospitals (turning off the power for even a day could kill lots of people). But I don't know how it would be enforced and how it might impact the lives of everyday people who just want to keep their food refrigerated.

The idea of mechanical refrigeration has been around for about 250 years (I think) but it's only been broadly available to individuals for about 100 years or so.  Sure, the lack of convenient refrigeration would suck to those of us who expect large quantities of ice with our beverages, but would it truly affect survival?  I don't think so.

Good point. What did people do to keep foods longer before refrigeration?

Different preservation methods - salt, drying, even sugar for some things.  Root cellars.  Small food animals wouldn't be killed until you were ready to cook them.  If this is supposed to be on a floating platform in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, you can put perishables in a water-proof container tied to a 100-yard tether and throw it in the ocean, it'll be plenty cold down there.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

Scrollbearer
Proud Member of the Log Brigade

 

#18 2014-04-22 11:43:14

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Since I guess I promised dumping RP quotes in here, here's something I shared in the Mint earlier, from Wildcard:

"And where would that put me?" [Patri] asks, tone [coloured with amusement]. "I'm an administrator, not a programmer. I can't even claim an IT security background like Zacharie. It's just a question of whether they trust you to read [the source code] and keep it strictly to yourself - you'd not be modifying Sanctuary itself, after all, just a branch that isn't even guaranteed to ever run. If you want to know if you're suited for the job, we can explore how you hold up under torture?" he offers with a chuckle.

Snapdragon's snake-scarf wriggles and Wagyl emerges enough to peer up at Patri. "Can I watch? I want to see if there's something worse than a budget meeting. Do you have an angry stern lady with talons that can scowl at him while trying to work out how being [digitalised] mid-contract messes with income taxes? Because I didn't get a chance to record that the first time around."

Snapdragon physically gapes with astonishment for several long seconds as he twists to look at the avatar curled under one wing. "Tax laws exist only as cruel and unusual punishment, there's no need to expose Patri to them too."


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#19 2014-04-22 12:32:19

bumadax
Pilgrim
Registered: 2001-06-11
Posts: 9791
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

cyan wrote:

bumadax wrote:

cyan wrote:


The idea of mechanical refrigeration has been around for about 250 years (I think) but it's only been broadly available to individuals for about 100 years or so.  Sure, the lack of convenient refrigeration would suck to those of us who expect large quantities of ice with our beverages, but would it truly affect survival?  I don't think so.

Good point. What did people do to keep foods longer before refrigeration?

Different preservation methods - salt, drying, even sugar for some things.  Root cellars.  Small food animals wouldn't be killed until you were ready to cook them.  If this is supposed to be on a floating platform in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, you can put perishables in a water-proof container tied to a 100-yard tether and throw it in the ocean, it'll be plenty cold down there.

Okay, but how quickly do you think the millions of people depending on refrigeration would adapt to older preservation methods? Could people learn to do it the older way overnight? Maybe with such pressure on them, but I think it would result in a lot of food going bad first, and lots of hunger.

 

#20 2014-04-22 21:35:17

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

bumadax wrote:

cyan wrote:

bumadax wrote:

Good point. What did people do to keep foods longer before refrigeration?

Different preservation methods - salt, drying, even sugar for some things.  Root cellars.  Small food animals wouldn't be killed until you were ready to cook them.  If this is supposed to be on a floating platform in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, you can put perishables in a water-proof container tied to a 100-yard tether and throw it in the ocean, it'll be plenty cold down there.

Okay, but how quickly do you think the millions of people depending on refrigeration would adapt to older preservation methods? Could people learn to do it the older way overnight? Maybe with such pressure on them, but I think it would result in a lot of food going bad first, and lots of hunger.

What's so difficult about leaving something out to dry, or leaving something buried in salt (or sugar), or throwing a waterproof container into the ocean?

It's not like the entire population has to learn anything significant immediately.  In any family, only one or two people are truly in charge of food handling and preparation, and those people will adjust very quickly for the sake of their families.  In a larger population, there will always be those who will make a business of serving those who can't (or can't be bothered) to figure it out for themselves.  I don't think there would be nearly as much starvation or food wastage as you think.

Meats and dairy are the things that become dangerous for lack of refrigeration.  Fruits and vegetables don't need to be refrigerated, they just last longer if they are.  So don't harvest until you're ready to eat them, don't kill the chicken until you're ready to roast it, don't hook that fish until you're ready to fry it.

In that sense, yes, it would take some adjustment to the timeline with which one treats one's food.  But again, will it affect survival?  I don't think so.

Frankly, I think it would be far more broadly disruptive to have the internet taken away.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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#21 2014-04-22 22:26:44

Genisis X
Pilgrim
From: permanent existential crisis
Registered: 2005-05-08
Posts: 15088

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

cyan wrote:

If population control is the concern, I rather like the idea of enforced contraception for everyone, and those who want to procreate would have to petition the ruling government for the privilege to do so (pass certain tests, meet certain requirements, etc), and maintain the privilege of keeping and raising that child by passing some sort of annual review.  Those who fail the annual review would have their child taken away and given to another who meets the necessary requirements but are unable to procreate on their own (sterile couples or single people).

Ahh, population control. I wrestle with that old chestnut regularly. And every time people discuss this topic they seem to have no thought of the consequences of trying to implement their hair brained schemes. To put it another way; you all need to remember that war is the continuation of politics by other means, so if you attempt to enforce any policy, regardless of scientific merit, on a population who is morally or otherwise outraged by it one of two things will happen. Either you'll reverse the decision, or they'll kill you. Any government who monopolises access to basic human rights cannot last long.

India attempted the whole forced contraception thing, sterilising male criminals for a raft of offences and that policy led to widespread rioting and it was reversed rather quickly. Forcing any kind of contraception on a population wouldn't do anything to help population growth, but in my mind it would strengthen the conservative right who traditionally, regardless of culture or creed, espouse traditional or religious values and diminish the rights of women.

If you look at places where population growth is at or below replacement rate the thing they have in common is a good education system which is inclusive of women, and available contraception. If you educate women they have fewer children and have children later on in life, often at or below replacement rate. Secondly you need to tackle child mortality. In places with high mortality rates for children, the birth rate is correspondingly high. The rationale seems to be that families will have lots of kids to ensure that one survives.

Population is, of course, directly related to food security and on that front we are seeing a reduction in crop yields, increasing power disparity between the third world and the global north, and surging population growth in the poorest of nations. We have the power to solve these crises, but lack the political will to do so as the cost must be absorbed by the first world, whose post-colonial and protectionist trade practices are causing much of the problem.

In short for all these lovely moral issues we need to stop thinking about some emotional, bullshit idea of the ideal society and stay firmly grounded in reality. We need to look at what works, what doesn't work and why these things do or do not work.

-X


I was going to do more things, but I'm staring uselessly at my computer again...
-Magpie

 

#22 2014-04-22 22:42:31

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Genisis X wrote:

In short for all these lovely moral issues we need to stop thinking about some emotional, bullshit idea of the ideal society and stay firmly grounded in reality.

No emotional or moral bullshit about it, I like the idea of enforced contraception.  I never said it a was realistic one.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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#23 2014-04-22 23:09:41

Genisis X
Pilgrim
From: permanent existential crisis
Registered: 2005-05-08
Posts: 15088

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

cyan wrote:

Genisis X wrote:

In short for all these lovely moral issues we need to stop thinking about some emotional, bullshit idea of the ideal society and stay firmly grounded in reality.

No emotional or moral bullshit about it, I like the idea of enforced contraception.  I never said it a was realistic one.

Yes, but would you feel the same way if it was understood that forced contraception was less effective at curbing population growth than investment in education and health?

-X


I was going to do more things, but I'm staring uselessly at my computer again...
-Magpie

 

#24 2014-04-23 09:31:26

bumadax
Pilgrim
Registered: 2001-06-11
Posts: 9791
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

I dare someone to unplug their refrigerator for a week then.

 

#25 2014-04-23 23:58:50

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

bumadax wrote:

I dare someone to unplug their refrigerator for a week then.

I'll take up that challenge.  Unfortunately, my refrigerator is built into a thing in a way that I can't pull out enough to unplug so I've turned off the thermostats.

See you in a week, Max!


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

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