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Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread 
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Post Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
As it says on the tin. :P

To start:

(1) What's a Bistima do? and what colors are their uniform?
(2) Does the Diadem act as the Loroi parliament, or does it only convene in the form of an electoral college?
(3) On this page I think the Doranzer and Tenoin are mixed up? Wouldn't it make more sense for a medic to wear orange than infantry?
(4) Do the Loroi have a single standardised calendar? If so, what's it like? If not, on what planet does the most commonly used calendar originate and what is it like?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
1. The Bistima are Farseers. They're technically civilians, but they are unique in that they are assigned to combat units. Aboard a warship, Bistima are part of the Mizol's department. As civilians, they are not permitted to wear the distinctive colored armored uniform of a warrior.

2. The Diadem is a council of the highest-ranking members of the Torrai caste. It functions like a Board of Admiralty or a Joint Chiefs of Staff in terms of administrating the Loroi military, and also serves as a sort of Cabinet in an advisory role to the Emperor and as part of her administration. The Diadem's function to appoint a new Emperor is similar to that of the Catholic cardinals to appoint a new Pope, but they are not a legislative body.

The Loroi legislature is the Union Assembly, which includes delegates from both Loroi and non-Loroi worlds.

3. No, they're not mixed up. Doranzer and Tenoin have already appeared in various places in the comic. The Tenoin are not infantry, they're pilots.

4. Calendars are going to be unique to each planet, as the length of day, year and seasons will vary. Calendars don't have much impact on shipboard life, in which time of year or season is irrelevant. Time aboard ship is scheduled around the nanapi, which is 10.08 Earth days. I think the nanapi probably comes from the orbital period of Mepona, Deinar's inner moon. The Deinar year is very similar in length to the Earth year, but my notes suggest that the "standard" year is only 8.4 months, and the standard day is 1.26 Earth days (which is much longer than the Deinar day). Those values sound appropriate to Perrein, so perhaps what I was thinking is that the Perrein standards were adopted as a sort of political concession, since Deinar dominates in so many other ways.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
What exactly is a Farseer capable of? I've heard the term thrown around before, but never with context (besides the fact that Mr Rain will be on Tempest's next shift).

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Farseers are Loroi who are capable of sensing the presence of living beings over interstellar distances. This is particularly important in a milieu where there is no form of faster-than-light sensors. Their abilities allow the Loroi to detect and intercept Umiak assault fleets before they enter Loroi space. The creation of Steppes (i.e. clearing an area of space of populations so that the only living things in it are going to be the Umiak ships crews) facilitates this.
They can't however track movements within Umiak space as they don't have the "resolution" to distinguish between the Umiak fleets and the planetary and orbital populations present in those systems.

Obviously the use of automated fleets has been brought up before and so I'll point out that the lack of faster-than-light sensors or communications means that remotely-controlled fleets are impossible in the Outsider universe. I don't recall exactly Arioch theories about the practicalities (or lack there of) of fully AI controlled fleets.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
There is a search function at the bottom of the Insider index page that works reasonably well. That might be a good first stop for some of these questions.

captainsmirk wrote:
Obviously the use of automated fleets has been brought up before and so I'll point out that the lack of faster-than-light sensors or communications means that remotely-controlled fleets are impossible in the Outsider universe. I don't recall exactly Arioch theories about the practicalities (or lack there of) of fully AI controlled fleets.

There are two chief problems with unmanned fleets. The first is one of control; there's no FTL comm, so no remote control, and any unmanned fleet must be autonomous. I would hope by now that 50+ years of science fiction has taught us that it's not a good idea to give an autonomous device great destructive power and and then set it loose on your enemies, because there's a significant risk that it may not end up doing exactly what you wanted it to do. It's a desperate option at best, and the Umiak are not desperate.

The second problem is that it has been established that warships have fairly large crews, so we must assume that this is for a reason -- that they must be required for the proper operation and maintenance of the ship. If crews did not provide a significant advantage that was worth the risk to their lives, warships wouldn't have them in the first place. So for whatever reason we decide crews are required, ships without them are going to be at a disadvantage in combat.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
There is a search function at the bottom of the Insider index page that works reasonably well. That might be a good first stop for some of these questions.

captainsmirk wrote:
Obviously the use of automated fleets has been brought up before and so I'll point out that the lack of faster-than-light sensors or communications means that remotely-controlled fleets are impossible in the Outsider universe. I don't recall exactly Arioch theories about the practicalities (or lack there of) of fully AI controlled fleets.

There are two chief problems with unmanned fleets. The first is one of control; there's no FTL comm, so no remote control, and any unmanned fleet must be autonomous. I would hope by now that 50+ years of science fiction has taught us that it's not a good idea to give an autonomous device great destructive power and and then set it loose on your enemies, because there's a significant risk that it may not end up doing exactly what you wanted it to do. It's a desperate option at best, and the Umiak are not desperate.

The second problem is that it has been established that warships have fairly large crews, so we must assume that this is for a reason -- that they must be required for the proper operation and maintenance of the ship. If crews did not provide a significant advantage that was worth the risk to their lives, warships wouldn't have them in the first place. So for whatever reason we decide crews are required, ships without them are going to be at a disadvantage in combat.


Wait what if control ships are commanding vast fleets of unarmed warships to decieve the loroi... awww you already answered that :(.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Perhaps the Historians are the only race who have developed true A.I.?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
I think that all of the civilizations at this tech level will have very sophisticated expert systems that are pretty smart at specific tasks. So you can roll these together into a sophisticated AI that would be pretty competent at most of what you want it to do. But the more "sentient" you make your software, the less actual control you have over what it does, and that gets problematic where weaponry is involved. AI systems advise, but decisions are made by people.

We humans seem to have both a lust for technology and a bit of narcissism that leads us (in the popular culture, at least) to long for humanoid robots and humanlike self-aware software. But if you think about it, being humanlike is absolutely the last thing you need machines to be; any job that requires a human form can almost always be done much better by a human, and the kinds of things humanlike AI could do (like high-level decision making) are generally the things you wouldn't want them to do. So I don't think most of the major combatants (Loroi, Umiak, Barsam, etc.) would have much zeal for perfecting systems that make their own biological selves obsolete. I'm not sure the Humans will, either.

The Historians, of course, are another matter.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Has anyone ever seen a live Historian?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
fredgiblet wrote:
Has anyone ever seen a live Historian?


And a supplement question: how powerful are they, really? We know their technology is ahead of that of most (if not all) races, but not so superior that it can't be overcome with sheer numbers. Are they an absolute unknown in terms of the size of their territory, population, military strength, etc., or do at least the Loroi have *some* intel on that?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
How do the more conventional combat castes view the Mizol?

Among the warrior castes, how well do the combat and support castes get along? What is the loroi word for POG or fobbit?

You've said that non-loroi members of the Loroi Union aren't allowed to have independent militaries, only self-defense forces. Does this mean that the Loroi forbid any participation of non-Loroi members in even the Union Military, or does the Loroi Union have "foreign" units like the colonial regiments and foreign legions of the colonial empires of old, or do they have something like the Warsaw Pact in which it is a multinational force that is ultimately dominated and controlled by the Loroi?


Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:42 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Victor_D wrote:
And a supplement question: how powerful are they, really? We know their technology is ahead of that of most (if not all) races, but not so superior that it can't be overcome with sheer numbers.

Wouldn´t bet on that one. I´ve re-read the history of the war again (it was updatet end of oct ´12, while the insider-sitemap still indicates 2011 btw), and yes, they retreated when the first wave of the bugs came in. But they launched a counterattack just before the fall off Seren in 2140, so they´re definitely able of succesful warfare. This "just-in-time action", their superior weapons tech, their reluctance to allow Loroi on their territory etc, all this leads me to the conclusion that they play a wicked game.
They´re by no means "junior-partners", who have to be patronized or protected by the Elves.


Victor_D wrote:
Are they an absolute unknown in terms of the size of their territory, population, military strength, etc., or do at least the Loroi have *some* intel on that?

I´d like to know, too.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Trantor wrote:
Wouldn´t bet on that one. I´ve re-read the history of the war again (it was updatet end of oct ´12, while the insider-sitemap still indicates 2011 btw), and yes, they retreated when the first wave of the bugs came in. But they launched a counterattack just before the fall off Seren in 2140, so they´re definitely able of succesful warfare. This "just-in-time action", their superior weapons tech, their reluctance to allow Loroi on their territory etc, all this leads me to the conclusion that they play a wicked game.
They´re by no means "junior-partners", who have to be patronized or protected by the Elves.


Yeah... makes you wonder if Greywind would have been keen on enacting that anti-neutrality policy on the historians if they hadn't allied themselves already.

Come to think of it. Do we know how Greywind became emperor? I know it was a controversy but is it a secret even among the loroi? And i'm not talking about what written in the insider seems to me that there is something missing there.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
fredgiblet wrote:
Has anyone ever seen a live Historian?

Yes, but they are not seen often. There have been interspecies conferences in which the rules required that delegates attend in person, and in these cases small numbers of live Historians have been seen. But they did not seem to engage much in conversation or debate during these functions; the constructs conducted most of the public business. In particular, the Historians gave the Loroi delegates a wide berth.

Victord_D wrote:
And a supplement question: how powerful are they, really? We know their technology is ahead of that of most (if not all) races, but not so superior that it can't be overcome with sheer numbers. Are they an absolute unknown in terms of the size of their territory, population, military strength, etc., or do at least the Loroi have *some* intel on that?

Loroi intelligence estimates that the Historians are somewhere in Tech Level 12; the Historian drives appear to be completely reactionless (whereas the Loroi/Pipolsid Floater drive just uses inertial damping tricks to reduce the amount of reaction mass required). More than that is not known; the TL11 schematics given to the Loroi were clearly not first-line Historian tech, and the Loroi were able to observe very little of the Historian vessels in direct combat. There are some baseline estimates as to Historian fleet strength based on what was observed during the initial Umiak invasion when Loroi ships were briefly in Historian territory, but the Loroi are aware that these are just guesses. At the time of the Historian counterattacks in late 2140, there were no Loroi vessels present (having been cut off with the loss of Seren). There are no estimates at all on Historian population sizes, as no Alliance people have ever made landfall on a Historian planet (the Umiak, who captured several Historian systems, presumably know more, but they aren't telling what they found).

Where Historian territory begins is well-delineated by treaty; it's right on the other side of the Seren Corridor. It's not certain exactly how far it extends, but since it abuts the edge of the Pleiades Bubble (a region of increased gas density, massive stars and stellar remnants), it is presumed that the territory does not extend very far beyond what is known.

VictorValor wrote:
How do the more conventional combat castes view the Mizol?

Internal Affairs/Military Police/Secret Police are rarely well-liked by the rank and file, but the Mizol do at times participate in direct action alongside other troops, and so their abilities are well-respected.

VictorValor wrote:
Among the warrior castes, how well do the combat and support castes get along?

Most of the combat is ship-to-ship, in which all crewmembers share the same risk of death regardless of their function, so there is not much distinction in this regard.

VictorValor wrote:
You've said that non-loroi members of the Loroi Union aren't allowed to have independent militaries, only self-defense forces. Does this mean that the Loroi forbid any participation of non-Loroi members in even the Union Military, or does the Loroi Union have "foreign" units like the colonial regiments and foreign legions of the colonial empires of old, or do they have something like the Warsaw Pact in which it is a multinational force that is ultimately dominated and controlled by the Loroi?

There is no prohibition against non-Loroi being part of the Union Military, but the nature of Loroi warrior culture means that they don't collaborate well with non-Loroi, so there are few non-Loroi in combat roles. The other members do not have military fleets beyond police and patrol vessels. Many members (such as the Barsam) have substantial ground armies, but these are considered defensive (and not in much demand in the current stage of the conflict). Barsam, Neridi and Pipolsid vessels involved in the war effort are used in support roles (transport, communication, reconnaissance).

Jericho wrote:
Come to think of it. Do we know how Greywind became emperor? I know it was a controversy but is it a secret even among the loroi? And i'm not talking about what written in the insider seems to me that there is something missing there.

After her predecessor was killed in action, Greywind was elected by the Diadem, and then had to put down a coup attempt immediately after. The leaders of the coup alleged that Greywind and her Mizol contacts somehow deliberately planned to get Emperor Eighth Dawn killed by somehow manipulating intelligence data during the battle. If they had any such proof of these allegations, we'll never know (as Greywind's side won), but the telepathic rumor mill considers the story to be without much merit; it is well known that the coup leaders were Greywind's political opponents, old-guard admirals who were offended by the breach of the unwritten rule that the Emperor should be chosen from line admirals and not staff officers, and who were backed by wealthy civilian magnates who stood to lose a lot in under the martial law they knew Greywind would implement. Exactly what sort of deals might have gone on behind closed doors at the highest levels of power is not the sort of information that is readily available to the general populace.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
After her predecessor was killed in action, Greywind was elected by the Diadem, and then had to put down a coup attempt immediately after. The leaders of the coup alleged that Greywind and her Mizol contacts somehow deliberately planned to get Emperor Eighth Dawn killed by somehow manipulating intelligence data during the battle. If they had any such proof of these allegations, we'll never know (as Greywind's side won), but the telepathic rumor mill considers the story to be without much merit; it is well known that the coup leaders were Greywind's political opponents, old-guard admirals who were offended by the breach of the unwritten rule that the Emperor should be chosen from line admirals and not staff officers, and who were backed by wealthy civilian magnates who stood to lose a lot in under the martial law they knew Greywind would implement. Exactly what sort of deals might have gone on behind closed doors at the highest levels of power is not the sort of information that is readily available to the general populace.


And these civilian magnates were the first to have their assets seized i presume?

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Last edited by Jericho on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:51 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
What do Loroi have for pastimes? Are sports a thing over there? And if so, which ones?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
Loroi intelligence estimates that the Historians are somewhere in Tech Level 12;

That´s around 1 to 1,5 Tech Levels above the rest. Like early combustion engines vs nuclear power.
Fredge, your 2c on the implications pls? :mrgreen:


Arioch wrote:
it is well known that the coup leaders were Greywind's political opponents, old-guard admirals who were offended by the breach of the unwritten rule that the Emperor should be chosen from line admirals and not staff officers, and who were backed by wealthy civilian magnates who stood to lose a lot in under the martial law they knew Greywind would implement. Exactly what sort of deals might have gone on behind closed doors at the highest levels of power is not the sort of information that is readily available to the general populace.

Looks like she read her Loroi version of Machiaveli carefully. I like that.
(On a side note: Can we have some more pics of her pls? Only if your time schedule permits it, of course)

Edit: Another question: Can the Loroi farseers detect Historians?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
I may have asked this before, but if I did it was a long time ago. Do the Loroi have words/concepts that would translate to Good and Evil? If not do they have replacement analogues like Duty?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
I'm trying to wrap my head around telepathy so here some questions just to clear things up.

Telepathic communication is considered deeper then regular right? Is this a just a loroi opinion or is it widely accepted?

If a telepath is eager and excited to tell a story will that eagerness and excitment be apparent in the story and make it more interesting for the listener?

When an alien and loroi mind-meld they don't recieve that intimate connection from the loroi to loroi mind-meld because the alien is not a telepath.
Ok so what difference does it make when the loroi is already poking around the mind of another creature?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Rereading the story, another question popped up:

http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider041.html
http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/outsider042.html


Beryl asks about "human sanzai", and Alex answer is "...only in old sories."

Is he referring to sth "real" in outsiderverse history, or just to some fictional stories, e.g. books or movies?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Trantor wrote:
Fredge, your 2c on the implications pls? :mrgreen:


I'm not Fred, but to me the possible implication can be phrased in two words: "We're doomed!" :|

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
GeoModder wrote:
Trantor wrote:
Fredge, your 2c on the implications pls? :mrgreen:

I'm not Fred, but to me the possible implication can be phrased in two words: "We're doomed!" :|

Oh, you missed the other thread? :mrgreen:

My conclusion would be to not lay ALL our eggs in the spaceelves-basket. 8-)

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Jericho wrote:
And these civilian magnates were the first to have their assets seized i presume?

Yes, both their asses and assets were seized.

CJ Miller wrote:
What do Loroi have for pastimes? Are sports a thing over there? And if so, which ones?

Games and sports would be popular. There would be a wide variety spread across many different worlds. The Taben windsurfing/water polo proposed by Icekatze looked like fun.

Trantor wrote:
Can the Loroi farseers detect Historians?

That information probably wouldn't be available to the main characters.

fredgiblet wrote:
I may have asked this before, but if I did it was a long time ago. Do the Loroi have words/concepts that would translate to Good and Evil? If not do they have replacement analogues like Duty?

The conversation from before was:

Arioch wrote:
fredgiblet wrote:
2. Does Trade have concepts for "Good" and "Evil" that would map to anything like the concepts for those words in English? Would the statement "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Be translatable in anything close to an accurate form?

Yes, Trade has a variety of words that could be used to translate that passage. If you are asking specifically about Loroi culture however, the passage above is steeped in Judeo-Christian/Muslim beliefs that the Loroi do not share (that evil is a living entity with a will of its own personified by a "Satan," and that mortal man is tainted by "Original Sin" and is therefore inherently corrupt). The Loroi mostly view good and evil in terms of "right and wrong", or rather "correct and incorrect" in terms of societal norms; this is, after all, a society for whom war is considered normal. The Loroi concept that could most closely be identified with our concept of evil is related to the word for "decay" and refers to corruption or descent into madness. "Triumph of evil" might be translated as "triumph of the enemy."

The Barsam concept of evil is as the absence of good, in the way that darkness is the absence of light, so for them evil literally is when good people do nothing. They would assume that "triumph of evil" is a metaphor (as the Barsam religious tales have villains who oppose the believers, but not an actual Satan).

I hope that answers your question.

Jericho wrote:
Telepathic communication is considered deeper then regular right? Is this a just a loroi opinion or is it widely accepted? If a telepath is eager and excited to tell a story will that eagerness and excitment be apparent in the story and make it more interesting for the listener?

When an alien and loroi mind-meld they don't recieve that intimate connection from the loroi to loroi mind-meld because the alien is not a telepath. Ok so what difference does it make when the loroi is already poking around the mind of another creature?

Telepathy between Loroi does have more bandwidth than spoken communication. The Insider page on Telepathy definitely needs a revamp, but there's a lot on it in the forums and the compilations. Here's a previous conversation on the subject:

Arioch wrote:
Loroi telepathy is not normally the sharing of literal "thoughts" or "emotions"; telepathic messages are similar to a spoken message, but there is a lot of extra bandwidth (which varies with the quality of the connection) that can contain subtext information, including emotional or sensory information. If there is enough telepathic bandwidth (especially if the two conversants are touching), then there may be so much information in the message that it almost seems like sharing thoughts or emotions or viewing through someone else's senses, but that's not the "normal" mode of operation for telepathy.

A Loroi who stubs her toe might "cry out" telepathically, and the subtext of this telepathic message would probably contain information that the crier was in pain, but this would not be literally be a transmission of pain.

It's difficult to knowingly transmit false information via an ordinary telepathic connection, because much of the "subtext" information is semi-conscious or unconscious. The higher the bandwidth, the greater the detail and depth of the subtext, and the harder it is to consciously control. It's possible to intentionally omit this subtext, but then the receiver definitely knows something's up; it's a bit like when someone refuses to look you in the eye when talking to you.

However, just because it's difficult to knowingly lie doesn't mean that the message must be impartial or strictly factual; it can contain opinion or judgment. Every Loroi has her own point of view, so information that she believes to be true is always colored to some extent by personal biases. Two people can watch the same event and form different interpretations of it.

fredgiblet wrote:
if Tempo is holding Beryl's hand in her left hand and Fireblade's hand in her right, does Beryl have a connection to Fireblade, or do both of their connections stop at Tempo? Would a mosh pit of Loroi all be connected?

Touch contact is peer-to-peer; Fireblade touching Tempo doesn't give her direct access to Beryl. However, Tempo could choose to act as a telepathic relay, giving Fireblade and Beryl access to each other (that's not quite as high-bandwidth as direct touch, but close). This is of limited use, since if she's close enough to touch Tempo, Fireblade is probably close enough to lean over and touch Beryl herself. As osmium suggests, there are practical limits on how many people can be linked in this manner, as the amount of information being passed back and forth quickly becomes unmanageable.

The only practical use I can think of for multi-person links is groups of Listel transferring information.

Physical touch increases the bandwidth of any telepathic connection.

Telepathic contact between Loroi and aliens will depend on that species' susceptibility or resistance to telepathy. A Loroi normally can't "poke around" in another Loroi's mind unless they are touching (or the telepath is very skilled, or the Loroi's mental barriers are very poor). The same would be true for most aliens, though most aliens won't have effective mental barriers (as they haven't been trained). Some aliens could be read easily at distance (Golim); some can't be read even when touching (Humans). What the alien perceives of the Loroi also depends on the species. Alex could perceive the telepathic presence of those Loroi touching him, even though they couldn't read him.

There are two elements to "mind reading": one is detecting what a person is thinking at the moment, which requires only a sufficient connection and penetration of the subject's defense (if any). The other is accessing stored information, which is much more difficult, as the subject's mind must be "asked" for the information. Since the subject will usually be aware of this contact, he or she may be able to refuse to "answer", so to be successful, the question must either be asked in a forceful way such that it is answered reflexively, or else asked in such a subtle way that the subject answers without actually realizing it. In either case, it requires substantial skill on the part of the telepathic interrogator.

The forum Search function is currently working, by the way. I mention that because there was a time when it wasn't working, so people may have learned to ignore it.

Trantor wrote:
Beryl asks about "human sanzai", and Alex answer is "...only in old sories." Is he referring to sth "real" in outsiderverse history, or just to some fictional stories, e.g. books or movies?

Alex was referring to fictional stories, legends and fairy tales of magic and the like. We do, after all, have a word for telepathy, even though it doesn't exist.

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Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:51 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
How densely packed are Loroi cities? Is there anything that can compare to modern American/Asian cities, much less future ones?

I'd imagine, given their disposition towards personal space, cities would be more European. Shallow but spread out. I have a hard time imagining Loroi bumping into one another and walking shoulder to shoulder as happens in larger cities.


Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:01 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Loroi question-and-answer thread
Sprawl63 wrote:
How densely packed are Loroi cities? Is there anything that can compare to modern American/Asian cities, much less future ones?

I'd imagine, given their disposition towards personal space, cities would be more European. Shallow but spread out. I have a hard time imagining Loroi bumping into one another and walking shoulder to shoulder as happens in larger cities.

Ever been in the Hamburg Subway at rush-hour? :mrgreen: There´s no big difference to Tokyo, except the Japanese are way more polite.

But yes, i cannot imagine public transport like ours in the Loroi world, and maybe also their stadiums look a bit different.


Arioch wrote:
Trantor wrote:
Can the Loroi farseers detect Historians?

That information probably wouldn't be available to the main characters.

How about the audience? :mrgreen:

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