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Page 134: For Science! 
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
novius wrote:
Tempo as well. With being her in the spook business and everyone knowing it just because of her caste designation I'm pretty sure she'd find real friends and colleagues hard to come boy.


True, though with the slight difference of that since that comes from her caste it's the sort of thing that's probably understood and, at least partially, trained for. The rest of them have ended up where they are through happenstance.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:00 pm
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Corpsman_of_Krieg wrote:
Valid. It makes the title all the more fitting. That said, I vaguely recall something about Jardin being referred to as an alien by way of their use of the word in question. Either way, it is apt.


That is completely normal. The word 'alien' basically means 'foreigner', someone coming from a different country, culture, race or group, the citizen of another country. Extra-terrestrial (exta-deinarian in Alex's case) as in 'a creature from another planet' is just one of the meanings, the most modern one.

Corpsman_of_Krieg wrote:
I imagine that, just as in Human society, that there are Loroi who are dirtbags, or xenophobes, or those who think they know better than everybody else and that their way is the best way. Thankfully for all of us, this story has thus far focused on individuals that, if not extraordinary in their own right, are nonetheless above average, who have had an extraordinary set of circumstances foisted upon them.


I'd go so far as to label the Loroi society as a whole xenophobic, fascist, stagnant and elitist, and generally unpleasant from a terran viewpoint. I get the impression that, when Arioch designed the alien nation/society/culture, he pretty much took our 'western' culture and inverted the most prominent aspects of it. The result, in my opinion being kind of the Star Trek's Cardassian Union and the Dominion, falls into the very bottom of the Uncanny Valley - everything is kind of relatable, comprehensible, yet utterly disagreeable/macabre if one thinks about it, but in the same time interesting and engaging.

On an individual level every loroi is different, some are @$$holes, others don't give a damn, some have their own opinions on what is right and not, some are pleasant to be around and some aren't. You know, idiots don't have a nationality and as far as the main cast of the story is concerned, everyone is kind of a misfit, an outsider in their own society :)

*Disclaimer* People in the past have mistaken the way I see the Loroi Union for me not liking/mocking Outsider or being disrespectful towards Arioch's work. That is absolutely not so. I very much enjoy Arioch's work, Outsider and all the worldbuilding that has gone into it. It is one of the most well developed sci-fi universes.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:14 pm
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
entity2636 wrote:
I'd go so far as to label the Loroi society as a whole xenophobic, fascist, stagnant and elitist, and generally unpleasant from a terran viewpoint. I get the impression that, when Arioch designed the alien nation/society/culture, he pretty much took our 'western' culture and inverted the most prominent aspects of it.


It is clearly inspired by "Sparta", especially the childhood training bands and similar aspects. Elves in fantasy/fiction are in general depicted as xenophobic or feudal. Transferred to science fiction you arrive at the Elerians of master of orion, which are... xenophobic and feudal ;)

In addition, the telepathy automatically would results in Loroi having strong bonds & others being "outsiders".


Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:54 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
entity2636 wrote:
I'd go so far as to label the Loroi society as a whole xenophobic, fascist, stagnant and elitist, and generally unpleasant from a terran viewpoint. I get the impression that, when Arioch designed the alien nation/society/culture, he pretty much took our 'western' culture and inverted the most prominent aspects of it. The result, in my opinion being kind of the Star Trek's Cardassian Union and the Dominion, falls into the very bottom of the Uncanny Valley - everything is kind of relatable, comprehensible, yet utterly disagreeable/macabre if one thinks about it, but in the same time interesting and engaging.


I dunno, the loroi way of doing things seem pretty agreeable to me. But then, I'm from a nation whose people are affably xenophobic and elitist.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:10 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Arent wrote:
In addition, the telepathy automatically would results in Loroi having strong bonds & others being "outsiders".


Rather the opposite. You know what the loroi like doing most when not having to fight for their very existence against The Bugs? To fight among themselves in civil wars, ideological wars between their "countries" and against whoever looked at the other funny between clans/families/individuals. I see loroi telepathy as the main reason for their aggressive behavior and warlike nature (warlike society rather than warrior race). I mean, if one could read the thoughts of any passer-by, what they think of your haircut, choice of shoes or whatever, one would probably want to punch every second one straight in the face.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:26 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
entity2636 wrote:
Arent wrote:
In addition, the telepathy automatically would results in Loroi having strong bonds & others being "outsiders".


Rather the opposite. You know what the loroi like doing most when not having to fight for their very existence against The Bugs? To fight among themselves in civil wars, ideological wars between their "countries" and against whoever looked at the other funny between clans/families/individuals. I see loroi telepathy as the main reason for their aggressive behavior and warlike nature (warlike society rather than warrior race). I mean, if one could read the thoughts of any passer-by, what they think of your haircut, choice of shoes or whatever, one would probably want to punch every second one straight in the face.


That's actually an aspect of the story I find highly illogical. You don't kill people because someone "looks at the other funnily". That there are people around who hate or love you is simply a fact in life all of us have to deal with.

In truth, it is the other way around: You have conflicts over ressources, land, hierarchy etc. & from these conflicts larger wars arise. If you had the ability to sense what others are thinking - whether they plot against you, or are truly honest - you could immediately solve many, but not all, these conflicts. The problem is that you usually do not know whether someone is honest.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:16 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Arent wrote:
That's actually an aspect of the story I find highly illogical. You don't kill people because someone "looks at the other funnily". That there are people around who hate or love you is simply a fact in life all of us have to deal with.


Yes, we non-telepaths don't know what others think and can ignore it, but with saizai I imagine it being quite a bit more difficult.

What I'm trying to say, is, try to imagine this: you're walking down the street and accidentally bump into someone. You excuse yourself but in return you get an assortment of slurs and curses. You respond by telling them to f*ck off. Next you see a pretty woman, you smile at her and in return you're told to eat sh!t and go f*ck your grandfather. You tell her to get hit by a train. You enter a cafe and the hipster dork at the counter asses you and mentally calls you a f*cking bumface not wealthy enough to be served at this fine establishment (which is St@rbucks or whatever other Bum Burger stand). And it goes on and on, all the time every day because people deep inside under our societal norms and laws are d*ckheads and children are the worst. I bet you that after a week tops you'd either have started or gotten involved in a couple of fistfights or worse.

Now imagine this is how your society has worked since the stone age. You get a very aggressive, suspicious and strictly regulated police state kind of society, much like the Loroi have.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:08 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
entity2636 wrote:
Arent wrote:
That's actually an aspect of the story I find highly illogical. You don't kill people because someone "looks at the other funnily". That there are people around who hate or love you is simply a fact in life all of us have to deal with.


Yes, we non-telepaths don't know what others think and can ignore it, but with saizai I imagine it being quite a bit more difficult.

What I'm trying to say, is, try to imagine this: you're walking down the street and accidentally bump into someone. You excuse yourself but in return you get an assortment of slurs and curses. You respond by telling them to f*ck off. Next you see a pretty woman, you smile at her and in return you're told to eat sh!t and go f*ck your grandfather. You tell her to get hit by a train. You enter a cafe and the hipster dork at the counter asses you and mentally calls you a f*cking bumface not wealthy enough to be served at this fine establishment (which is St@rbucks or whatever other Bum Burger stand). And it goes on and on, all the time every day because people deep inside under our societal norms and laws are d*ckheads and children are the worst. I bet you that after a week tops you'd either have started or gotten involved in a couple of fistfights or worse.

Now imagine this is how your society has worked since the stone age. You get a very aggressive, suspicious and strictly regulated police state kind of society, much like the Loroi have.


Not sure. I would like to run an experiment to decide the outcome :mrgreen:


Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:35 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
I imagine the other way, since birth you know how you are hurting others feelings, so you get more considerate of their feelings.

It's a side topic in Peter F. Hamilton's "Night's Dawn trilogy".

The upbringing in a telepathic nursery groups basically ends bullying, because the bully receives the pain of the bullied child too...

If you'd develop telepathy only well beyond your puberty, then you migh be right. abut that simply isn't the case in this Loroi universe.

Edit, because ninja'd:

Of course, this is also just a prediction by one author.
We need a real-life, large-scale experiment.

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Last edited by Krulle on Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:43 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Arent wrote:
entity2636 wrote:
Arent wrote:
That's actually an aspect of the story I find highly illogical. You don't kill people because someone "looks at the other funnily". That there are people around who hate or love you is simply a fact in life all of us have to deal with.


Yes, we non-telepaths don't know what others think and can ignore it, but with saizai I imagine it being quite a bit more difficult.

(...)

Now imagine this is how your society has worked since the stone age. You get a very aggressive, suspicious and strictly regulated police state kind of society, much like the Loroi have.


Not sure. I would like to run an experiment to decide the outcome :mrgreen:


That’s improbable when you look at the Loroi from the outside (no pun intended).
They have a highly developed military, a military industrial complex, and an advanced economy to support it as well as a political and societal infrastructure that lends suffient stability to keep it all functioning. Even throughout 25 years of all out war with the Hierarchy.

What we probably see is Darwin at work, the most quarrelsome elements have been eliminated from society a long time ago and violence has been channeled and ritualised, either within the kastes and by curbing or regulating it by strict social norms. Loroi don’t lie and can probably also sense the mental state the other one is in, which gives them ample warning on how to diffuse conflict. They may even be better in seeking the limits of a conflict than humans because they know when to stop escalating.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:44 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
@Krulle - Not quite. I did forget to mention, that pretty much the first skill loroi children learn is to shield their mind from others, not to "think aloud" and not to telepathically "broadcast", but you probably know that already ;) Then the children are assessed, pigeon holed into one of the castes, and pretty much isolated from other castes and other age groups, a diral is formed. Non conforming or under performing individuals are either bullied or beaten into conformity by others, kicked out or outright killed off.

@Zarya - I would argue that the Loroi military and the Navy in particular, although very large by comparison with the TCA, is not too impressive when looking at the big picture. Although the Loroi have won wars against true "warrior species" like the Delrias and Mannadi, the loroi military could not beat the Arekka and Nissek and are have gotten their asses handed to them repeatedly by the Umiak. The only thing that keeps the Loroi afloat is their Farseeing device, so they can cheat and intercept an enemy attack exactly where it happens.

They are also extremely slow to adapt and inflexible in changing situations, virtually incapable of innovating or being creative. This is a huge drawback of their education and caste systems - although a loroi can be telepathically "implanted" with knowledge (which is shamelessly exploited during their early childhood, when they are indoctrinated into the Loroi Warrior Culture, their education is very narrow and they usually lack experience, scope and skills of applying said knowledge effectively and be flexible.

Also do note, that Loroi have outsourced most of their key industry to their union members, Barsam and Golim (heavy industry and ship building), Neridi (administration), Pipolsid (high energy systems) or Delrias (weapon systems). They have very little key industry under their own control as industry, business and "non-warfare" is beneath a loroi, civilians are the loroi version of subhumans, at least they are viewed so by the military.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:42 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
entity2636 wrote:
@Zarya - I would argue that the Loroi military and the Navy in particular, although very large by comparison with the TCA, is not too impressive when looking at the big picture. Although the Loroi have won wars against true "warrior species" like the Delrias and Mannadi, the loroi military could not beat the Arekka and Nissek and are have gotten their asses handed to them repeatedly by the Umiak. The only thing that keeps the Loroi afloat is their Farseeing device, so they can cheat and intercept an enemy attack exactly where it happens.


Yeps, it looks like Alex is arriving at a critical time.

I had interpreted the info about the Loroi Union’s allies slightly more benign as you do (http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/union_races.html): the Loroi are not interested to fully beat and occupy Arekka territory, just in pacifying the situation. The Nissek being in a category of their own, and while not being fully trusted they’re also in territories not close or exposed to the Umiak advance (yet). So they are more inclined in pursuing their own interests. It may be common sense to the Union not to push things too far with them and start waging wars “playing dominant species” on multiple fronts. The Loroi clearly have their hands full.

entity2636 wrote:
They are also extremely slow to adapt and inflexible in changing situations, virtually incapable of innovating or being creative. This is a huge drawback of their education and caste systems - although a loroi can be telepathically "implanted" with knowledge (which is shamelessly exploited during their early childhood, when they are indoctrinated into the Loroi Warrior Culture, their education is very narrow and they usually lack experience, scope and skills of applying said knowledge effectively and be flexible.


I was stunned to read that Beryl is about 14 years old, on a normal lifespan of 400+
This means older generations have been wiped out during the preceding 25 years, and it supports the theory that ‘Loroi are not creative’, having let things come to this. Still it’s not my impression that they simply lack the ability to be creative. It may have been the conservatism that was cultivated by people that get very old. And with far younger generations being exposed to a war of attrition this may trigger more willingness to change how they go about things. They have a good motive to do so now their farsense capabilities appear to be useless in preventing potentially catastrophic deep incursions into their realm by Umiak forces.

entity2636 wrote:
Also do note, that Loroi have outsourced most of their key industry to their union members, Barsam and Golim (heavy industry and ship building), Neridi (administration), Pipolsid (high energy systems) or Delrias (weapon systems). They have very little key industry under their own control as industry, business and "non-warfare" is beneath a loroi, civilians are the loroi version of subhumans, at least they are viewed so by the military.


This view is perhaps far too black & white? Barsam being physically more fit “to do heavy industries” than the elves, the Golim enchanted by the Loroi (and - unfortunately - behaving like a kind of slave race, perhaps to be compared to being ruled by a colonial power). The relationship with the Pipolsid appears mutually beneficial, perhaps even symbiotic. Delrias again in a category of their own, conquered long time ago, but in a relationship that looks like how Germanic tribes were once treated by Rome: with respect for the barbarians but not with more than that. As for Loroi civilians, we haven’t met them yet. Could be that these feel protected by their warrior castes, just as Japanese farmers and merchants were once protected by local feudal leaders and freelancing Samurai.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:10 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Yet, the Barsam Ambassador's comment before he was cut off clearly shows there's potential for unrest in the Union, and Alex simply existing could very much turn out to be the spark that lights the fuse on the powder keg.

Alex himself got the hint that there seems to be more to the perceived similarity to Loroi, and that Tempo pretty much tries to keep it under wraps. Of course he has no idea why, but he surely saw his very presence could make an already tense situation much worse.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:34 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Zarya wrote:
I was stunned to read that Beryl is about 14 years old, on a normal lifespan of 400+
This means older generations have been wiped out during the preceding 25 years, and it supports the theory that ‘Loroi are not creative’, having let things come to this. Still it’s not my impression that they simply lack the ability to be creative. It may have been the conservatism that was cultivated by people that get very old. And with far younger generations being exposed to a war of attrition this may trigger more willingness to change how they go about things. They have a good motive to do so now their farsense capabilities appear to be useless in preventing potentially catastrophic deep incursions into their realm by Umiak forces.


That's very probable. I would bet that most of the leaders are easily a couple centuries old with a large amount of "experience" behind them telling them exactly how things should be done. Rapid adaptation is not the strong suit of older humans and I see little reason why Loroi SHOULD be different, though they, of course, could be.

novius wrote:
Yet, the Barsam Ambassador's comment before he was cut off clearly shows there's potential for unrest in the Union, and Alex simply existing could very much turn out to be the spark that lights the fuse of the powder keg.

Alex himself got the hint that there seems to be more to the perceived similarity to Loroi, and that Tempo pretty much tries to keep it under wraps. Of course he has no idea why, but he surely saw his very presence could make an already tense situation much worse.


The Loroi have been using the fact that they are a Soia-derived species WITHOUT a naturally occuring counterpart to claim that they are special. The discovery of a naturally occurring counterpart will be...problematic.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:39 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
fredgiblet wrote:
The Loroi have been using the fact that they are a Soia-derived species WITHOUT a naturally occuring counterpart to claim that they are special. The discovery of a naturally occurring counterpart will be...problematic.

Aren't the Barsam not the religious fundies of the Union? I thought the other races don't care much for that divine mandate by the Soia.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:13 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Zarya wrote:
I had interpreted the info about the Loroi Union’s allies slightly more benign as you do (http://www.well-of-souls.com/outsider/union_races.html): the Loroi are not interested to fully beat and occupy Arekka territory, just in pacifying the situation. The Nissek being in a category of their own, and while not being fully trusted they’re also in territories not close or exposed to the Umiak advance (yet). So they are more inclined in pursuing their own interests. It may be common sense to the Union not to push things too far with them and start waging wars “playing dominant species” on multiple fronts. The Loroi clearly have their hands full.


That and the general displeasure of their allies and union members about the loroi not knowing when to stop and committing war crimes. The loroi government has been made to understand that, should they go on with their warmongering and aggressive foreign politics, their military might find themselves without new ships, fuel and ordnance, all of which is imported, so to say.

Zarya wrote:
I was stunned to read that Beryl is about 14 years old, on a normal lifespan of 400+
This means older generations have been wiped out during the preceding 25 years, and it supports the theory that ‘Loroi are not creative’, having let things come to this. Still it’s not my impression that they simply lack the ability to be creative. It may have been the conservatism that was cultivated by people that get very old. And with far younger generations being exposed to a war of attrition this may trigger more willingness to change how they go about things. They have a good motive to do so now their farsense capabilities appear to be useless in preventing potentially catastrophic deep incursions into their realm by Umiak forces.


Currently loroi rarely die of disease or old age. They have been at war with themselves or with someone else when not with themselves for much of their history and most loroi get killed in action while young and thus don't get a chance to really shine. It's usually the officers who survive the longest. The old coots go into politics, set the tone and direction, wage their wars and the society stagnates as a whole. I also do not believe the loroi are physically or mentally incapable of being creative and flexible, rather they are not taught how to be, not given the options and incentive to widen their field of view and not given enough time to learn. This is a problem of their stale and conservative government and educational system geared towards meeting their government's constant demand for cannon fodder.

If given a long enough time of peace, peaceful contacts with new alien species not from the precursor empires and enough cultural exchange, seeing how others are doing things, the loroi could advance and prosper and develop as a society past their barbarism. But for that to even get a chance, they need to survive the Umiak war intact.

Zarya wrote:
This view is perhaps far too black & white?


Partially, with the intent to make the point clear, but in a high tech society most hard work is done by machines anyway. Even a loroi man could operate a crane, drive a truck or design starships in CAD, but the loroi are taught to frown at non-warrior activities. I get the distinct feeling that even in the Loroi Navy the Gallens (engineers) and Doranzers (medics) are considered inferior and barely worthy, although without them everything would grind down to a painful stop.

@novius - yup, and both Captain Mozin and the Historian VI were apparently aware of the existence of humans and the implications thereof. I would like to believe that Tempo is being genuine and really honestly wants to get Alex safely back to base, and that is much safer on a battleship with escort than on a lone corvette. In addition she wants to keep a lid on the matter so as to avoid rumors spreading and not creating a panic. We do not know Mozin's agenda and true intentions, who knows, maybe there are those interested in destabilizing the Union for whatever reason (Umiak collaborators, perhaps?)


Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:16 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Werra wrote:
fredgiblet wrote:
The Loroi have been using the fact that they are a Soia-derived species WITHOUT a naturally occuring counterpart to claim that they are special. The discovery of a naturally occurring counterpart will be...problematic.

Aren't the Barsam not the religious fundies of the Union? I thought the other races don't care much for that divine mandate by the Soia.


See that's the thing, it doesn't REALLY matter if the other races buy into it or not. It's something the Loroi have been saying that is now demonstrably false.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:27 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
The Romans also claimed their cities founders were descendants of Troja. Nobody really cared. The Loroi also claim they're heirs of the Soja because they're psionic.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:30 am
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
At the risk of sounding like a Loroi cheerleader, I'd like to address what appear to be some misconceptions and outright misrepresentations.

First, a reminder: a large percentage of the current governments on the real Earth are still military dictatorships, including those of some of the largest and most populous nations on the planet. To assert that this form of government is somehow fundamentally repugnant to humankind seems... insufficiently demonstrated.

Arent wrote:
Elves in fantasy/fiction are in general depicted as xenophobic or feudal. Transferred to science fiction you arrive at the Elerians of master of orion, which are... xenophobic and feudal

While this has little impact on the current discussion... the Elerians actually didn't have the xenophobic trait.

entity2636 wrote:
You know what the loroi like doing most when not having to fight for their very existence against The Bugs? To fight among themselves in civil wars, ideological wars between their "countries" and against whoever looked at the other funny between clans/families/individuals.

Prior to the start of the Umiak war, the Loroi had 340 years of peace. Real-world humanity is currently at war with itself, and has been pretty much continuously for its entire history. Which is the more warlike species?

Arent wrote:
That's actually an aspect of the story I find highly illogical. You don't kill people because someone "looks at the other funnily".

Neither do Loroi.

Tempo mentioned that Loroi honesty has historically had a negative effect on diplomacy; it can be difficult to reach agreements under tense negotiations when neither side has any concept of basic politeness. This does not imply that random Loroi kill each other on the street.

entity2636 wrote:
I would argue that the Loroi military and the Navy in particular, although very large by comparison with the TCA, is not too impressive when looking at the big picture. Although the Loroi have won wars against true "warrior species" like the Delrias and Mannadi, the loroi military could not beat the Arekka and Nissek and are have gotten their asses handed to them repeatedly by the Umiak. The only thing that keeps the Loroi afloat is their Farseeing device, so they can cheat and intercept an enemy attack exactly where it happens.

The Umiak are very difficult opponent. Even though their Farseer advantage allows the Loroi to concentrate their forces at the point of attack, they are still engaging and defeating fleets that at times substantially outnumber them.

The Loroi never fought the Nissek. The two nations were briefly at war through alliances, but they never met in combat.

The Loroi decisively beat the Arekka wherever they fought. What prevented complete conquest of Arekka territory was merely the fact local geography (higher ISM density and therefore shorter jump links) slowed the Loroi advance, and the war ended prematurely due to a political settlement.

entity2636 wrote:
Also do note, that Loroi have outsourced most of their key industry to their union members, Barsam and Golim (heavy industry and ship building), Neridi (administration), Pipolsid (high energy systems) or Delrias (weapon systems).

This is incorrect; a substantial portion of Union war production comes from Loroi worlds. Many of the weapons and systems were designed by their allies, but this does not mean that the Loroi cannot manufacture them. In particular, the advanced systems derived from the Historian technology exchange are produced almost exclusively by the Loroi.

entity2636 wrote:
civilians are the loroi version of subhumans, at least they are viewed so by the military.

Loroi civilians are viewed as second-class citizens, but they are not viewed as subhuman. Loroi workers are no lower on the social class hierarchy than workers in most traditional human societies.

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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Arioch wrote:
First, a reminder: a large percentage of the current governments on the real Earth are still military dictatorships, including those of some of the largest and most populous nations on the planet. To assert that this form of government is somehow fundamentally repugnant to humankind seems... insufficiently demonstrated.


I would argue it's the exact opposite. Non-dictatorships require CONSTANT upkeep to maintain or they will slide backwards. Liberal democracies are not natural at all for humans.


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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
entity2636 wrote:
@novius - yup, and both Captain Mozin and the Historian VI were apparently aware of the existence of humans and the implications thereof. I would like to believe that Tempo is being genuine and really honestly wants to get Alex safely back to base, and that is much safer on a battleship with escort than on a lone corvette. In addition she wants to keep a lid on the matter so as to avoid rumors spreading and not creating a panic. We do not know Mozin's agenda and true intentions, who knows, maybe there are those interested in destabilizing the Union for whatever reason (Umiak collaborators, perhaps?)


Historian VI might be, but Captain (or Ambassador) Mozin looked genuinely surprised on getting a good look at Alex. And given that he was about to launch into a tirade, I'd peg him as a character who is a bit more upfront and his surprise was not feigned.

While it might be that the Barsam have their own agenda - which nation wouldn't have? - it is likely that Tempo intentionally seeds some distrust in Alex to distance him from the other species in the Union and bind him more tightly to the Loroi themselves. After all, too many people have already seen him, and the secret of his existence is already out in the open. So Tempo, representing the Loroi, would be well-advised to secure first dibs on him. Though, whether Alex takes her words at face value or not is not known so far.

Fireblade, at the very least, is honest in her disdain towards Alex.

Tempo is that kind of scheming witch where one has to double-check every word she says. And still can't be sure if she really told the whole story or not.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:15 pm
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
Arioch wrote:
First, a reminder: a large percentage of the current governments on the real Earth are still military dictatorships, including those of some of the largest and most populous nations on the planet. To assert that this form of government is somehow fundamentally repugnant to humankind seems... insufficiently demonstrated.


Which ones do you have in mind? North Korea? Yes. African "banana republics"? Yes. India? No. China? Dictatorship yes, military - No. Russia? Dictatorship - yes, military - no.

Dictatorships in general tend to flourish in poor, underdeveloped third world countries and would thus be considered a primitive form of government suitable for societies that haven't yet reached a certain degree of advancement or are held back by other aspects, i.e. dominant religion, etc.

Arioch wrote:
entity2636 wrote:
You know what the loroi like doing most when not having to fight for their very existence against The Bugs? To fight among themselves in civil wars, ideological wars between their "countries" and against whoever looked at the other funny between clans/families/individuals.

Prior to the start of the Umiak war, the Loroi had 340 years of peace. Real-world humanity is currently at war with itself, and has been pretty much continuously for its entire history. Which is the more warlike species?


So far, the Terrans and I'm not implying otherwise ;) The terran primary motivator for invention and creativity has always been "alright, now how can I use this as a weapon?"

Arioch wrote:
The Loroi never fought the Nissek. The two nations were briefly at war through alliances, but they never met in combat.

The Loroi decisively beat the Arekka wherever they fought. What prevented complete conquest of Arekka territory was merely the fact local geography (higher ISM density and therefore shorter jump links) slowed the Loroi advance, and the war ended prematurely due to a political settlement.


OK, I must have gotten a wrong impression probably due to lack of background information about the Arekka. Still, they got bogged down and to not look like complete morons, made peace. With the Nissek I understand that the Loroi are, I wouldn't say outright scared of them, but respectfully uneasy, staring down the barrels of the Nissek boarder guard. Still the Loroi Navy doesn't look all that impressive, all things considered :)

Arioch wrote:
Loroi civilians are viewed as second-class citizens, but they are not viewed as subhuman. Loroi workers are no lower on the social class hierarchy than workers in most traditional human societies.


Which basically means they are viewed as inferior, unworthy, failed, weak, etc. which, to put it blunt, is (almost) subhuman if we throw political correctness, which I'm allergic to, out the window. I'd also call things their true names and use "primitive societies" rather than traditional, as the second can be ambiguous and misinterpreted.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:32 pm
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
You: "They're subhuman"
Creator of the comic and species: "They aren't treated as subhuman"
You: "So you mean they're treated as subhuman"


Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:07 pm
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
entity2636 wrote:
Which basically means they are viewed as inferior, unworthy, failed, weak, etc. which, to put it blunt, is (almost) subhuman if we throw political correctness, which I'm allergic to, out the window. I'd also call things their true names and use "primitive societies" rather than traditional, as the second can be ambiguous and misinterpreted.


I think you're suffering from liberal bias in your analysis. In human (at least western) society, men take (and have largely taken, historically speaking) second billing to women and children. That doesn't mean men are viewed as sub-human, it merely means that we save women and children first in times of disaster or difficulty and we structure our society around the furthering of our progeny, (which means we have historically placed men in positions of risk, leading to them bearing the brunt of hardship but also reaping great prestige). The Loroi warrior caste could in some sense be seen as the "men" in that society.

Further, if we are to "call things their true names", then there is not a single modern human nation (barring I suppose some indigenous island tribes) which is not a military dictatorship, as all human governments today rule ultimately through the force of their police state and army. The state apparatus may accept input in forms of democratic elections, much as a king or dictator may hear the pleas of his subjects, but the decisions and policies of the state are ultimately final and dictatorial.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:09 pm
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Post Re: Page 134: For Science!
entity2636 wrote:
Which ones do you have in mind? North Korea? Yes. African "banana republics"? Yes. India? No. China? Dictatorship yes, military - No. Russia? Dictatorship - yes, military - no.

Were those non-military tanks crushing the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square? Remove the word "military" if you like, but it doesn't alter my point.

entity2636 wrote:
Which basically means they are viewed as inferior, unworthy, failed, weak, etc. which, to put it blunt, is (almost) subhuman if we throw political correctness, which I'm allergic to, out the window. I'd also call things their true names and use "primitive societies" rather than traditional, as the second can be ambiguous and misinterpreted.

Every human society has some kind of class distinction. To say that any lower class is always treated as "sub-human" by a higher class is demonstrably false.

boldilocks wrote:
Further, if we are to "call things their true names", then there is not a single modern human nation (barring I suppose some indigenous island tribes) which is not a military dictatorship, as all human governments today rule ultimately through the force of their police state and army. The state apparatus may accept input in forms of democratic elections, much as a king or dictator may hear the pleas of his subjects, but the decisions and policies of the state are ultimately final and dictatorial.

There is an important distinction between a dictatorship and a republic: in the former, the instruments of power serve the leader personally; in the latter, they serve the state. In the latter, the leadership can be changed by political means, but in the former, it can only really be changed by force.

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