CCC Land Grab

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Torco
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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Torco »

There are more possibilities for achievement in a society without needs, not less.
Well, yeah... but... you see... my inner marxist dies a little everytime i consider that these guys are basically free from economy.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by ol bofosh »

I've been thinking about the golems having a compulsion to build things and take advantage of anything in their environment to achieve this, including sapients. They view anything as either building material or building tools.

I suppose they were designed to do something, and they're simply carrying out what they're designed for, except their masters aren't on the scene to guide them.
It was about time I changed this.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by zompist »

I think ol bofosh did a pretty good job making the golems into something interesting, even disturbing.

"What do they need?" is always an excellent question to ask about a culture. As golems don't need food or sex, that eliminates a bunch of motivations and problems. But how about...

-- really good minerals to eat (surely they don't all just eat silica)
-- land
-- military glory
-- control over other golems' reproduction
-- science
-- stories, music, pictures, jewelry, pets, games
-- the destruction of the unholy
-- understanding and mastering the magic of their own existence
-- aping of human abilities
-- new forms (e.g. creating golem lions, golem capybaras, golem fish)
-- removing inconvenient detritus (i.e. trees and animals) from promising sources of rock

Also, I see no reason you can't make subspecies of golems with slightly different problems. Perhaps there's a magical virus that's making them fall apart faster, and they need a solution for that. Maybe they need a rare element, they've mined it all out from the vicinity, and the only source for more is each other. Maybe they've discovered the ability to digest mud (and lost the ability to digest pure rock), which opens up habitats but perhaps brings parasites or symbionts.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Salmoneus »

I think the bigger problem at this stage is... everything ought to be boring, because these are only primitive 'cultures'. The complicated and distinctive ideosyncracies of civilisation mostly won't have developed yet.
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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Torco »

Salmoneus wrote:I think the bigger problem at this stage is... everything ought to be boring, because these are only primitive 'cultures'. The complicated and distinctive ideosyncracies of civilisation mostly won't have developed yet.
that is incredibly bigoted against the hunter-gatherer members of our community, Sal! Shame on you, sir, I expected better.
but seriously, 'primitive' cultures can be pretty fun, as a boatload of ethnology can attest to.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by CatDoom »

Huter-gatherer societies can be incredibly diverse, especially since they can be all over the map in terms of their level of social organization and sedentism. The sedentary foragers of the Pacific Northwest had almost nothing in common with the Khoi-San speaking peoples of the Kalahari Desert, but both are really interesting in their own ways.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Hydroeccentricity »

I was of the impression that we were working on neolithic or bronze age cultures as well. So you've got basically the palaeolithic all the way up to Mycenae and Shang China to work with. Plenty of variety there.
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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by clawgrip »

I want to make a semi-nomadic culture on the steppe and desert region in P5/6 and I'm just trying to work out the temperatures. It seems to be in the middle of the temperate zone, but it is right near the ocean. Can anyone tell me if the ocean would more likely be carrying warmer currents from the south, or colder currents from the north? It seems like if it has a warm current from the south it would be more likely to have hotter summers (and possibly colder winters?) Any guesses? I was looking at Patagonia as the closest Earth parallel I could find, and it seems that the Atlantic coast has a warm water current from the north that causes hot summers and cold winters.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Lyhoko Leaci »

clawgrip wrote:I want to make a semi-nomadic culture on the steppe and desert region in P5/6 and I'm just trying to work out the temperatures. It seems to be in the middle of the temperate zone, but it is right near the ocean. Can anyone tell me if the ocean would more likely be carrying warmer currents from the south, or colder currents from the north? It seems like if it has a warm current from the south it would be more likely to have hotter summers (and possibly colder winters?) Any guesses? I was looking at Patagonia as the closest Earth parallel I could find, and it seems that the Atlantic coast has a warm water current from the north that causes hot summers and cold winters.
I have a warm current near there, but not particularly near the coast of those particular squares.
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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by CatDoom »

Ocean currents basically flow in big clockwise circles in the northern hemisphere, so it would tend to have a warm current since its on the eastern side of the consinent. This would tend to make the region warmer year-round, as far as I know.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Matrix »

zompist wrote:-- the destruction of the unholy
I remind you that golems inherently don't understand spirituality.

Otherwise, that list of possibilities is very good.
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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by clawgrip »

CatDoom wrote:Ocean currents basically flow in big clockwise circles in the northern hemisphere, so it would tend to have a warm current since its on the eastern side of the consinent. This would tend to make the region warmer year-round, as far as I know.
I was basing it on descriptions of Patagonia on Wikipedia, which is basically a mirror image of this region, with counterclockwise currents bringing warm water down in the Atlantic, and cold water up in the Pacific. The description says:
For example at Puerto Montt, on the inlet behind Chiloé Island, the mean annual temperature is 11 °C (52 °F) and the average extremes 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) and −1.5 °C (29.3 °F), whereas at Bahía Blanca near the Atlantic coast and just outside the northern confines of Patagonia the annual temperature is 15 °C (59 °F) and the range much greater, as temperatures above 35 °C and below −5 °C are recorded every year. At Punta Arenas, in the extreme south, the mean temperature is 6 °C (43 °F) and the average extremes 24.5 °C (76.1 °F) and −2 °C (28 °F).
The Pacific coast seems to be colder than the Atlantic overall due to the currents, but what is causing the drop in winter temperatures at Bahía Blanca?

Anyway I suppose if I am designing a culture for this region I can posit a cool and dry climate with warm summers somewhere in the 25-35 range, and winters at 0 or below with some snow, and probably significant variation between day and night temperatures, especially inland.
Matrix wrote:
zompist wrote:-- the destruction of the unholy
I remind you that golems inherently don't understand spirituality.

Otherwise, that list of possibilities is very good.
You could probably rework it a bit. Since they seem to be extremely practical in nature, you could just replace "unholy" with "things that have been determined to hinder progress or maintenance of society".

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by clawgrip »

I'll just go ahead and take P6, P5, and Pr5 for this nomadic culture, i.e. the whole east coast of the desert. I hope taking three squares is okay, but I figured no one else is really burning with desire to take this expanse of arid land, so my nomads claim it.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by ol bofosh »

Matrix wrote:
zompist wrote:-- the destruction of the unholy
I remind you that golems inherently don't understand spirituality.

True, golems (in my mind) would only care about holy/unholy things if it interfered with or enhanced their own materialistic plans.

Or, redefining "holy/unholy", destroying whatever goes against their values (whatever they may be).
It was about time I changed this.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Torco »

Matrix wrote:
zompist wrote:-- the destruction of the unholy
I remind you that golems inherently don't understand spirituality.
Otherwise, that list of possibilities is very good.
See, that's exactly where the golems are weird: if we mean spirituality in a normal everyday sense of supernaturalist stuff and inner peace and hoo-haa-cum-ba-yah then all is fine. but you don't need spirituality to find something unholy: you just need ideology, culture, and values. Okay, maybe not unholy, but something similar. for example, even people who are not considered spiritual find many things repugnant and evil and corrupt and wish to destroy them, or at least fight them. is that what you mean by spirituality, or do you mean... like... they have no values other than acquiring wealth
<which would be rather retarded, since wealth itself is kind of a value in itself, and highly abstract at that>
in other words, when the canonic description of golems says they're "materialistic" do they mean it in the philosophical sense of they realize instinctively there's no souls and invisible gods and fairies and gummy bears, OR do you mean, more narrowly, that they're only interested in owning stuff <and, then again, ownership is in itself a kind of vacuous imaginary highly nonmaterialistic concept: there is something religious in shopping sprees and consumerism in general, if not 'spiritual' in this normal sense>.

as you can see, i'm not sure the second is very tenable, but still i thought i'd ask>
EDIT: okay, I just read about the Mecongai and about how they're into art appreciation <which, in this lato sensu of spirituality is something that is highly spiritual>. Thus I'm satisfied that they're not spiritual only in the sense that they don't believe in gummy bears and invisible unicorns.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Sakir »

I basically assumed golems just lack the impulse to place a supernatural being as the source of a phenomenon they don't understand, but just shrug and go 'Does not compute'. I don't think it's necessary to make them atheists, but just that they'll have a predilection to be irreligious/non-practicing, and not a likely source of world religions. A golem that claims to believe in a pancreator seems fine to me, they just wouldn't really care that much about that fact, nor would take great offense at someone's disagreement. They can be, like, non-practicing Unitarians or somesuch.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by clawgrip »

I figured it was that they were simply so logical and practical and focused on their general tasks that the main part of spirituality they couldn't grasp is faith. To believe in something for which no evidence at all exists. When someone incredulously asks, "Do you think this perfect world was all just created by chance?" a golem would just say yes, not because it doesn't believe in the concept of a divine creator, but because it has no evidence of one, and does not even understand the point of speculating on things that lack evidence. This would also mean their culture would develop at a slower speed because they have less imagination, mostly only making discoveries by chance, but a strong motivation to continue doing what they do.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Salmoneus »

clawgrip wrote:I figured it was that they were simply so logical and practical and focused on their general tasks that the main part of spirituality they couldn't grasp is faith. To believe in something for which no evidence at all exists. When someone incredulously asks, "Do you think this perfect world was all just created by chance?" a golem would just say yes, not because it doesn't believe in the concept of a divine creator, but because it has no evidence of one, and does not even understand the point of speculating on things that lack evidence. This would also mean their culture would develop at a slower speed because they have less imagination, mostly only making discoveries by chance, but a strong motivation to continue doing what they do.
Yeah, but then they're going to have difficulty with other metaphysical/spiritual questions, like "does that mountain look pretty?", "would you like to eat this rock?", "are you really a golem, or are you a butterfly dreaming?", "are other golems able to think the way you do, or are they unreasoning automata?", "what does this smell remind you of?", "should I destroy you?", "what does two plus two equal?", "what would you like me to call you?" and so forth, all of which are answered in a way more similar to 'is there a god?' (i.e. on the basis of an internal state, an instinct or a volition) than to "do rocks fall when you throw them?" (i.e. not on the basis of evidence).

[And if a creature is able to answer any of the above, it's able to have a concept of holy and unholy things. Indeed, of all 'religious' concepts, 'holiness' is maybe the one furthest away from 'spirituality' and/or theism. The 20th century society that most rapidly springs to mind when thinking of a society dominated by holiness and unholiness, sacredness and profanity, is the Soviet Union, where they were really, really keen on there not being a god, and pretty against all sorts of spiritualnesses. Yet they had shrines and pilgrammages, sacred items not to be profaned, ostracism (or worse) of the infidel and the heretic/schismatic, and crusades against all sorts of unholy things (god, capitalism, alcohol, you even had to be careful about including unholy harmonic progressions in your music lest you be denounced as a blasphemer).]

-------------


clawgrip: I don't know why Bahía Blanco is cold in winter. But I'd suggest three things:
- Bahía Blanco, while on the coast, has more land around it than Puerto Montt, so the general maritime effect may be relevant here
- Bahía Blanco is on the east coast; temperature fluctuations over land tend to be stronger in the east than in the west
- Puerto Montt is between the sea and a mountain range. Winds in that area tend to blow from the west, creating a rainshadow effect. This makes Puerto Montt wetter - heavy rainfall all year round, particularly in winter - which in turn makes it warmer (rain = clouds = insulation = warmer winter colder summer). Bahía Blanco, on the other hand, predominantly has dry winds from inland, so has clearer skies, so more variable temperature
- Puerto Montt is right by the mountains. Wind blowing down off the mountains starts out cold, but is to some degree warmed by the rapid descent, giving hot, dry air. Looking at the rainfall, the wind off the ocean is dominant, but even if the wind from inland were to have an influence, it would be warm air even in winter. In the case of Bahía Blanco, not only is the wind off the land more dominant, but that wind, that was warmed by coming off the Andes, has then had plenty of time to get cold again in the winter as it travels over inland Argentina
- it's also possible I suppose that there may be seasonal current fluctations. If the gyre gets pushed northward a bit, you might have cold currents slipping up along the coast. I don't imagine this does happen, but it can be really hard to predict the details of coastal currents (at least, really hard for me, an ignoramus).
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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by ol bofosh »

Not even out of the stone age and we've already got philosophical questions about AI. :mrgreen:

For my golem culture, their sapience I consider to be sophisticated imitation. At the end there is a "defect" appears that leads them to recognise and understand sapience (rhetorical: how can you recognise or understand sapience if you don't have a little yourself?). That is to say, they have developed an internal dimension that might be called "soul", or at least personality (and personhood).

Even Matrix's description of golems as "aesthetes" borders, for me, on the spiritual and not just material. From a mechanical point of view it could just be a compulsion or program that drives them to make "pretty things", in a similar way that mine are driven to build things (for them, the world is either builidng material or tools for such). Or maybe they really do have an internal appreciation of art that isn't just a "progam" (which whiffs of "religion" - at least in a simplified form).

It's interesting to see what each person makes of the golems and their inner life. :)
It was about time I changed this.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Matrix »

Torco wrote:Thus I'm satisfied that they're not spiritual only in the sense that they don't believe in gummy bears and invisible unicorns.
Torco's got it. I guess I didn't explain it well enough when I introduced it.
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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by Torco »

So they, on the whole, find supernaturalism less appealing than us... okay, I can work with that! on to write about culture !

Its kind of weird that beings OF PURE MAGIC <or, well, of minerals imbued with pure magic that makes them sentient> are temperamentally mundane... i like the aesthetic tension there. I think, my man Matrix, that you seriously screwed up by choosing "they're not spiritual" as a way to describe their non-gummy-bear-ity :P

My best guess is that Puerto Montt <and indeed Chile in its entirety> gets constant ocean wind, and ocean wind is never so very cold, not even humbold ocean wind.
Bahía Blanco, on the other hand, predominantly has dry winds from inland, so has clearer skies, so more variable temperature
^this, basically, plus inland winds during the winter are cold, whereas winter ocean wind is... less cold.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by clawgrip »

Torco wrote:So they, on the whole, find supernaturalism less appealing than us... okay, I can work with that! on to write about culture !

Its kind of weird that beings OF PURE MAGIC <or, well, of minerals imbued with pure magic that makes them sentient> are temperamentally mundane... i like the aesthetic tension there. I think, my man Matrix, that you seriously screwed up by choosing "they're not spiritual" as a way to describe their non-gummy-bear-ity :P
Some interesting thoughts here. So they're essentially apatheistic? I also like the seeming contradiction that they are highly magical creatures who don't really care so much about it...because they were designed to find it normal. This really is an interesting species to figure out, I have to give kudos to Matrix.
My best guess is that Puerto Montt <and indeed Chile in its entirety> gets constant ocean wind, and ocean wind is never so very cold, not even humbold ocean wind.
Bahía Blanco, on the other hand, predominantly has dry winds from inland, so has clearer skies, so more variable temperature
^this, basically, plus inland winds during the winter are cold, whereas winter ocean wind is... less cold.
Thanks to both of you, Torco and Salmoneous. So if I have this right, the west coast of the desert in the north of Torco's continent has a prevailing westerly wind that brings dry air from the desert and allows for clear skies with more variable temperature, especially inland, but the warm ocean current would warm the air and cause clouds and storms along the coast. Looking at the wind and landforms I guess precipitation would be most common in the spring and fall, so maybe not so much snow. I'm no expert here but I'm trying!

I'm trying to figure out about the rivers. Torco's drawn some big rivers up in that desert. I was hoping some of them could be arroyo/wadi/seasonal or occasional rivers, but I'm not sure if that's possible. There are one or two that originate from a wetter place, like the Nile, so they could cut through the desert.

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by KathTheDragon »

Zomp, can we have a link to a big version of the revised map?

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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by zompist »

Here's the latest map, with land grabs and a couple of corrections.

And here's a link to a version twice as large.

We have 33 claims, which is pretty remarkable. Should be a very interesting world!
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Re: CCC Land Grab

Post by clawgrip »

With the two cultures I've claimed I've also assumed the existence of other human cultures between them and possibly up in the northwestern projections of Torco's continent. Maybe hunter-gatherers or agricultural. If anyone is ambitious they could come up with some stuff for that.

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