Jul 10, 2020 6:37 AM
Space Krissan meet Amenta
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The forced pregnancy thing was actually added to discourse about crimes against sapience because of one specific jerk, though it's come up a small handful of times since - mostly it was prosecuted when somebody prevented a population from ending unwanted pregnancies, either intentionally or through serious neglect of healthcare systems, rather than in cases of forced impregnation. It's historically been one of the least prosecuted, though, because things have to really fail at a really broad level for that to be a problem, and there haven't been any prosecutions in the modern era.

The Meda at least really value history and culture, and find languages easier to learn than the other species, so it's not a problem really for them to learn a language particular to their culture and then a trade language. Translation work is a pretty easy field to get jobs in, too, though machine translation's not bad for casual use.

The Krissan as a whole don't have castes! Some Meda cultures do, but the system's not codified into law. The large lizard people have something a lot closer, though they met modernity fast enough their system didn't have time to adapt well, so it's mostly a cultural ideal - but their system has like three groups, rather than a bunch, and isn't very formalized. The octopus people don't really have a society, and the Avi think the idea of consistent social structures is really bizarre. The Meda had a few more historic caste systems, but the last legal caste systems were dissolved around the time of the space race's start.

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Huh! Why were they dissolved? What are the lizard people's three ideals? How does not having a consistent social structure even work? The Amentans have, depending on who they're talking to, "six clean castes", "seven castes", "six castes", or "seven castes if you count reds". It's consistent the world over, except Ereith which has committed war crimes in the course of having dissolved the grey caste and is not considered a respectable example, so they are pretty sure that having castes is the right way for Amentans to work, especially now that they've been eugenically bred over many generations for their types of work.

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Society was undergoing a lot of upheaval and putting restrictions on who could work what jobs when lots of old jobs were vanishing and lots of new jobs were starting to exist was really non-competitive, is the main historic theory, and those nations were already under a lot of strain internally.

The lizard people's ideals are roughly 'leaders and healers with a very good memory,' 'guards and warriors and food gatherers,' and a concept which probably roughly translates as 'domestic care,' like child raising and tool making.

The Avi until very recently lived in transient flocks, whose membership and therefore leadership would change year to year or even day to day - the Avi are a lot more prone to spontaneously changing social structures than the Meda, who like consistency.

What are the Amentan castes?

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The Amentan castes are blue for leadership, diplomacy, land management, and judiciary; green for the sciences and humanities and music and art; yellow for clerical, accounting, software, and translation work; grey for dance and sex work and piloting and police or combat roles; orange for healthcare, teachers, childcare, and social work; purple for farming, manufacture, shipipng, commerce. And red for unclean work with corpses or excrement.

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Huh! Those aren't all intuitive to the assorted Krissan. How do people get into castes?

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It's by birth! Almost all marriages are intracaste, though every country does have its own rules about what to do if someone has an inadvisably intercaste baby, since they still have to be something. They can give everybody specialized educations and they wind up coming up in a culture that values their skills.

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The Meda at least tend to get really easily bored doing all one thing, and more people tend to really like scientific and art stuff than there's a market for - limiting art to a caste sounds weird; denying prisoners artistic outlets was actually a really hot topic of debate in prison reform a few centuries ago, and most people make a little bit of money off of art. When they were doing the space race, the nations who were getting ahead fastest would actually just send math and engineering problems out to everyone subscribed, and people with unrelated jobs would solve them in their free time and crowd source the solutions, which turned out to be a very fast way to get very complicated problems solved before computers could do that. The person who did most of the coding for the first manned moon mission was actually a factory worker originally, and lots of time saving devices get invented by the people using them.

The Meda also don't really have a concept of people who own land and rent it out to others as a class; usually someone owns a share of land, and if they own like a unit in an apartment building, the people in the apartment will form a union and hire someone to handle management. Their elected representatives are also from a really wide variety of backgrounds, and are typically considered the employees of each successive council under them.

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Oh, anybody can do art - and people can even make money off art while nongreen, as long as it's not much of their income. And there are plenty of interdisciplinary projects where someone has an idea and works with someone of the appropriate caste on implementation. Nonblues do own land sometimes, their own homes or businesses or farms, they just can't make most of their money renting it out. The "employees of the council under you" structure sounds really interesting but doesn't it cause problems if all the "employers" want different things?

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They've also been slowly moving to a system where work's increasingly optional; around the time they realized automating factories was theoretically possible, most of society decided they should eventually get rid of as much need to work as possible - so eventually everyone will be mostly an artist or a scientist or a software designer or a game streamer or a writer or whatever else they want to do with their free time. Complete freedom from toil is a very far ways off, but most people don't need to spend much time working as they used to, nowadays, to keep society moving.

The system of government they mostly use has mechanisms with the council voting as a single unit, with majority wining, though most things aren't so urgent you can't try to reach more consensus than a narrow majority. It got adopted largely because attempts to establish top-down empires kept failing despite the general advantages of having a single governing body, and the system iterates decently well as you increase your communications technology. They can really easily see how a slightly different psychology would make that a difficult system, though - the Meda prefer going with the majority over dissenting, as long as they feel they got a say in the majority's direction, generally, or at least in selecting who has a say.

(The Avi think this is very, very bizarre of them.)

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Amentans are way behind them in automation and would really like to be able to automate things! Can they get that tech from the Krissan please? It's important to them.

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(Back home, a furious online debate starts about interstellar gift economy versus quid pro quo versus actual conventional diplomacy with concrete pre-planned trades; none of this shows to the Amentans, given that other than the kinda random Avi exploration team, the ansible is being tightly controlled by the Diplomatic Corps.)

Technology sharing is one of the things that'll probably end up open to negotiation, yes! Right now they don't really know yet what they'd trade for, and figuring that out will probably take a while and an actually physically present diplomatic team to even get started on; automation is also a very complicated and valuable technology.

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The Amentans have obviously a lower general technology level than the Krissan and space travel is a higher priority than automation if they can only get together enough in trade goods-and-services for one, but they'd really like to work something out. They have lots of art the Krissan don't have? They seem into art.

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The initial diplomatic team should be arriving in the next few local days, and that's the type of thing they'd need to look at! Art is usually not the type of thing governments trade.

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Isn't it? Why not?

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There's a lot of historic cultural reasons for that! Mostly art objects are given as gifts of friendship between provinces, and individual councils will commission art from individual artists, but it's historically been really weird for a government to point at an art sanctum and ask for its contents as part of a diplomatic trade, unless the art is of really high cultural value and was arguably stolen from someone's ancestors and the deal is about repatriation.

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The anthropological implications of that example scenario are fascinating, gosh. Well, Amentan museums will start thinking about what they can part with as a gesture of friendship, how about. They want to be friends.

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The Krissan do, too!

(Their diplomatic ship's arrival is pretty imminent; do the Amentans have a neutral place for international meetings?)

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They have lots of places eager to host but do not have a place that doesn't belong to anyone at all. They could meet on the most shared moon, if they don't want to land on the planet?

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Somewhere that tends to host international summits might also work? But if there's nowhere really good for that they can pick somewhere to send the initial diplomatic team.

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Tapa likes hosting international summits and is also the biggest country! They are thrilled to set aside a place according to any specs the diplomats care to send.

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That works! They're willing to meet people from multiple countries at once, too, if that can be easily arranged, and a bigger diplomatic ship that can manage multiple landing teams is being prepared.

To make things a bit easier on everyone, they'll limit the initial landing team to Meda (the Amentan-shaped ones) and Avi (the bird-shaped ones), which aren't too big for economic shuttles and don't need water tanks. The other representatives on board are alright with video calling in initially. 

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Tapa selects a location, invites representatives from a variety of other countries, and asks what accommodations the Avi are going to need (in addition to anything the Meda require that they won't have on hand just by virtue of being the same shape).

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