1. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Stepping outside the dystopian trope

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Some Guy, Feb 12, 2020.

    The 2nd generation after the annihilation has passed. We survived beyond scarcity to bring forth the 3rd. Information and history remain, but without the context. Politics, greed, religion, shame, money, possession, culture, clothing, norms, mores, taboos are just gone. The past has literally died out. It is a dated textbook.
    We're not going back to what we were because we don't even associate with it.
    There's no dystopia and there's no utopia, just new people, secure, with a clean slate.

    So, it's wish list time!
    What would you like to see them concerned about?
    I have my own ideas, but what issues do you folks wish a story would explore outside the "starting-over" trope?
     
  2. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Active Member

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    By the third generation I would think you would start having them focus on redeveloping technology/developing new tech and expansion of their communities, which would lead to various groups rediscovering each other.
     
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  3. Mikelindo

    Mikelindo Member Supporter

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    I'd say transportation. That or medical science.
     
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  4. OB1

    OB1 Active Member

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    No money or transaction of goods and commodities. People have learnt from their mistakes and work together communally for the betterment of their society. Star trek comes to mind.
     
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  5. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting. Good drama in wondering who's out there. And combining their rescouces to benefit the new whole

    I bet the issues of transportation would be great drama.

    This one I am deeply engaged in. Specifically, an equation that predicts how many would have to die, immediately and long term, for a system to be reestablished. f($) = :dead:
    I want the drama of this realization to hit hard. So much engineering and logistics has already been perfected to ensure the distribution of sustainable resources.
    The combination of sustainable transportation and distribution of resources with logistic modeling would make complicated transaction systems obsolete.

    Love to hear more about medical research.
     
  6. Mikelindo

    Mikelindo Member Supporter

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    I've always been intrigued by the idea of training animals to sense medical conditions (via olfactory, sight, etc.). Something to consider, at least.
     
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  7. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    So I looked this up. It's fascinating!
    I had toyed with the idea of dogs sensing overall health. It turns out they use all their senses to assess both general and specific conditions, every moment. Pheromones, breathing, heartbeat, kinemetrics, everything! They don't necessarily need to be trained, rather they communicate constantly! Specific things like organs, fractures, infection, candida, arthritis, dehydration, even pregnancy. We just have to train ourselves to recognize what they're communicating. We need to learn to speak 'dog'! Even other animals sense mental conditions, emotional states, and pain. Imagine the scene, "Fluffy and Tweety noticed you've been worried about something. Would you like to talk about it?"
    Natural medicine just took on a whole new vibe. Don't eat the dogs! Talk about drama!
     
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  8. LazyBear

    LazyBear Senior Member

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    Planetary exploration, biologically engineered homes and vehicles, hive minds, mega corporations creating their own countries, cyborg arms race... Not dystopian as long as the villains don't win, but you still need the threat of dystopia to drive motives and drama. History also taught us that people will be people.
     
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  9. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    There would still be a need for checks and balances as man will be man with all their imperfections. You must have a system that assures everyone pulls their own weight.
    For medical, you could use nanobots working with trained viruses to heal any wound. Reading a person’s aura to check for health issues both physical and mental.
     
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  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Ooh, I gotta twist on the space thing - nice going! Bio! Hey, I will use that, maybe with a twist... something like bio-construction? Hive minds is very interesting.
    Money and trade are already written out, as is war, property and consumer production. Intentional harm has been eliminated, but violence of its own manifestation will definitely present itself, won't it?.
    Hmm. A twisted idea - people going after politicians, criminals, and captains of finance, and dealing with them as the dramatic issue - all while children and bystanders watch globally and react immediately. Now, ugly has no place to hide, and everyone knows it. Exposing us to ourselves, real-time. I think I'll play with that for drama.

    Oh yeah, trained viruses! Market them in a colorful six-pack, like protein shakes!
    The aura thing is something to investigate - the ancient become modern?

    What if the kind of people we can be now depended on the fact that other people can do something about it immediately, even before you act. Primate nature tends toward destructive behavior in crisis. What if humans' tendency to adapt as an act of will was given preference.
    Dystopia is fun, but blaise. I'd prefer to avoid it, if not crush it, dramatically.
     
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  11. shiba0000

    shiba0000 Member

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    Transhumanist primitivism.
    Neo-cavemen, descendants of 22nd-century designer babies, create new civilizations out of the sprawling flesh of Earth's GMO-transformed biosphere.
    Biofuel is refined out of oceanic algae to power every element of infrastructure. Monuments of living meat are fertilized by the nutrients of ceremonial blood sacrifice. Limbless cattle consume and excrete nutrient paste in different stages of processing. Warfighters charge into battle armed with swords of misshapen forearm bone and protected by an exoskeleton of chitin grafted directly onto their primed skin.

    The forests breathe, bleed, and think. Don't take their apathy for weakness.
     
  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    kill it with fire.jpg

    Sure, you can write that. Tis a bit boilerplate for me. :D
     
  13. The Multiverse

    The Multiverse Member

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    I see you've keyed into a few variations posted here. How advanced of a society are we talking about?

    My responce would be very different if they were 3rd generation out from dystopia as opposed to a 3rd generation after full recovery from dystopia.
     
  14. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    There is nothing but recovery, however the first (current?) generation is the one to have the most difficulty and the highest attrition. The second would be more accepting of anything that moved the thrive(?) curve forward. The third would be detached from the past, having no emotional connection to it. My question is about the issues the first and second (already ten or so) generations would face in creating a from-the-ground-up society. I suppose from T = zero the formula would be

    1st gen - your life is no longer for you, and your decisions determine the survival of the next generations.
    2nd - your decisions determine the life the next generations will have.
    3rd - your decisions determine your future.
    by the fifth generation, we will be completely different humans, or extinct.
    I vote for different, otherwise, I have no story to write. :D

    This new society will be extremely advanced, but not in any way that compares with today.
     
  15. The Multiverse

    The Multiverse Member

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    Fist gen fresh after a dystopia will be securing safe living space, food and water, basics of life. Societal structure will begin to mimic early human civilization. A group of people working together towards a common goal with 1 unanimously elected leader from the group.

    Second gen has stabilized enough to begin bringing back the comforts and basic tech from the pre-dystopian world. Electricity, running water, plumbing, medical equipment and treatments.

    Everything they do will constantly be overshadowed by the mistakes past generations have made and it would be a frequent theme to avoid making the mistakes of the past. This is how i'd personally do things. I hope this at least helps.
     
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  16. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    To me, dystopian is to take a novel based on the 1800s, then rewrite it so there is an Armageddon catastrophe that happens in the first chapter, and you’re good to go.

    Just kidding. The knowledge that there were better times and the quest to return to that era would be the struggle in itself.
     
  17. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    This wouldn't be main plot line stuff, but it might be fun to periodically touch on specific people or society in general reviving some of the most frivolous and trivial elements of a society, like fashion or culinary trends, not to revive dead ones, but to create their own. If there isn't going to be any hint of satire to the book, this probably wouldn't work, but I'd love to see a post-societal society's take on the lesser arts. If people don't own things or wear things anymore, you could go to some weird places with it.

    Also, liquor.
     
  18. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    I'd like to extend this globally with a few tricks, plus have a Bastille Day scenario, and some crazy rip of politics, so much fun to be had with a rant disguised as a romp!

    I'm hoping to pull off the second generation walking away from the past, and the first generation, for a twisted Peter Pan (not really) kind of in-situ(?) development. This is why I'm looking for out-of-box or wish list issues - Trope Busters!

    Yes! Love it. Gonna have a little more fun with the first generation by walking them through the horrorscape and shoving our deathtrap civilization in their face, while the surviving kids say, 'this is your fault!' Then have em realize we're better off not going back, possibly even destroying any few remnants still standing. Anything you'd like to see get blowed up?

    You've reminded me about how the kids challenge/reject this. Any notions of what they would start with?

    Ah, there will be delicious satire! Interesting... snails as a crunchy snack food instead of pork-rinds?
    Alcohol will probably be the last of dwindling fuel resources. BUT!! What about chocolate? with all kinds of things in it like the Maya? Or maybe weed or psychedelic fungi (frog??) derivatives in it (at safe levels)? All knowledge of botany and medicinal processes would be accessible.
    I was thinking tattoos for fashion?
    Maybe some kind of projection that emphasized one's nudity instead of hiding it - a reversal of the present. Intricate design and expression would be a new living art form? Poetic, weird, and beautiful?
    I'm thinking Art, Writing, and Music as priorities, and sciences as tools for these, yet a much better understanding of science itself. Living structures instead of manufactured ones, coaxed by science? Benign forces creating powerful ones?

    Awesome! All of you! Your thoughts and comments are really inspiring.
    Wish list type stuff? Anything! :)
     
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  19. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    Did you ever see G.I. Joe the Movie? (the 1987 animated film, not that live action thing they did a while back) A couple of posts reminded me of it. We find out that Cobra Commander was actually sent here by a society of serpent-like humanoids who were supplanted by humans as the dominant species on Earth a few millennia ago and have lived underground ever since. Instead of developing with minerals and dead trees and chemistry, they built and created by manipulating plant and animal life for all their needs, first through breeding and later through direct genetic manipulation. They could basically create anything from chairs to grenades by splicing DNA and growing something in the right shape or growing something that produced it like a fruit or an organ. Wild that I can remember that thirty-three years later, but it was such a neat idea. Cool stuff for an 80's kid's show about an army doll.
     
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  20. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    It would be after the commune experience plays out the enthusiasm dwindles and individuals start noticing that others that are eating at the same table, are not pulling their weight. The slackers will be divided off from the workers. Then, with two classes, they will divide even more, which will include nepotism. From there they will want to identify their class with something the others don’t have maybe running water indoor toilets or servants. And so it goes.
     
  21. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    :eek: Er, this is the trope I'm trying to stay out of. I'm crushing dystopia.
     
  22. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    I remember Swamp Thing, plants with animal DNA. How about 3D printing with plants! :-D
     
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  23. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    Ah yes I got that, but in the end ......
    To stay away from that scenario, they could be a matriarchal society much like a wolf pack that has worked with humans for hundreds of years.
    If you were to modify/recreate the human, I think you would need to remove self-awareness as the id is all powerful as a driver.
    Tying them in with a plant base wouldn’t stop the ‘I want what they have’ as plants steal water and space from others and have little respect for another plant.
     
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  24. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    I have been considering the matriarchal community model.

    No removal of human nature necessary. Funny you should mention awareness. The entire world can watch anyone and everyone in realtime. If you're being a dick, 99.97 percent of everybody will shout you down. Peer pressure beats selfishness, hands down.
    Human nature is the cure for human nature, ironically.
    (The 99.97 is the random factor for lightning strikes, spontaneous combustion, etc.)
    As far as 'I want...' in the story,
    I have some dick whining about his millions, and he gets it - in quarters dumped over him. Needless to say, he had a lot on his mind in the end! :D
    But seriously, it's all-you-can-eat at the workplace and keep-and-carry everywhere else. You wanna keep it, you gotta carry it, forever. No storage, no pockets, no backpacks, no possessions. Set it down - and you will - it becomes toxic and it's swept away. No one has anything but each other. Blessed be.
     
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  25. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    Don't forget the Twitter Factor though. Public shaming can and often does seriously outweigh the crime. People get bullied all the way to suicide for using insensitive language and things like that. Pure democracy - everyone gets a vote on absolutely everything - can turn mob rule in seconds, and even the least informed, scratch that, especially the least informed weigh in. Jon Ronson wrote a book about it. It's called So, You've Been Publicly Shamed. It's on my short list. I read the first chapter, and I'm very much looking forward to the rest.
     
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