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Page 108 & 109 Discussion 
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Carl Miller wrote:
Not even administratively? I, at least, think it would make sense to divide Perrein's year into 29 eight-tibos "weeks" (and four or five more days). *shrug*

Any planet with a significant population/culture will use its own calendar. Shipboard crews live on a schedule that has nothing to do with any calendar. The "standard" calendar is mainly a point of reference, for which weeks and months are irrelevant.

GeoModder wrote:
Now, I wonder if, in case she 'graduated' there, Beryl would make cheeky additions with Mezan's year.

Nah, Beryl is not nostalgic in any way about her time on Mezan.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Arioch wrote:
GeoModder wrote:
Now, I wonder if, in case she 'graduated' there, Beryl would make cheeky additions with Mezan's year.

Nah, Beryl is not nostalgic in any way about her time on Mezan.


That sounds... potentially sad. :|


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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Eluvatar wrote:
Arioch wrote:
GeoModder wrote:
Now, I wonder if, in case she 'graduated' there, Beryl would make cheeky additions with Mezan's year.

Nah, Beryl is not nostalgic in any way about her time on Mezan.


That sounds... potentially sad. :|


Or she might just have hated the climate there. ;)

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
hi hi

Perhaps Beryl is one of those revolutionary, out of the box thinkers that is interested in aliens and alien technology, much to the chagrin of her proper instructors who could never quite get it through to her that Soia era technology is the only worthwhile area of study. Or something like that. ;)


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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
icekatze wrote:
hi hi

Perhaps Beryl is one of those revolutionary, out of the box thinkers that is interested in aliens and alien technology, much to the chagrin of her proper instructors who could never quite get it through to her that Soia era technology is the only worthwhile area of study. Or something like that. ;)


Well if the site has anything to say about our tech then she must be like that chick who like 8 track and cassette players in cars from the 1980s not that its a bad thing.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Arioch wrote:
Any planet with a significant population/culture will use its own calendar. Shipboard crews live on a schedule that has nothing to do with any calendar. The "standard" calendar is mainly a point of reference, for which weeks and months are irrelevant.
Any sufficiently large culture will retain its own calendar.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calenda ... ars_in_use

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Well, so far we're only seeing things from a Loroi perspective. Of COURSE they'll make themselves sound the better, more sensible party. The Umiak would do the same.

To make a truly sound judgement, Alex would need to see both sides.


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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Jeremy wrote:
Well, so far we're only seeing things from a Loroi perspective. Of COURSE they'll make themselves sound the better, more sensible party. The Umiak would do the same.

To make a truly sound judgement, Alex would need to see both sides.
Not really, the Orgus gave us the Umiak perspective and it sucks donkey balls.


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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Argron wrote:
Not really, the Orgus gave us the Umiak perspective and it sucks donkey balls.


The handful of Orgus that escaped aren't exactly the most unbiased of sources either though. Remember that neither the Umiak nor Loroi tolerate neutrality, and if the Orgus had ticked off the Loroi they wouldn't have been enslaved, they'd be smoking ash. From a certain point of view the Bugs are the merciful ones, since at least they let their defeated enemies live. At the very least we can assume the Loroi wouldn't have hesitated to invade a neutral faction if it would give them an advantage, just like the Umiak.

Not that this makes them good people or anything, since apparently 'allying' with them basically means surrendering and letting them take over. Client species aren't exactly treated well. This isn't as bad as it seems when you consider how they treat their own citizens though. EVERYONE is expendable and downtrodden, including their own people. From the Umiak's perspective, they likely think they're treating their Clients just fine.

Alex sums up the difference between the two pretty well on Page 93. It doesn't answer the original question ("Why exactly do the Umiak think the war started?"), but we still don't have an unbiased answer on the Loroi perspective either. Our current explanation has come from a member of the Loroi Secret Police. Big Sister is watching you...

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
I'm not sure where you get the idea that losing the Loroi means destruction joe. It's true that they have genocided twice that we know of, but I don't think we're privy to the Umiak's history in that regard and in both cases there was obvious reasons for it to happen (Long-term antagonism and simple survival). I have no doubt that if your existence poses a threat to the survival of the Loroi species then they will destroy you, but that's kind of the way species get to the top of the food chain so it's hardly surprising. If we declined to join them willingly they would likely just send a destroyer and troop transport, wipe out all our armed ships and say "Look at me. I'm the captain now." On the other hand if we agreed to ally with the Umiak they would likely go out off their way to destroy us, but that's simply because of the lotai.


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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
Argron wrote:
The handful of Orgus that escaped aren't exactly the most unbiased of sources either though.


You expect unbiased viewpoints from people whom's nation has been invaded?

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
GeoModder wrote:
You expect unbiased viewpoints from people whom's nation has been invaded?


Naturally not, that's kind of the point. The Orgus were invaded by the Umiak, so anything they say about the Umiak is likely going to be negative. I'm not expecting them to be objective, just pointing out that the Umiak's invasion of the Orgus is no more or less evil than some of the stuff the Loroi have pulled throughout the course of the war.

Of course, it's pretty obvious who the 'good guys' are supposed to be just based off the shape of the narrative. Like the weird-talking bug creatures that use swarm tactics and practically enslave their allies were ever going to be the heroes.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Yet I've read quite a few books where the narrative was misleading using this tactic. In the end the "unsocial, bullying, and aggressive bugs" were the good guys....

It is what is captivating me in this story too... :)

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
That's actually what pissed me off about Ender's game and the subsequent series, which uses this trick; for all intents and purposes the Formics were the evil bugs that in universe humanity portrayed them as. They may not have known that they were killing sentient life in human form but they did so, in a genocidal way that would end in the complete annihilation of humanity if not for the actions of a single man. How many other species weren't so lucky in the millennia that the Formics wandered the universe and colonized the planets that the humans took after their extermination?

All I know is that Ender's universe is almost completely barren in regards to sentient life, something that does make sense since the Formic queens probably annihilated everyone who was sentient because they didn't know they were killing sentient beings. How many times was their 'mistake' repeated in the past until Ender Wiggin used the MD device to put a permanent stop to them?

Good and Evil isn't pure black and white; someone we consider good will have plenty of black and someone we consider evil will have plenty of white. It's the actions that really matter but that particular book seem to forget this for an imho cheap shot against 'the end justify the means' when in fact the story is a perfect example that evil is the one who acts evil and the one who stops that evil isn't necessarily good and flawless.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Krulle wrote:
Yet I've read quite a few books where the narrative was misleading using this tactic. In the end the "unsocial, bullying, and aggressive bugs" were the good guys....

It is what is captivating me in this story too... :)


As have I, but Outsider seems to be playing the Space Opera tropes straight far more than it's subverting them. Still, it's a possibility, and at least the Loroi have enough gray to them that the war isn't just a Good v. Evil showdown. Would have made diplomacy a bore, that's for sure.

dragoongfa wrote:
That's actually what pissed me off about Ender's game and the subsequent series, which uses this trick; for all intents and purposes the Formics were the evil bugs that in universe humanity portrayed them as. They may not have known that they were killing sentient life in human form but they did so, in a genocidal way that would end in the complete annihilation of humanity if not for the actions of a single man. How many other species weren't so lucky in the millennia that the Formics wandered the universe and colonized the planets that the humans took after their extermination?

All I know is that Ender's universe is almost completely barren in regards to sentient life, something that does make sense since the Formic queens probably annihilated everyone who was sentient because they didn't know they were killing sentient beings. How many times was their 'mistake' repeated in the past until Ender Wiggin used the MD device to put a permanent stop to them?

Good and Evil isn't pure black and white; someone we consider good will have plenty of black and someone we consider evil will have plenty of white. It's the actions that really matter but that particular book seem to forget this for an imho cheap shot against 'the end justify the means' when in fact the story is a perfect example that evil is the one who acts evil and the one who stops that evil isn't necessarily good and flawless.


None, so far as we can tell. The Formics learned about our sentience by fighting with us. Assuming they were leaving a trail of annihilated species behind them, they would have caught onto the idea of individual sentience long before they met us when someone else pulled the same stunt we did during the Bugger War.

The Buggers were never in it to exterminate anyone, and if they had fought another species in the past, once they found out whoever it was they annihilated had no queens they would have caught onto what they'd done very quickly. They would have made sure not to repeat their mistake. After all, once they realized how badly they hurt Humanity they effectively sent Ender a written psychic invitation to wipe them out as penance. They say specifically in the books that if the Buggers had been trying they'd have put Queens on dozens of FTL ships and sent them as far away as they could instead of clustering them so he could deliver the death blow. Ender wasn't stopping them from doing anything: the Buggers had already stopped. We just couldn't see it.

fredgiblet wrote:
I'm not sure where you get the idea that losing the Loroi means destruction joe. It's true that they have genocided twice that we know of, but I don't think we're privy to the Umiak's history in that regard and in both cases there was obvious reasons for it to happen (Long-term antagonism and simple survival). I have no doubt that if your existence poses a threat to the survival of the Loroi species then they will destroy you, but that's kind of the way species get to the top of the food chain so it's hardly surprising. If we declined to join them willingly they would likely just send a destroyer and troop transport, wipe out all our armed ships and say "Look at me. I'm the captain now." On the other hand if we agreed to ally with the Umiak they would likely go out off their way to destroy us, but that's simply because of the lotai.


Sorry I missed this earlier, didn't mean to ignore your post!

While I agree that the Loroi may not necessarily have genocide as their default setting, the scenario you've described is exactly what the Umiak did to the Orgus. Thus my original point: the Loroi aren't really much better than the Umiak in terms of morality. In the case of Humanity, we are definitely a threat to them because we are immune to the Lotai (as you yourself mentioned). The Umiak WILL invade once they figure that out (assuming their story about having a technological bypass is false). If there's even a chance of Humanity falling or siding with the bugs the Loroi might decide to kill us all themselves just so the Umiak can't vivisect us to learn why we're immune.

Whether the Loroi are genocide-happy with other species may be up in the air, but I think we can agree they will most definitely be genocide-happy with Humanity. Frankly, since our forces are so weak letting us exist might be a very bad move from the Loroi perspective. Ending the threat of a psychic-immune race is far more useful than the handful of underpowered ships we could contribute. Alex better talk fast...

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
dragoongfa wrote:
That's actually what pissed me off about Ender's game and the subsequent series, which uses this trick; for all intents and purposes the Formics were the evil bugs that in universe humanity portrayed them as. They may not have known that they were killing sentient life in human form but they did so, in a genocidal way that would end in the complete annihilation of humanity if not for the actions of a single man. How many other species weren't so lucky in the millennia that the Formics wandered the universe and colonized the planets that the humans took after their extermination?

All I know is that Ender's universe is almost completely barren in regards to sentient life, something that does make sense since the Formic queens probably annihilated everyone who was sentient because they didn't know they were killing sentient beings. How many times was their 'mistake' repeated in the past until Ender Wiggin used the MD device to put a permanent stop to them?

Good and Evil isn't pure black and white; someone we consider good will have plenty of black and someone we consider evil will have plenty of white. It's the actions that really matter but that particular book seem to forget this for an imho cheap shot against 'the end justify the means' when in fact the story is a perfect example that evil is the one who acts evil and the one who stops that evil isn't necessarily good and flawless.


None, so far as we can tell. The Formics learned about our sentience by fighting with us. Assuming they were leaving a trail of annihilated species behind them, they would have caught onto the idea of individual sentience long before they met us when someone else pulled the same stunt we did during the Bugger War.

The Buggers were never in it to exterminate anyone, and if they had fought another species in the past, once they found out whoever it was they annihilated had no queens they would have caught onto what they'd done very quickly. They would have made sure not to repeat their mistake. After all, once they realized how badly they hurt Humanity they effectively sent Ender a written psychic invitation to wipe them out as penance. They say specifically in the books that if the Buggers had been trying they'd have put Queens on dozens of FTL ships and sent them as far away as they could instead of clustering them so he could deliver the death blow. Ender wasn't stopping them from doing anything: the Buggers had already stopped. We just couldn't see it.


That has the plot hole of the Formics not wandering how a species without 'sentient guidance' managed to get technology at the first place. If they really thought that humanity had queens of its own they would have wondered why not only they couldn't talk with them but why they couldn't even 'listen' to the orders that the 'drones' got.

This huge plot hole can be explained in universe only if the Formics never bothered to even consider someone else as 'equal sentient' and just considered everyone but themselves as fodder; only challenging this notion after Mazer Rahkam killed the Queen that was sent to exterminate the pests and colonize Earth. Then there are the Piggies which I have only seen through the comics. Those would certainly not pass as sentient to them.

Them not sending out FTL ships can be attributed to their want to make moral amends but that still doesn't change the fact that what they did to humanity up to that point was a callous act of evil that would only bring retribution until one of the two species was annihilated. Then again, considering how advanced the Formics are, I cannot help but wonder if they had a way to peek into the future and went all eldar Farseer, picking the only solution that would guarantee a future for their species; all the others ending with berserk humans hunting them down to the ends of the universe (but thats my Humanity Fuck Yeah sense tingling).

In the end the Ferengi put it best: Stupidity is not an excuse. Attacking someone with spaceships and genociding their populace twice all because you thought that they weren't sentient is a special kind of stupid action that was probably repeated at nauseum until someone actually died.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
If I recall correctly (and it's been a while), the explanation given in the book was that only the Bugger queens were considered sentient, and when they came up against humans, the Buggers assumed that humans were the same, and it was okay to kill humans because it was assumed that they were non-sentient and there was a sentient human "queen" somewhere behind the scenes.

This falls short as an excuse on a huge number of levels; the Buggers are still aggressive conquerors who don't mind depopulating planets full of "non-sentient" organisms or attacking fellow queens and taking their stuff. Even if we buy Card's "philotic" god-particle bullshit about what causes sentience, that's still an appalling disrespect for life, when your first impulse is to exterminate. It's also incredibly narcissistic and unimaginative, not to consider for even a moment that aliens might not be exactly the same as them. We can argue about whether that qualifies as evil, but I think the Buggers deserved every little bit of what they received in terms of retribution.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
Argron wrote:
Not really, the Orgus gave us the Umiak perspective and it sucks donkey balls.


The handful of Orgus that escaped aren't exactly the most unbiased of sources either though. Remember that neither the Umiak nor Loroi tolerate neutrality, and if the Orgus had ticked off the Loroi they wouldn't have been enslaved, they'd be smoking ash. From a certain point of view the Bugs are the merciful ones, since at least they let their defeated enemies live. At the very least we can assume the Loroi wouldn't have hesitated to invade a neutral faction if it would give them an advantage, just like the Umiak.

Not that this makes them good people or anything, since apparently 'allying' with them basically means surrendering and letting them take over. Client species aren't exactly treated well. This isn't as bad as it seems when you consider how they treat their own citizens though. EVERYONE is expendable and downtrodden, including their own people. From the Umiak's perspective, they likely think they're treating their Clients just fine.

Alex sums up the difference between the two pretty well on Page 93. It doesn't answer the original question ("Why exactly do the Umiak think the war started?"), but we still don't have an unbiased answer on the Loroi perspective either. Our current explanation has come from a member of the Loroi Secret Police. Big Sister is watching you...
From what we have seen allying with the Loroi means cooperation on a reasonable level. Allying with the umiak means slavery and forced labour, not because they are evil but because that's how they treat their own people and their particular psyche accepts it as normal. The evil part they are guilty of is not caring about how very different cultures and species see their monstrous treatment of the individual, and not giving nations a choice in the matter: with them it's voluntary slavery, forced slavery or death.

The loroi have also not initiated all out wars, they only entered wars that were declared on them (like the current umiak war) or came to the help of allies, while the umiak have initiated both of the wars we so far know they have fought. The loroi also don't smoke everyone that looks them badly or else they wouldn't have had several wars with some of their client races, they would have exterminated them the first time they met. The slug-like people were being backstabbing dicks in a war of extermination... good luck to whoever does that to humanity, let alone the umiak.

The orgus could be biased, but all the media and logs they have on board and that humanity has surely analyzed to the tiniest detail most likely isn't as much, and they have no reason to edit it all to make the umiak look worse since they didn't even know humanity was there. And hell, if they are very biased that could be proof in itself of how badly they were treated.


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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
dragoongfa wrote:
That has the plot hole of the Formics not wandering how a species without 'sentient guidance' managed to get technology at the first place. If they really thought that humanity had queens of its own they would have wondered why not only they couldn't talk with them but why they couldn't even 'listen' to the orders that the 'drones' got.


The Formics assumed we did have guidance, they just assumed they hadn't seen our queens yet. The very premise of Ender's Game is only possible because the Formics can control their drones when they aren't in the system, so the fact that they hadn't bumped into any in the first war would be odd but not so strange from their point of view.

dragoongfa wrote:
This huge plot hole can be explained in universe only if the Formics never bothered to even consider someone else as 'equal sentient' and just considered everyone but themselves as fodder; only challenging this notion after Mazer Rahkam killed the Queen that was sent to exterminate the pests and colonize Earth. Then there are the Piggies which I have only seen through the comics. Those would certainly not pass as sentient to them.


The final Formic queen who Ender saves at the end of Enders game makes contact with the Piggies in Speaker for the Dead. She considers them fully sentient, and actually gets along better with them than she does with the Humans because the Piggies in their tree stage are capable of telepathic communication like she is.


dragoongfa wrote:
Them not sending out FTL ships can be attributed to their want to make moral amends but that still doesn't change the fact that what they did to humanity up to that point was a callous act of evil that would only bring retribution until one of the two species was annihilated.

Then again, considering how advanced the Formics are, I cannot help but wonder if they had a way to peek into the future and went all eldar Farseer, picking the only solution that would guarantee a future for their species; all the others ending with berserk humans hunting them down to the ends of the universe (but thats my Humanity Fuck Yeah sense tingling).


While the idea that it was 'evil' is disputable (they didn't understand what they were doing was actually causing any lasting harm, and stopped the moment they realized it was), the Formics knew what they did was going to invite genocidal retaliation. Canon says they didn't have a way of seeing into the future, but considering they managed to put their infant queen on the exact world Ender eventually ended up going to (as opposed to the dozen or so other Bugger worlds he might have become governor of) the plot would actually have made more sense if they did.

dragoongfa wrote:
In the end the Ferengi put it best: Stupidity is not an excuse. Attacking someone with spaceships and genociding their populace twice all because you thought that they weren't sentient is a special kind of stupid action that was probably repeated at nauseum until someone actually died.


Arioch wrote:
This falls short as an excuse on a huge number of levels; the Buggers are still aggressive conquerors who don't mind depopulating planets full of "non-sentient" organisms or attacking fellow queens and taking their stuff. Even if we buy Card's "philotic" god-particle bullshit about what causes sentience, that's still an appalling disrespect for life, when your first impulse is to exterminate. It's also incredibly narcissistic and unimaginative, not to consider for even a moment that aliens might not be exactly the same as them. We can argue about whether that qualifies as evil, but I think the Buggers deserved every little bit of what they received in terms of retribution.


Can't argue with the idea that Formics were certainly much more aggressive than they should have been, regardless of whether or not they thought they were fighting a harmless proxy war via drone. However claiming that they deserved wiped out down to the literal last (wo)man simply for being aggressive expanders is going a bit far. If we apply that logic to our own race just about every nation on the planet would have earned annihilation two or three times over.

Argron wrote:
From what we have seen allying with the Loroi means cooperation on a reasonable level. Allying with the umiak means slavery and forced labour, not because they are evil but because that's how they treat their own people and their particular psyche accepts it as normal. The evil part they are guilty of is not caring about how very different cultures and species see their monstrous treatment of the individual, and not giving nations a choice in the matter: with them it's voluntary slavery, forced slavery or death.

The loroi have also not initiated all out wars, they only entered wars that were declared on them (like the current umiak war) or came to the help of allies, while the umiak have initiated both of the wars we so far know they have fought. The loroi also don't smoke everyone that looks them badly or else they wouldn't have had several wars with some of their client races, they would have exterminated them the first time they met. The slug-like people were being backstabbing dicks in a war of extermination... good luck to whoever does that to humanity, let alone the umiak.

The orgus could be biased, but all the media and logs they have on board and that humanity has surely analyzed to the tiniest detail most likely isn't as much, and they have no reason to edit it all to make the umiak look worse since they didn't even know humanity was there. And hell, if they are very biased that could be proof in itself of how badly they were treated.


Just about everything you've said is true, but recall that one of the central questions for Humanity in this story is which side should they take? If everything where that clear-cut, there wouldn't be much plot tension. The fact that the Loroi are just as likely to decide to exterminate Humanity because we're a threat to them as they are to welcome us as new allies is a big part of the story.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
joestej wrote:
Can't argue with the idea that Formics were certainly much more aggressive than they should have been, regardless of whether or not they thought they were fighting a harmless proxy war via drone. However claiming that they deserved wiped out down to the literal last (wo)man simply for being aggressive expanders is going a bit far. If we apply that logic to our own race just about every nation on the planet would have earned annihilation two or three times over.

How many times has humanity expanded to a new planet and attempted to wipe out all life there? The answer would be none.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
hi hi

For large swaths of human history, and for a good number of people today, there remains a philosophy that humans are superior to all other life on Earth, and as such it is our right to do with them whatever we want. Whether it is a divine mandate, or an objective imperative to appropriate to serve our own needs and wants, the idea is there. Even some people that I usually call friends will call me a Luddite for suggesting that humans ought to leave some area of nature alone, and that it deserves to exist as an end in and of itself, rather than as a means to support our own ends.

If I were to grant all the assumptions that Enders Game wants me to grant about the aliens, then I would suggest that total annihilation was not warranted, even though the humans didn't know why. But there are definitely some points where the overwrought explanation breaks down.


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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Arioch wrote:
How many times has humanity expanded to a new planet and attempted to wipe out all life there? The answer would be none.
Yet.

And I agree that we (Humanity) should take the impossible decision and decide to empty large swaths of land from all Humans.
For the same reason I advocate a gigantic shift of subsidies/state expendirure towards spaceflight and the necessary science.

Earth is our basket where all eggs are in.
If we want to survive, we need to take dare of Earth as a reserve. Alas, Humanities individual greed knows no scruples.
We need to leave Earth, to keep it safe from us.

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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
There's something to said for taking responsibility for the consequences of one's own actions. If I attempt to kill you, I think I have to expect that it's my own fault if you may try to kill me back, regardless of whether or not I apologized first.

It's a curious quality of much of Western society that we consider ourselves to be evil and base and unworthy, and yet simultaneously expect saintly and perfect behavior from ourselves, and yet do not hold others to the same standard.

In The Day the Earth Stood Still, Klaatu and the nation he represents threatens Earth with total annihilation, even though humanity did not yet even know about the existence of this nation, much less having committed any hostile acts against it. It's okay to commit genocide against a species because they might one day become a threat, right?

In the Star Trek episode "Devil in the Dark," humans are evil for unwittingly destroying the eggs of the Horta, but the Horta is justified in attempting to kill all humans on the planet in retaliation, right?

In the movie Avatar, (or Dances With Wolves, take your pick), humans are evil for rapacious over-exploitation of a native environment, but the Na'vi are perfectly justified in the killing of humans in retaliation, right?

But in Ender's Game it's okay when the Buggers attack unprovoked and attempt to eradicate humanity, because they mistakenly believed that we were just like them. And humans are evil for responding in kind, even though it was a clear act of self-defense and we had no way of knowing that the Buggers were no longer a threat. Right?

I also think it's interesting that the Bugger queen's version of the story is so implicitly believed. Because, facing extinction, she'd have no reason to lie, right? :D

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Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
hi hi

One of the best gauges I've found to use in measuring justice and revenge is proportionality. (Collective Punishment is generally considered a war crime.) Another is the double standard.

In The Day the Earth Stood Still, Klaatu is a messenger, and it is Gort that threatens Earth with total annihilation. Klaatu even admits that the solution of striking preemptively is not perfect, but that it is what was created long ago, and that they are beholden to it as well. One of the twists was that Klaatu was subservient to Gort, and not the other way around. (There were some direct parallels with criticizing the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction, while acknowledging the apparent inescapability of it, and simultaneously advising people not to continue building up their arsenals further.)

In Devil in the Dark, neither the humans or the horta were good or evil. The humans didn't know (at worst they were negligent), and the horta was defending its species. The killing that was happening on both sides was both unjustified, and understandable at the same time. It was a classic example of the misunderstanding, which is resolved once they are able to communicate. The humans felt bad for killing the horta's people, and the horta presumably didn't want to kill the humans once they agreed to stop killing their eggs. (In the expanded Star Trek universe, there are eventually Horta officers serving aboard some starships.)

The movie Avatar has a bunch of plot holes and I'm not going to try to dig into them, but in the American west there was a campaign of theft and genocide against the native people. Defending one's own home when it is broken into is not equivalent to breaking into another's home and attacking the inhabitants. The morality of self defense is, in the end, neutral in the same way that most zero sum games in nature are neutral. Society has better than neutral ways to resolve conflicts of interest, and when those break down it is a loss, so while self defense may not be the best outcome, it is not an evil.

Now it has been a while since I read Ender's Game too, and apparently there is more than one version out there, but from what I recall the aliens didn't get a chance to do very much before they were driven back. Prior to the human counterattack, the aliens destroyed a small outpost out past Neptune, and were attacked by the human fleet and destroyed by Rackham before reaching Earth. Destroying a small outpost is bad, but genocide seems somewhat disproportionate when given sufficient information about both sides. (Sufficient information that the humans didn't have.)


Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:21 pm
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Post Re: Page 108 & 109 Discussion
Mazer Rahkam stopped the second invasion which was a massive armada of warships, some of whom reached Earth iirc but didn't cause much damage before Rahkam killed the queen.

The real massacre happened during the first invasion which was just a single ship. Several hundred millions of civilians were killed throughout the world (China in particular saw a large swathe of its territory completely cleansed and it ceased being a superpower at that point), several major human cities were gassed from above and the dead and local wildlife were turned into biomass which was meant to feed the terraforming process.

A small private initiative was the force that managed to disable and capture the Formic ship but not before the well established spaceborn private sector was practically annihilated. The aftermath of the first invasion saw the human armed forces completely decimated and several nations were in a state of open anarchy due to the widespread destruction. The Hegemony was then formed as a necessary evil in order to repopulate Earth and prepare a new international army and navy to fight the Formics.

Source: The comic prequel.

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