Sep 17, 2019 3:54 PM
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Alpha is a cultural reference meaning first, it's those who in their eyes stay true to the Institute's original mission: "Learn all there is to learn. Teach all who would be taught." They and the founders of the Institute believed that knowledge uplifted people, made them more able to solve problems, more able to accomplish great things. That belief isn't exclusive to those who support Alpha but it is strongest and purest there. Alpha is also very reluctant to accept the idea of dangerous knowledge. This is one of the points on which they differ most from similar alignments.

Shield is a reference to an ancient defensive weapon, though one which has more modern iterations. Shield makes it their goal to protect all those in need of protection. To protect the weak from those who would harm them. It was one of the first alignments to emerge after Alpha and so they tend to self-justify their divergence from the original philosophy by saying that people need to be safe to be able to learn.

Nightingale is a reference to the name of a particularly famous medical professional. They are more or less the medical counterpart of Shield. They make it their goal to feed the hunger, quench the thirst, sooth the pain, heal the injuries and cure the diseases of those in need of help. Similarly to Shield their early emergence imprinted a certain degree of defensiveness on some of their members and such individuals often use the justification that people need to be healthy to learn.

Omega, is a cultural reference which has connotations of both last and apocalypse. They see it as their goal to protect against the worse possibilities. To protect against extinction, war, mind-plagues and outside context problems. Their philosophy is which sees the ends as justifying almost any means. The nature of our organization keeps their excesses in check but they have something of a fearsome reputation regardless.

Archive is a term meaning a store of information particularly one which is meant to last a long time. The Archive alignment devotes themselves to maintaining a complete archive of all knowledge they are aggressively neutral on any matter which doesn't involve their ability to acquire more information and hide copies of their Archive in ever more obscure locations to ensure it will never stop existing. The Archive's spies are among the most pervasive espionage networks in our sphere of influence.

Vault is a term meaning a secure place to store valuables. The philosophy of the Vault embraces the concept of dangerous knowledge, or at least embraces the idea that science has dangerous applications. Therefore they make it their goal to formulate defenses to weapons nobody has yet developed or deployed and ensuring those defenses are widely available before releasing the technology which those defenses are meant to protect against. The Vault also involves themselves in research into ethically difficult topics like AGI research to ensure it is carried out with both adequate safety precautions and adequate respect for the moral quandaries involved.

Transcend means to be or go beyond the range or limits. Transcend focuses their attention on projects and research which unlock new frontiers or make the impossible possible. They strongly advocate for work towards harnessing the full power of the stars in systems we control. Transcend was also influential in creating the Ginlarcu a subspecies of humanity whom are natural genetic engineers. Their enthusiasm for the new and groundbreaking sometimes puts them in tension with Omega due to their limited willingness to slow down and take precautions.

Realists means those who accept the world as it is. The alignment of Realists goes a bit past that to embracing reality. They oppose the creation of virtual worlds isolated from reality. They think that to retreat into virtual worlds is to surrender and give up the chance of a lifetime. Some extreme realists oppose all virtual worlds but given that most of our population is uploaded few people suggest that we ought to all wear bodies around in physical reality.

Dreamcraft is a compound word combining one term for vivid hallucinations humans tend to have while resting with a term for creating art or complex objects. The Dreamcrafters want to give everyone a place where they can feel comfortable and fulfilled. It is their belief that physical reality cannot provide that to all humans and they generally go one step further in saying that even realities which are an extension of physical reality cannot fufill the needs of a substantial minority of the population. To fill this need they specialize in creating worlds to cater to every desire and whim of humanity. Generally they favor creating simulations which fulfill not just people's desire for physical satiation but also for challenge, novelty and purpose.

Seeking is a word meaning looking for something. The Seekers are the faction which most wholeheartedly embraces magic and the ability to explore alternate realities which comes with that magic. The Seekers see magic as the key to unlocking new boundaries and granting access to new opportunities and experiences. Not all Seekers are focused on the magical aspects of this exploration.

Excalibur is the name of a famous magical sword from old legends. The philosophy of Excalibur focuses on the fact that knowledge is poorly understood and potentially dangerous. Excalibur advocates for having non-magical backups to magical systems wherever possible and for doing research into how and why magic works in the hopes of rendering it less mysterious and in their view consequently safer. They also advocate for minimizing the use of magic in applications where it can be avoided and for developing magical and non-magical defenses against magic.

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My culture sometimes considers various forms of magic to lie along an axis from Dark to Light, although it is somewhat unclear to what extent this reflects the underlying nature of the magic, versus to what extent it is more of a political distinction. There is also a classification of personality types that might be roughly summarised as Competence, Intelligence, Loyalty, and Chivalry, although this is certainly an arbitrary cultural feature. Both of these distinctions sometimes take on moralistic connotations, and there are attendant stereotypes about correlations between them.

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I assume Dark and Light aren't just referring to literal color? What do they refer to? My world does have a whole lot of cultural associations with darkness and light but I doubt your culture would have exactly the same set- a bunch of our associations come from the two eldest princesses of Equestria being in charge of half the day each.

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I am uncertain of the etymology, but it may be related to the tradition of keeping Dark spells secret and making Light spells public. I am not presenly aware of a strict formal definition; this is part of the reason why I suspect that the classification may be partially political, or perhaps simply aesthetic.

There are a variety of qualities correlated with a spell's position on the spectrum, however. For example, a Dark spell is more likely to have permanent effects; to have longer casting times; to involve components other than intention, gesture, and incantation; to have undesired side effects, especially if performed incorrectly; to be hostile, harmful, or otherwise weaponlike; to be more difficult to cast with a unicorn-hair wand; to be regulated by law; and for either the details of how to cast it, or its existence altogether, to be kept secret from the general public.

It might be tempting to summarise Dark spells as dangerous spells that must be handled with care, but this description also applies to many spells that are not generally considered Dark, such as the Severing Charm or the Memory Charm.

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The kinds of SOUL magic seem to match colors and things like virtues? I think there might be other kinds though. Monster magic is usually white or grey, and I don't know what that means.

Patience is light blue and bravery is orange, and both of them are colors of magic things. You need to hold still for light blue things to pass through you, and keep moving for orange to pass through you. Integrity is dark blue and it's a color your SOUL turns and it pulls you down like heaviness so you need to jump instead of just floating. Perseverance is purple and justice is yellow and I don't know what they do. Kindness is green and when it is a thing it heals you and when it is a color your SOUL turns it traps you in one spot so you can only turn around but can't move out of the way. I don't know why.

I just went back to where I read about them. Patience is about waiting for an opportunity, then decisive action. Bravery is about going through obstacles, no stopping to be scared. Integrity is about being true to your own style. I think it means more than that but only that is written. Perseverance is about going on even when you feel trapped until you reach the end. Justice is about being methodical to stop a bad thing.

Kindness is about concern and care. My SOUL is usually red and I don't know what that means.

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I have no idea whether this site's translation magic works as a source of information and if it is it's probably not a reliable one, but "Integrity" is translating as something that means something like, "sticking to the commitments you make"?

For what it's worth, from what you've told us you sound extremely perseverant and brave, at least by my world's standards.

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It's wrong to abuse children, whether they're your own or adopted or even just temporarily under your supervision. I certainly hope this is something we can all agree on.

Our culture doesn't really have categorizations of virtues like some of yours do, though. Bravery sounds pretty relevant to me, though, especially considering the color.

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Rainbowstar:
That fits, it makes sense for what I heard about integrity!
Thank you! I think being a human makes it easier for me to keep trying.

Nira Tyr:
Can you explain more what you mean?

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About abusing children: Children are definitely more vulnerable, and if they're staying with their parents they're dependent on them. Thus parents have a greater responsibility to not hurt or mistreat their kids. And it's not always possible for them to leave, especially if they're young. Furthermore, removing children from one abusive parent is often seen as solving the problem, without considering the fact that whoever they go to next can also be abusive in ways, especially if the abuse has left the child with unusual coping habits.

About bravery: It was bravery that first got me the blessing of Terrakion, because I stood up against him and fought him fairly despite my disadvantage, and his blessing allowed me to manifest his Sacred Sword move myself. When I do so, it has an orange aura as well.

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Rainbowstar, I'm not applying any kind of special insight when translating. It can certainly be helpful to have multiple people looking at a text for nuances, but ultimately the only information is what's actually in the text itself. I'm not bringing anything that wasn't already there.

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Nira, is this attitude common in your world? In ours, taking children away from their parents is seen as cruel, and is often difficult for the local leadership to do.

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It's fairly common, even if some people sadly fail at implementing it. There's whole systems in place for children who've been mistreated by their parents, or who just don't have parents any more. It's not seen as cruel to keep children with parents who beat or neglect them? What about children who want to leave on their own journeys?

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Parents who beat their children are not uncommon on Prime worlds, I believe? In Sigil, parenting is more hands-off. Parents who neglect their children will lose their children, which is usually incentive enough. I am having some trouble imagining how these children could be helped by systems. Could we perhaps discuss this via private message (PM)? I want to learn more.

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I suppose that makes the most sense. I'll message you.

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Nira Tyr,
I think I must be misunderstanding something, but I am not sure what.
If a child does not like the adult they are staying with, they should be able to easily stay with a different adult instead. If they decide not to leave, it would be wrong to try to force them to. Is this a common problem in your world? Why would they be living specifically with their parents, though?

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I don't want to speak for anyone else, but in my world, children live with their birth parents by default.

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Fayet, most human societies historically have considered children to be either literally or partially the property of their parents until they reach adulthood. There are exceptions where children have more rights and in closer knit communities it may or may not be easy for a child to stay with someone close to their family instead of their actual parents.

Arrival treats children as people with the same rights as other humans but some sims have more traditional rules about parents having the right to forbid their children from living elsewhere, especially the sims that try to emulate physical reality with high fidelity and avoid apparently magical effects.

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My mother was the matriarch of our clan. Most of my brood died in the culling and my mother (hopefully) believes me dead as well. There was no other place for me to go within our society before I came of age.

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That's horrible! I think some of that might not be translating correctly for me, but why would you expect a child to happen to best like their parents out of all the adults, even restricting to just those nearby? How do they learn how to do what they want to do, if it doesn't match up? Do the parents need to suddenly try to become experts in something they don't care about? I suppose as a default it's not bad, if the children leave if and when they decide they want to, but it seems very strange to actually prevent them from leaving. Are there reasons I am not thinking of?

Sapphire, I'm sorry for your losses, sorrow, and situation.

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It's sad that they were culled but in a way I think that fate is kinder than coming of age. The booster drugs destroy a part of you that's important, your ability to care about others. I'm lucky to have found a strong motivation to escape and a way to do so, at least for now.

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The more I hear about your world Sapphire the less I like it.

Fayet, children represent a significant investment of time and resources by their parents so in many societies people feel entitled to some recompense for that investment. Relatedly housing and caring for a child is a significant investment and one that most adults wouldn't be willing to take on lightly. This resulted in social norms and legal systems which attempt to enforce the default structure of parents controlling the lives of their children until they come of age.

Humans tend not to have as extreme special talents as your people seen to. In addition, in more modern human societies most education is done in structured settings called schools not in an individualized way by the adults a child is living with.

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Your way of doing things sounds like it might work better for your specific living situation, Fayet. It does make me kind of wish we had ways to easily discover special talents like that. Although in some cases children tend to inherit abilities from their parents-Jake is a Fire Elementalist and I am a Rock Elementalist, and Helen and Pompeii both have control over lava and magma. But even in cases where the interests of the parents and the children diverge wildly, they usually look for temporary teachers instead of permanent new living situations.

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Sapphire, We're sorry that is happening to so many of your people. If there is any information from my world, including inventions although I think our underlying magic systems are different, we will try to help if you ask!

Zabena Tisani, Most communities wouldn't have children if they didn't have the resources to raise them. I suppose if humans don't have real areas of interest, there might not be humans whose interest is specifically babies and toddlers who aren't old enough to develop interests and move out? Most people find younger children extremely cute and therefore rewarding to be around, especially if they watched them hatch, although not everyone is suited to raising or teaching them. It's unfortunate that the differences between our species cause a less pleasant living situation to be more common. There is some general education that most people get before they develop their interests, and most people continue to learn some things that are useful even if they aren't the most interesting things in the world, but it seems to be less structured than what you describe.

Nira Tir, If your people's interests are so much harder to find, it makes sense that the default child raising arrangement would be different, although with how bad you've said it gets, I'm not sure it's the best possible for your world. I'm glad teachers are available, even if not as full-time mentors. I'm curious about ability inheritance and elementalism, but that probably belongs in the magic thread.

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Thank you, it is my hope that with the help of the Humans I've saved from the destruction of their world I can create a better civilization and eventually challenge the one I was raised by. I'm reluctant to risk involving other worlds with my own since few such worlds seem prepared to fight on the scale my old civilization could if it comes to that. All this talk of morality is perhaps more helpful than anything else. I didn't really have an example to work from before of how things ought to be and the information I saved from the Human's world is far too vast for even one such as myself to consume more than a fraction of.

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Chayis, I think your civilization is more collectivist than the human civilizations to which I'm accustomed. A human taking on the responsibility of caring for a child on pre-trials Earth would get widely varying amounts of support from their community but generally less than the amount necessary to fully support that added responsibility. Humans also tend to be more focused on caring for children who are their personal biological offspring than for children without such a relation to themselves. There are of course exceptions like one of the Nira Tyr's who care for many children not their own but that was the exception not the rule.

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