The Kardsashev Scale

One day, someday, someone will finally write a science-fiction story leveraging all the available technology to its maximum potential.

Well, with near-future, frankly mundane assumptions, such as computers being smarter than men and useful fusion plants.

In case the music is too annoying.

(Keep an eye out for the “NATO vs a kindergartner” comparison.)

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“Your Friends Will Miss You Dearly”

The cut’n’paste is from Can you destroy an enemy tank by opening the hatch and dropping a grenade inside?


Hmm..

Image: Merkava turret (sorry for the mess, end of exercise), my scrawny gunner shoved into the hatch and photoshopped in is a welcome home mat. You know, so that visitors feel welcome.

Recognizing this is not a movie nor a computer game is the first step in understanding this is a high-risk feat to be accomplished:

First you need to get close enough to the tank to mount it without being discovered. If you are discovered by the tank or other forces, well, your friends will miss you dearly.

Then you have to mount the tank – beware – it’s quite tall and most places and angles don’t accommodate for easy climbing. Oh, and the tank might abruptly drive over you. If that happens, your friends will miss you dearly.

Now that you mounted the tank be sure to bring all your limbs up onto the turret from the hull’s deck before the turret rotates – it may rapidly rotate at any moment with great mechanical force either intentionally to get that pesky climber off the tank, or by chance. If you’re lucky you’ll be thrown off the tank. If you’re less lucky, you’ll be leaving some parts of yourself behind, or get squashed in a novel way. Your friends will miss you dearly.

Ok, now you’re “riding the bull” and holding for dear life on the turret. Try to open the hatch. Good luck with that! What makes you so sure a hatch can be opened from the outside? And if so, that you’d know how to open it? The “welcome: pull this ? lever and then turn to open” sign will not be there. And can the hatch be locked from the inside? I guess you’ll have to find out.

Another thing – tanks usually don’t hang out alone – exactly because of initiatives such as yours, tanks keep friends chilling in the vicinity for mutual protection – the friendlies may be other tanks, and/or other forces. If your’e spotted at any stage, another tank is more than ok to fire 7.62 / 0.5? rounds at the tank being mounted. The soft mammalians on the tank will be made into a sieve, yet the tank itself will only get a few scratches. Your friends will miss you dearly.

So pretending the tank has no friendly-friendlies about to help it, assuming you know how to open the hatch and are sunbathing in the cool breeze on the top of the turret, you are left with actually opening the hatch and throwing in a grenade: Taking a pin out of a grenade requires two hands (breaking your teeth is a-movie-only option). Most if not all hatches require two hands to open as well. You choose what to do first – first open, than take pin out, or first take pin out, secure the unsafe grenade in one hand as you open the hatch – this is a major dilemma, come prepared with a solution. Inside there are a few soldiers – hi crew! They just might shoot at you if they had a second to prepare, you exposed yourself and they have their wits and any kind of gun inside with them (making your friends miss you dearly).

So lastly – if you managed to dunk the grenade in, AND not get shot AND move away from the hatch opening, you’ll be spending the next 3 seconds – probably the longest three seconds of your life – praying the crew doesn’t manage to toss the grenade outside (the chances are that they won’t manage this – almost impossible) then hear a thump, followed by losing some of your hearing, and voila: grenade dunking hero: 1 tank:0.

Which brings us to the original question: Destroy the tank? If the tank rounds inside manage to catch fire and light each other, yeah, the tank will light up like a matchbox (don’t stand near the hatches when this happens, better yet, dismount ASAP). But, on a modern tank such a fireworks show is less likely to happen. Incapacitate the tank? sure: the crew will almost certainly be dead / badly wounded (Their friends will miss them dearly) and most soft mechanics and electronics lining the inside of the turret ruined, rendering the tank useless.


So now, the (non-cinematic) Traveller Referee now has a range of ways to teach his players to give due respect to even TL 8/9 armoured behemoths rolling about at 45+ mph.

I don’t have the slightest idea how the stunt is even to be attempted with TL 14+ grav tanks. There must be some Charisma-crazed Vargr out there willing to give it a shot, though…

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Schooled by Issac Arthur

Issac Arthur — actually, Isaac Albert Arthur (a born sci-fi man) — has produced an intellectually attractive set of 20-40 minute speculative science videos, dense with information, which could be very useful for Travellers of all ages.

Starlifting (what I call Starmining)

  • Brainwave: “Where there is mining, there will be mining accidents.” Yeah….

Life in a Space Colony, ep1: Extraterrestrial Colonies

Life in a Space Colony, ep2: Colony Spaceships

Life in a Space Colony, ep3: Early Interstellar Colonies

Terraforming Techniques

Post Scarcity Civilizations

Technological Singularity

Self Replicating Machines

The Spaceship Propulsion

Transhumanism and Immortality

Space Warfare

  • “Why yes, I stuck the only video 20% of Travellers are interested in wayyy down here. Eat your veggies, before getting your dessert!”

Also, check out the playlists.

  • “Black Hole Farming! Where have you been all my life?”

For my theological perspective on all this, go here if you are so inclined.

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Hexographer

I recently discovered an older (but still very useful) hex mapper, Hexographer. While it is capable of building simple-but-useful Subsector and Sector maps, it’s planetary maps that the Free Java-based program excels at. It is originally meant for the Fantasy Genre, but it can be re-purposed for Traveller.

The Pro version is pricey, with the price going from Free to $31.95 to get the ability to add icons, run stand-alone (instead of being tied to the Internet), add new terrain types, etc.

At the store, you can also get Cityographer (low-tech/medieval icons native: Futuristic, Modern and additional Medieval icons cost extra) and Dungeonographer (which can be used to design starships, with Futuristic Icons).

But the Real Imperial simply must get the Coat of Arms Design Studio. What’s the use of an Ancient Family Name and Vast Hereditary Lands without the right shields, symbols, flags, and associated paraphernalia?

Note that all of the above programs come in Free and Pro versions.

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Far Horizon

A good supplement for the Cepheus Engine, Far Horizon is a near-future space exploration of a rogue planet. Part of the Orbital 2100 universe, the general setting is TL 9.

Even if it’s just to low-tech for your tastes, the reality-based science means reality-based problems. Indeed, the exploration setting is mainly used to present a broad variety of natural, realistic difficulties with very little handwaving: this fact makes the book valuable to scout/exploration/science-minded Travellers.

I recommend it!

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The Mystery of the Third Planet

An interesting cartoon, the Mystery of the Third Planet.

There are a couple of decent Trav ideas to be gleaned from it: I liked the “robot plague” the most, but the meeting of three famous captains is worth a spin. Also, the 70’s style air/raft could be a best-seller, if a PC could set up a working model…

What’s most refreshing, though, is the peaceful 70s vibe from the late-Soviet cartoon. It’s close enough to the end of the Soviet era for the cartoon to lack any Revolutionary Fervor… despite the implicit nod to “the wonder of enemy’s technique”.

(Brezhnev-era bureaucratic senility is far to be preferred to the young and vigorous days of Stalinist slaughter, I say!)

I wonder if there are any pleasant (if odd and curious) videos coming out of the Solomani Confederation… something without the Triumph of the Will vibes.

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Mindjammer for Traveller

As you might guess, I’m fully vested in the Traveller Canon…

…but I won’t begrudge you if you decide to go for something more modern and free-form, like Mindjammer (now with Traveller Rules!)

From the original Mindjammer text (winner of the Ennie Award)

Grab your blaster, thoughtcast your orders to the starship sentience, and fire up the planing engines — come and defend the light of humanity’s greatest civilisation as it spreads to the stars!

The ENnie Award-winning transhuman science-fiction RPG setting returns, in a new edition updated and massively expanded for the Fate Core rules. Mindjammer is an action-packed tabletop roleplaying game about heroic adventurers in the galaxy of the far future, filled with virtual realities, sentient starships, realistic aliens, and mysterious worlds. Using the popular and award-winning Fate Core rules, Mindjammer lets you play hardened mercs, cunning traders, steely-nerved pilots, intrigue-filled spies and culture agents, aliens, divergent hominids, artificial life forms, and even sentient starships.

Containing all the rules needed to play, including:

  • Full rules for starships, organisations, and culture operations
  • Detailed character cultures, genotypes, and occupations — play a sentient starship!
  • New and innovative rules for describing planets, star systems, and alien life
  • Deep background material on the New Commonality of Humankind
  • Rules for the Mindscape and virtual worlds
  • Starmaps and planet descriptions, histories and background
  • Hyper-advanced equipment, weaponry, enhancements, starships, and more.

Mindjammer — The Roleplaying Game can be used to play in the New Commonality of Humankind, or as a complete and detailed transhuman space opera rules set for any science-fiction setting.

It’s the Second Age of Space — the transhuman adventure is just beginning!

“A Must-Have for SF Fans” – Stargazer’s World

“It’s transhumanist space opera with a twist. Usually in transhumanist settings transfer of personalities is a common theme and the transferred mind is still considered to be the person it was before. This is different in Mindjammer and it makes the game much more playable in my opinion. The setting is definitely what makes the game a must-have for SF fans. It’s unique, extremely detailed, and should be a lot of fun to play.”

– Review at Stargazer’s World, by Michael Wolf.

(More reviews at the site)

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Telstar Logistics

A very interesting company, based in Bavaria. PCs checking up on it are sure to find something inspirational for their campaigns…

 

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Enraging Vilani Perfectionism

The Vilani and the East Asians

By her own account, Marie Kondo was an unusual child, poring over lifestyle magazines to glean organizing techniques and then stealthily practicing them at home and school, confounding her family and bemusing her teachers.

As she writes in “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” which comes out this month in the United States and is already a best seller in her native Japan and in Europe, she habitually sneaked into her siblings’ rooms to throw away their unused toys and clothes and ducked out of recess to organize her classroom’s bookshelves and mop closet, grumbling about poor storage methodologies and pining for an S-hook. — from Kissing Your Socks Goodbye:
Home Organization Advice from Marie Kondo

I have always used the monocultural, monoracial, mono-everything East Asian cultures as a proxy of the fictional Vilani.

You know, the conformist, corporate, harmonious (and harmonized) race’n’culture matrix with the hot, hot women.

(Well, hot for different reasons: East Asian women have a reputation for being the epitome of femininity, while Vilani women are supposed to be exotically enticing. Both cultures are famed for their pragmatism and their strong ruling hand in the home.

“Why yes, you are actually going to do what we say; no we are not asking you to obey, we are telling you to obey; and yes, there will be consequences if you insist on challenging Proper Authority.”

Travelling husbands should beware: Proper Vilani marriage rites no doubt require a good life insurance policy on the husband — ‘because anything else would be irresponsible!‘ — and collecting on it, should the Good of the Family Demand It.)

Anyways…

Let me explain. Ms. Kondo’s decluttering theories are unique, and can be reduced to two basic tenets: Discard everything that does not “spark joy,” after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.

Obsessive, gently self-mocking and tender toward the life cycle of, say, a pair of socks, Ms. Kondo delivers her tidy manifesto like a kind of Zen nanny, both hortatory and animistic.

“Don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill,” she writes. “You must take each outfit in your hand.”

“Does it spark joy?” would seem to set the bar awfully high for a T-shirt or a pair of jeans, but it turns out to be a more efficacious sorting mechanism than the old saws: Is it out of style? Have you worn it in the last year? Does it still fit?

He added: “More spiritually, the idea of non-dualism is a relationship to reality that proposes that everything is inextricably connected and alive, even inanimate objects. If we are compassionate and respectful to everything that exists, then we would have to be compassionate about the socks in the drawer that aren’t folded properly.”

The Japanese are, of course, high-tech Animists.

The Vilani, on the other hand, place the focus on Tradition, Consensus and Efficiency (as well as Prosperity), so their spiritual questions are essentially different than the Japanese. Of course, they have no interest in a Creator God… but they are not Animists, either. Eternal Stability is far more fascinating, far more desirable, than either Solomani forms of spirituality.

American Christians ask no such questions, as they keep their religion in their prayer closets and cultic temples on Sundays, 11:00 to 12:30… just like the secularists overlords (and their pastors) expect them to. Anytime they get serious about obeying Christ in all of their life, let me know.

The Vilani and Imperial Power: Faith

Now, on to Marie Kondo and the Ruthless War on Stuff

Joy points upward, according to Marie Kondo, whose name is now a verb and whose nickname is being trademarked and whose life has become a philosophy. In April at the Japan Society in New York, she mounted a stage in an ivory dress and silver heels, made namaste hands at the audience and took her place beneath the display of a Power­Point presentation. Now that she has sold nearly six million copies of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and has been on the New York Times best-seller list for 86 weeks and counting, she was taking the next logical step: a formal training program for her KonMari method, certifying her acolytes to bring the joy and weightlessness and upward-pointing trajectory of a clutter-free life to others. The humble hashtag that attended this event was #organizetheworld.

For the Vilani equivalent, see #organizethegalaxy

(They’re serious about that, too.)

Upon entering the Japan Society, the 93 Konverts in attendance…

No doubt, Shintoists everywhere will insist that they have no interest in converting anyone (ignoring Imperial Japan for the moment – and the still-glittering hatred in Chinese and Korean eyes…)

…and the Tolerance People swear up and down that they have only the deepest respect for all cultures and beliefs (with one unspoken exception…)

…and the Religion of Peace will loudly proclaim that their holy text says ‘there is no compulsion in religion’.

I can only hope that the Vilani will kindly refrain from insulting my intelligence in such a manner. I doubt it, though: old-school genocide and interstellar cultural extermination is too expensive to execute properly without the backing of an interstellar state, and the Third Imperium, even without a primarily Pure Solomani peerage, is nowhere near as Vilani-supremacist  as the First Imperium.

So if you can’t kill and humiliate and oppress, you’re stuck with seduction and promises and lies.

The Vilani and Imperial Power: Promises and Reality

Granted, though: some of the Vilani promises — mainly, prosperity and stability — are kept, at least on occasion, and for a time. And — unlike the Marxists, but like the East Asian cultures, and even Islamic cultures on occasion — there really is something beautiful about Vilani culture.

(If you doubt me, compare the best of Islamic Art with the best of anything from Secularist cultures. The Arabs blow away the atheistic competition… easily.

It isn’t even a contest.)

It isn’t merely the drive to further oppress and crush their enemies, and then preen about their righteousness and nobility and perfection, that drives the Vilani forward. They actually do have a spiritual, transcendent goal; there is actually a time when no further humiliating and contemptuous cultural demands are made.

“Once you have won your victory, invite your enemy to submit… and reward him for doing so. Assuming that the goal isn’t simple extermination: and in that case, don’t play power games, just Get It Done.” – the Vilani Viewpoint

The desire for consensus is not merely a manifestation of the power of the Right Sort: many times, even the solid majority of times, the Vilani actually do want a real consensus, and are willing to spend the time and energy to build it.

“A fake, forced consensus is far too brittle a foundation for a lasting, eternal order. Too much resentment, too much hate, waiting for exactly the right moment to manifest itself.” – the Vilani Viewpoint

The above is inspired by Codevilla’s The Rise of Political Correctness. A Straussian, his main focus is on building an enduring nation-state, not the Kingdom of God (as in my case.) It is Machiavelli, not Christ or Moses, who guides Codevilla.

That being said, the leaders of the Third Imperium (and even the First!) would have infinitely more respect for Machiavelli than for Marx.

Imperial Failure

“What is to be done with a political system in which no one any longer believes?” – Codevilla

Sadly, the Third Imperium died way too young: most of her inhabitants still had a strong faith in the Iridium Throne, when Archduke Dulinor betrayed his oath and killed the Emperor and his immediate heir.

Still: life isn’t fair, and when the King is a poor judge of character…

(Guess who raised Dulinor, a trusted friend *cough, cough* of the Emperor, to the Archducal position in the first place?),

…ignoring all advice to the contrary…

(“Don’t re-empower the Archducal Domains! That will only lead to the fragmentation of the Imperium!” cried the senior members of the Nobility…)

…he won’t be the only one to pay the price for his incompetence.

Trillions of other sophonts will get to pay the price, too.

Such are the wages of leadership failure.

(You can guess my position already:  “No King but King Jesus!”, “A republic, not a monarchy!”, and “Radical decentralization for the win!”

Emperor Strephon certainly was not a particularly wicked or cruel man, as sinners go: but that much power, in only one pair of hands, is just asking for trouble.)

The Vilani and the East Asians, Part II

OK, back to Marie Kondo and the Ruthless War on Stuff and the relentless Vilani drive to #organizethegalaxy

So we get a Vilani organizational book, supported by Proper Authority — the New York Times, in this case — which proved to be a great top-seller in Solomani American culture.

By the time her book arrived, America had entered a time of peak stuff, when we had accumulated a mountain of disposable goods — from Costco toilet paper to Isaac Mizrahi swimwear by Target — but hadn’t (and still haven’t) learned how to dispose of them. We were caught between an older generation that bought a princess phone in 1970 for $25 that was still working and a generation that bought $600 iPhones, knowing they would have to replace them within two years. We had the princess phone and the iPhone, and we couldn’t dispose of either. We were burdened by our stuff; we were drowning in it.

I happen to know a couple of worlds — well, Six Subsectors — that would provide happy homes for all this technological junk. It could be very profitable, with the right entrepreneurial trading crew with a working starship and top-notch bargaining skills.

(Many purchasers couldn’t care less about the technology: it’s the valuable metal and plastics that makes their eyes shine. “Know Your Market!”)

 During her lecture, Marie demonstrated how the body feels when it finds tidying joy. Her right arm pointed upward, her left leg bent in a display of glee or flying or something aerial and upright, her body arranged I’m-a-little-teacup-style, and a tiny hand gesture accompanied by a noise that sounded like “kyong.” Joy isn’t just happy; joy is efficient and adorable. A lack of joy, on the other hand, she represented with a different pose, planting both feet and slumping her frame downward with a sudden visible depletion of energy. When Kondo enacted the lack of joy, she appeared grayer and instantly older. There isn’t a specific enough name for the absence of joy; it is every emotion that isn’t pure happiness, and maybe it doesn’t deserve a name, so quickly must it be expunged from your life. It does, however, have a sound effect: “zmmp.”

Traveller is a pen-and-paper game, so I will never see a Vilani couple dance.

A shame.

I am left guessing that it would be intensely mathematical, precise and elegant: something like European ballroom dancing, the classical Balinese styles, and the ancient East Indian or East Asian styles.

(Most Islamic cultures used to dance… until about 30 years ago, when Our Saudi Allies decided to use their oil wealth to spread Wahhabism.

I patiently wait for the day the oil runs out.)

As the Vilani are a communal/collectivist people, there wouldn’t be much of a focus on particular “stars” or “talented artists”: the Vilani loathe individualism, and have a ferocious case of Tall Poppy Syndrome. Sure, in marriage ceremonies and the like, the favoured couple may be allowed to shine for a bit, but the focus is on the community’s celebration of the marriage, not the union between the man and woman.

Joy is the only goal, Kondo said, and the room nodded, yes, yes, in emphatic agreement, heads bobbing and mouths agape in wonder that something so simple needed to be taught to them.

Replace “joy” with “tradition and consensus” for the Vilani.

While the desired Vilani result of Tradition, Consensus and Prosperity can be said to be joy, I think a better world would be contentment. “All is at peace, all are safe, all is right with the world.”

(Insight: both the real Japanese and the fictional Vilani are collectivist cultures, but the details differ… and the details matter.)

At Conference, I met women who organize basements. I met women who organize digital clutter. I met women who organize photos. I met women who categorized themselves as “solopreneurs,” which, what’s that now? I met a woman who organizes thoughts, and please don’t move onto the next sentence until you’ve truly absorbed that: I met a woman who charges $100 per hour for the organization of thoughts.

“Sounds like something an entrepreneur from the Imperial Core would come up with.”

“Well, Vland, actually.”

“The OLD Imperial Core, then.”

“The Vilani were always good at making money.”

“True enough. But I bet anti-psionic Inquisitors from the Imperial Ministry of Justice would like to ask a few questions. Just to be on the safe side, you understand.”

“So, if she’s a fraudulent charlatan, no problem. But if she uses psionic techniques or tools to empirically prove that the thoughts are really organized…”

“…it’s lobotomy time!”

“You know, the Imperium is a lot weirder than my civics expert program taught me…”

Finally… THE RAGE!

I heard the word “detritus” pronounced three different ways. I met a woman in camouflage (though the invitation begged us to confine ourselves to our native business-casual), who carried a clipboard and called herself Major Mom, and instead of an organizer she calls herself a liberator, like in Falluja.

“A man’s gotta advertise.”

[Insert: long-winded, wide-ranging discussion on gender and sex classification. Aslan insights optional, as well as the correct use of the word “man”.

The Tolerance People can leave.

We already know where they stand – the use of power against any public or private dissent of the ever-changing, ever-more-insulting, ever-more-contemptous Party Line – and there isn’t really anything to debate with them. Fortunately, they are not in the slightest interested in ‘discussion’ or ‘debate’, so everyone can avoid wasting their time.]

 At the opening-night cocktails/trade show, I stood in front of the booth of a man advertising his cleaning service, which can tidy up crime scenes as well as hoarders’ homes,

God, I love capitalism.

and I asked some women eating spring rolls what they had against Kondo. The nice ones, struggling for something that wasn’t overtly bitchy to say, said they appreciated that the popularity of her book has brought attention to their industry, which still lobbies to be recognized by the government as an official occupation.

And the capitalists cry out for government licensing, so they can get the State to stomp out any additional competition. *Rolls eyes*

(Until that happens, the NAPO women will have to continue calling themselves “interior designers” or “personal assistants”; they would prefer “productivity consultants.”)

Right there. An peek into the Vilani Fascination with Impressive Bureaucratic Titles. From those supposedly innovative, supposedly anti-bureaucratic Solomani American business professionals, too!

But they also feel as if they’ve been doing this for years, that “she just has one hell of a marketing machine, but she’s doing nothing that’s so different from us,” at least three of them said to me.

“Some people are favoured by the New York Times. And some are not.”

Well, yes. But then again, the Japanese have a strong cultural tradition of excellence and elegant aesthetics that is difficult to find in America….

…and definitely not to be found among Evangelical American Christians.

Just pointing out the obvious.

(I wonder if the same contrast can be found between the Solomani Confederation and the Third Imperium? Probably: many Noble houses love to surround themselves with beautiful things, and the common aspirational Imperial wants to imitate his betters.

In contrast, the Solomani Confederation is Yet Another Dreary Militarized Fascist Police State, with the usual heroic and dehumanizing architecture. You have to examine their genetically engineered lifeforms to find real Solomani excellence.)

Yet each organizer I spoke with said that she had the same fundamental plan that Kondo did, that the client should purge (they cry “purge” for what Kondo gently calls “discarding”) what is no longer needed or wanted; somehow the extra step of thanking the object or folding it a little differently enrages them.

Once upon a time, Christians — yes, even American Christians, believe it or not! — were capable of elegant, graceful living, a life infused with the Holy Spirit. After all, you don’t need to be an animist to respect and enjoy the gift of Creation God has surrounded you with.

Ah well: I guess that the West is bonded with a sterile, materialistic mechanical view of life, regardless of the religion they check in their census form.

Bleh.

“It’s a book if you’re a 20-something Japanese girl and you live at home and you still have a bunch of your Hello Kitty toys and stuff,” another NAPO member told me, which, while not the only thing a professional organizer told me that was tinged with an aggressive xenophobia and racism, it is the only one that can run in a New York Times article.

Yep. Definitely Solomani Confederation.

(And amusingly, this is — in real life — just one xenophobic branch of the human race hating on another xenophobic branch of that same human race. Just wait until the genetic engineers create new branches of the human species!)

Finale: People Are Interesting

I went abroad for a year to Israel after high school. While I was there, the boiler in my house in Brooklyn exploded and a soot fire destroyed all our possessions. “Everyone is O.K., but there was a fire,” my father said when I called.

That father would make an excellent Traveller personality!

I think the NAPO women have Kondo wrong. She is not one of them, intent on competing for their market share. She is not part of a breed of alpha-organizer “solopreneurs” bent on dominating the world, despite her hashtag. She has more in common with her clients. But when it comes to stuff, we are all the same. Once we’ve divided all the drawers and eliminated that which does not bring us joy and categorized ourselves within an inch of our lives, we’ll find that the person lying beneath all the stuff was still just plain old us. We are all a mess, even when we’re done tidying. At least Kondo knows it. “I was always more comfortable talking to objects than people,” she told me. At that moment, I could tell that if she had her way, I would leave the hotel room and she would spray her spray and be left alone, so she could ask the empty room if she could clean it.

I am not as introverted as Mrs. Kondo… although you have to have some introversion to write a ~3000-word blog post tying together a fictional universe, modern politics, various religions and a particular totalitarian nihilistic ideology (“waves to the Cultural Marxists”), psionics, a non-existent interstellar culture, genetic engineering, and the wonders of capitalism.

Still, if a modern Animist can ask an empty room if she can clean it, a modern Christian can offer up a blog post to Jesus Christ, that it be used for His glory and His kingdom.

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Ancient Historical Mysteries

I like the interesting review of, shall we say, unconventional approach to pre-1773 American history.

My fave bit in the video was about those huge Native American copper mines... and the distinct absence of such an immense volume of copper artifacts in North America.

(A couple of copper arrow points? Really? So… where did all that copper go?)

I vote for Greco-Roman cross-Atlantic trade, myself.


And for Traveller?

Officially, the First Imperium, the Ziru Sirka, kicked in at the same time the Western Roman Empire fell. But the Vilani have been starfarers for 5000 years before this date, in their (at the time) small pocket of space.

The Vilani, being both bureaucratic/conformist and eager for profit (in the corporate sense, not the free-wheeling entrepreneurial style), could have easily traded with interesting and mysterious cultures that have long been lost in time.

Some of those cultures may have even independently found jump drives before being absorbed into the Ziru Sirka (“…like the Geonee…”) or simply exterminated (“the Vegans had a really close call here, but managed to survive their encounter with the Imperial Vilani…”)

But there are those cultures which escaped both fates… and, if they didn’t fit in their assigned Vilani mental boxes, they were no doubt filed and forgotten. Or… the corners simply chopped off in the books and the records, or the annoying details simply left out or just blatantly lied about: “the nail that sticks up will be hammered down”.

But, there will be tell-tales and inconsistencies in the records, hints that will be worth investigating by the curious and the daring.

I can imagine curious researchers uncovering the carefully kept records (“…untouched for the last 2,800 years…”), and decided to hire a band of adventurers to get at the bottom of it… write a revolutionary paper.. and, maybe, grab a few valuable artifacts for sale for nice, fat profits back home…

Traveller has a lot of untouched background out there. Why not flesh it out, increasing interest and opportunity?

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