1. shiba0000

    shiba0000 Member

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    Technology/culture that contribute to a feeling of freedom

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by shiba0000, Oct 6, 2020.

    Humanity is colonizing an alien planet with diverse biomes and a breathable atmosphere. What kinds of technology (modern and sci fi) and culture would support the feeling of freedom and individualism for settlers?
    I’m looking at American romanticism paintings for inspiration and want to capture a similar aesthetic.

    So far, I’ve decided on the following elements to include in the setting:
    >low population density
    >motorhomes and extreme off-road vehicles to facilitate exploration
    >open source software and hardware (3D metal printing)
    >anti-automation
    >individually-owned firearms
     
  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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  3. shiba0000

    shiba0000 Member

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    Yeah, communications infrastructure would have to be rebuilt because it can’t connect to Earth. There would be an internet renaissance with an unprecedented level of decentralization and lack of moderation.
     
  4. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Social mobility and access to basic necessities are the key in my opinion. Sometimes in these stories, people being disenfranchised or used as foot soldiers by the state is passed off as "freedom." If they are high tech, I'd think you'd want people to have access to life saving medicine in their homes, like a healing bed, or a hospital. You'd also want signs of wealth and hierarchy to be things no one actually needs.

    Imagine a nice car is a sign of status, unlike in America where healthcare is.
     
  5. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

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    It's easy to think of actual freedoms producing feelings of freedom but that's not always the case. Suppose the people are subject to grinding poverty where they can barely afford necessities, have to work long hours with no paid holidays, no healthcare or education provision, etc. They could still support such a system if they think they have an opportunity to 'make it big' and live a life of luxury. With media relentlessly promoting the idea of alternatives being tyrannical (stealing money from the hardworking and giving it to the undeserving) even the most downtrodden could support their oppressors, and the most enslaved could believe themselves free.
     
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  6. Lazaares

    Lazaares Contributor Contributor

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    I would strike this off from the list and replace it with self-sufficiency on various levels. EG, family, local area, state and so on. It's what Tocqueville mentioned as a fundamental virtue to protect in order to preserve democracy. Anti-automation leads to stagnation which in turn leaves groups susceptible to conquest.

    Technology-wise, this'd mean automation that allows self-sufficiency on a family level. 3D printing goods, self-handling farms, self-maintaining robotic helpers that also maintain tools & workspace, etc.
     
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  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    As they say - freedom to starve is no freedom at all. You need to make sure all their basic needs are met. No one is going to worry about their open source software if they can't get enough to eat or drink, or they're dying of disease.
     
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  8. Aldarion

    Aldarion Active Member

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    Basically, you need to look at something which would enable colonists a) autonomy from central structures of power and b) ability to defend that autonomy. So most important factor would actually be a) power source independent of central network (e.g. portable fusion reactors) and b) ability to facilitate one's own needs - for which a big step would be advanced 3-D printing technology coupled with something akin to Warhammer 40k's STC. So a low-key Star Trek replicator. But most important factor is ability to ensure one's own supply of water and food - so big algae basins and so on.
     
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  9. shiba0000

    shiba0000 Member

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    What I’m getting is that settlers need ways to fulfill Maslow’s heirarchy of needs without being dependent on another entity. They’ll have algae farming for biofuel, hydroponics for food, and small communities for belonging. Medicine and fabrication could be more advanced and accessible, but they can easily become overpowered without limits and remove all consequences.

    I do like the idea of having different settlements, each with their own brand of “freedom”. There could be an arcology full of indentured servants, poor people sent to the planet as workers for whatever company funded their trip, whose new freedom is being able to afford goods they never could on Earth.
     
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  10. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

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    I think you've missed my point. Rather than people feeling free because their needs are met, they feel free because they think they have the opportunity to meet their needs some time in the future. Just think of the Trump supporter living in a trailer home who supports tax cuts for millionaires because 'why limit the dream'. Admittedly, this is an awkward concept to get across, as the poor will vote against their own interests in order to preserve their aspiration of incredible wealth. It's this aspiration which gives the feeling of freedom, not the personal circumstance or actual opportunities. They think along the lines of, 'all I need is a lucky break and I could be a billionaire too.' This may not be a realistic dream but it's their dream nonetheless. You could have 1% of the population belonging to a fabulously wealthy ruling class who are willingly supported by 99% who belong to a slave class, who have next to nothing and are exploited and abused but think they are the freest people. A story along these lines could be an insightful analogy of modern capitalist societies.
     
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  11. Lazaares

    Lazaares Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, because it is politically loaded. As was ...

    These weren't ever part of the concept of "freedom", these are part of "well-being".

    You can have freedom without well-being. Eg, a lot of native communities are "free" per se with zero interference apart from their local groups and leaderships.

    You can have well-being without freedom. As Ronald Reagan once said, a communist state will provide each of their citizens with shelter, food, drink and work to do - same as prison in our current society.

    That is why a lot of the comments here including mine pertain securing well-being autonomously, individually, without reliance on anything other than one's closest circle of acquaintances or community.
     
  12. 31152104

    31152104 Active Member

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    quantum fabratoriums in every home, automated agricultural practices, force fields around every property, MacDonalds.
     
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  13. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Ah yes, the future according to Ronald Reagan. Learn to code.

    The whole point of engineered scarcity in developed nations is to enslave people covertly. You're free to pay rent to this or that man. You're free to quit your job and run up your debt. You're free to go to jail if you need to see a doctor.

    There is no scenario where humans as they are now, are born into a technologically developed future, and live free without the redistribution of wealth.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
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  14. Lazaares

    Lazaares Contributor Contributor

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    You once again prioritize politics over the topic of the thread and the point I'm driving.

     
  15. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    The nature of freedom, and how it is secured in a technologically advanced setting, is a political topic. Just because you believe your political vision is the default, apolitical ideal, doesn't make it so.
     
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  16. Lazaares

    Lazaares Contributor Contributor

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    That's a political vision proclaimed as a default.

    Take a planet. This planet has a good couple thousand space farms, each owned by a family. The families are self-sufficient, meaning they produce what they consume and their robots maintain almost everything. They've means to extract oil from the ground and process it into reusable plastics too. The only time different families meet is when they arrange a space-party in one of their farms, attended by all surrounding ranchers. They are well-protected from incursion: the planet itself is not worth much due to a lack of resources other than food and oil. At the same time, most ranchers are also avid hunters and pack a whole bunch of firearms both against incursions and against wild animals. This'd mean a very costly invasion with an almost guaranteed endless partisan resistance. Crime is scarce and is handled by the families each. There may happen a shootout, but the scrutiny of other ranchers is enough to hold families back from shedding blood. When a kid grows up, they can either stay at the farm or just go out in the wild open space and open their own ranch with the help of their family (and potentially the family of their spouse). Some of them may visit other farms to trade some resources, or to improve farms further. Everything goes on the basis of either favours, charity or exchange of goods. Food, booze, ammo or tools.

    No re-distribution of wealth. Space ranchers. Living in absolute freedom.

    The above description incorporates OP's points as well as the "independence in automation" I mentioned while it has absolutely nothing related to "wealth redistribution".
     
  17. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Sure, that's a lovely vision of the future. A kind of grand, luxury communism, or at least it appears so without any history about how the planet was settled or where the robots came from, or what kind of work the people do if their robots do everything. Paint and trouble shoot the robots that fix robots I guess. I'd like to know where the capital for the robots and the farm came from. Was the planet settled by billionaires? Did self replicating robots put an end to poverty and work? Was there a merit system for receiving robots, or were they bought with capital? For how much? If only a certain class of people got the robots, what happened to the others? Are there wage slaves in a robot factory supporting the brave colonists' way of life?
     
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  18. Lazaares

    Lazaares Contributor Contributor

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    You do realize I was describing a space-analogue to the early US?

    There's no need to "put an end to poverty" not even a need for it to be luxury communism. I described hard-working people with robots that do maintenance to help them. Even without robots, the picture / idea works. It merely requires a bit more exchange of talent between ranches as not every ranch will likely have a space-engineer or an oil driller. But if every greater community has one, it's all settled. They don't have to work their ranch - instead, they go from ranch to ranch and arrange the oil drills.
     
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  19. mar-iposa

    mar-iposa Member

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    I think there's an issue with your analogy; it assumes that every family falls into their place in this perfectly run society. I have a hard time believing that that can happen unless somebody is in charge of methodically distributing resources so that everyone actually does need to rely on each other.

    Otherwise, what is stopping the only local oil-driller from taking offense to a specific family's practices and deciding that they don't want to help them; they have a lot of other families that they can exchange with anyway. Well, tough break for that one family and their "freedom".
     
  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    :moose:

    Okay - this is not the debate room, the politics stops here. Two members have a 7 day ban from participating in this thread. Lets get back to helping the OP develop their setting.
     
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  21. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    Easily available land seems like a good one to me; something like the Homestead Act. Also a small government, small population, etc. Firearms is a good one--anything that lets people strike off on their own without having to turn to the government for help. I think you're on the right track with your American Romantic paintings. The Old West is a pretty obvious source of inspiration in this case.
     
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  22. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    I would think one of the most basic requirements is an abundant energy supply. That, of course, causes problems of its own. The energy supply cannot be too abundant, otherwise it causes other scenario problems, for example, making it so that there is no incentive to explore or strike out.
     
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  23. shiba0000

    shiba0000 Member

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    I’m not looking to make a statement about how economics work in the real world. It’s 100% about having an immersive, but very much fictional aesthetic, which is why I include the possibility of technologies that don’t exist in real life. You can write whatever you want into a fake setting, like orbital megastructures and biocomputing flesh that takes over entire continents, but none of it’s going to be applicable to the real world.

    That being said,
    I’d give most houses some kind of solar panel array for baseline level of energy to sustain electronic technology, but beyond that, there’s going to have to be challenges.
    Energy could be more abundant due to changes in the way energy is collected, like hydropower from a higher volume of rainfall on the planet or algae biofuel farms that take advantage of the massive surface area of the oceans.
    However, just because some methods of energy production are very powerful, it doesn’t mean it is consistently produced, easily transported, or omnipresent. Factors like pollution or luck with the weather can cause an energy drought, and regions with energy production potential can be highly contested.
    The weaponry will be a big part of it. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always liked the idea of humans going to alien planets and being able to face dangerous wildlife head-on with nothing but the tools they invent. Here, technology will be both a blessing and curse. Firearms with simple features like 21st century optics and mechanisms will prove more durable on the frontier, but for those who can deal with the reliability issues, augmented reality, exoskeletons, and smart-triggers give an edge above the competition.
     
  24. shiba0000

    shiba0000 Member

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    There is no rhyme or reason to the history, honestly. I made this partially for a tabletop game so people can fill in the blanks themselves. Earth’s a mess of exaggerated dystopias of every idea under the sun.
    (Which I will exclude the specifics of, to avoid inciting any more political discussion)
    C4E1B299-0EB4-40F4-951D-F9897DFA397F.jpeg
    They’re all in the same vein as these.

    All kinds of people travel from Earth to the alien planet to form their own wacky settlements.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
  25. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    love it
     

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