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On-going KV debate

From: Thomas Barclay of the Clan Barclay <kaladorn@h...>
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 05:13:25 -0500
Subject: On-going KV debate

Before I reply to Brian, let us consider our options:
1) ExtraSensory/Paranormal like Ro'kah
2) Pheremone triggered Ro'kah
3) Pheremone suppressed Ro'kah
4) Body language triggered Ro'kah

What does each offer?

1) Offers inscrutability to KV and Humans. Offers explanations for why
it works well in person but not so much so in AFVs, fighters, etc. Is
kind of "high fallutin" (though it ain't no Divine Piledriver, eh Mr.
Davis?). It won't be easily used against the KV by the humans. It won't
be easily controlled by the KV.

2) Not bad. But brings to mind the question of why a race that can build
stardrive hasn't at least sorted out ways to control the effects of
airborne chemicals? And would an AFV crewman going spaz not take the
rest of the crew? Similarly for starships? Seems kind of a simple
solution - even if they can't replicate or fully understand, simple
experimentation ought to teach them how to use tech to suppress this
pheremone. (So this might explain the AFV/Ship thing). It's okay, but it
seems to easy for the Humans to use as a weapon.

3) Not so hot. This one gets worse in isolation. Berserk fighter pilots
are not terribly useful, nor are berserk PA. And again, a high tech race
ought to be able to copy (even if only bottling it from homeworld KV and
loading capsules into sprayers in the PA or fighter) the suppressant and
deploy it. They'd have a high level of control over this behaviour then.
Though it does make it harder for humans to invoke Frenzy to sucker the
KV, unlike #2. Somehow I see "KV repellant" sprays being popular.

4) Not sure I buy this. The fear reaction of a rabbit is a far cry from
the reaction of a true sentient. I think they'd have long since
developed a high awareness of body language and controlled this. Plus
again it is something the humans could reasonably easily use against the

Just my 0.02.

Brian wrote:

What I've noticed is that most "Alien" races in Sci Fi are presented as
homogenous group.  The discussion of KV phsychology has been
but I wonder, would KV analyses of Human Psycchology be as easily
undertaken? Imagine taking specimens from one single culture here on
and trying to form your opinion of the entire species from that.  To be
sure, there is a great deal that all humans share in common, but there
also a huge amount of diversity.  Yet with the KV, and other aliens (to
fair), their entire species has one culture?

** I don't believe this is the case at all. I believe the Clan system
provides for a very diverse culture and therefore probably many
different customs clan to clan. The part of psychology we've been
discussing mostly revolves around the physiology of the KV and how that
directly impacts their culture. This would be analogous to discussing
the adrenalin or testosterone in the male human - it manifests
differently somewhat from culture to culture, but its impact is more
generalized than many less physically linked cultural formations.

It seems to be the major trend in xenofiction - regardless of the Human
timeline presented, whether we've united or split further, no matter how
we've journeyed into space or no, despite the multitude of cultures,
for instance, a ship's crew with a Slavic helmsman, an Asian con
officer, an
African communications officer, a Celtic physician and Engineer, and an
American captain... ok, so maybe that's a little exaggerated, but you
get my
point), the aliens are always presented as having one culture and
for their entire race, even if there are diverse political factions or
classes within that culture.

** Surely. In many cases, Earth is pointed out as being unusually
diverse. This is often one of the few character traits humans have since
we're generally not that smart, not that bright, and not that tough in
much of Sci Fi.

** Besides, how can you present anything more diverse in 350 pages? Good
luck presenting any sort of description of humans and their diversity in
that distance... therefore it should not surprise that SciFi books avoid
it. Further, given the fact that it is hard to make up N permutations
with verisimilitude to help you suspend disbelief, it is even less
surprising that no-one tries.

Why? I know the old arguement of a unified culture advancing faster, but

let's look at it from another point of view.  A lot of the KV psychology

that's been discussed was a result of evolution, of methods developed
dealing with the predators back home.  OK, but what happens when you've
evolved far enough to not have to worry about ol' mr. T-rex, or the
storms, or what have you? Why evolve any further?

** The easy answer is to deal with other threats.

You've found your niche in
your environment.  The answer can't be individual competition alone -
are plenty of species on earth where individual members compete with
individual members, yet they have not built space ships yet (That we

** Well, the white mice built the whole planet, so you gotta give credit
where credit is due.

This just supports my point - that these points to trends like
tribalism, eventually ethnicism and nationalism.  The tendency to not
compete individually, but to also group together in social groups that
compete with each other, is what drives development.

In short (I know, too late), once you've conquered your environment, and

other competing species, you have no need to evolve further unless there
competition to compete with other members of your OWN species.	Hence
fact that the most advanced species on earth is also the most diverse

** And you'll find that as much as it looks like we're more diverse, if
you take a close look at popular culture and media over the last 20
years, the truth is the civilized world is getting less diverse.
Convergence and Mergers are driving our view of the world down a more
and more limited range of paths (the gov't doesn't really feel too bad
about this either since they help spin it) and global communications and
the Internet are having an enormous homogenizing effect on net-linked

** Keep in mind, regionalism evolved from smaller townism (can't think
of a good name). Townism was antithetical to regionalism, and
regionalism won out. Regionalism then gave way to nationalism. Townism
still existed, and so did regionalism, but nationalism won out.
Somewhere along the lines, if we push to the next stage of globalism,
then nationalism will be the third wheel and will have to be overcome or
converted. This is a hard one for many to swallow today, but
historically so was the idea of the nation state to many smaller
formations of humanity. And it sailed when the time was right. Well,
internationalism will fly when the situation comes to pass. A *real* UN
in the Tuffleyverse suggests this process has at least advanced somewhat
from where we are today. Obviously, nationalistic blocks are a stumbling
block to globalism (or interstellar unity since the blocks stretch
beyond Earth).

** We're factionalized, but as technology and social development
progresses, though life may differ in locale A (I've had the Aussies
explaining backhanders and a few other patois terms I didn't follow
lately), people in locale B share enough in common with them to get on
fine and be fairly similar and cooperative. I might not understand every
odd thing my Aussie pals say, but we both have very similar lives and
you'd find the similarities far greater than the differences. This
applies to any of the developed countries. Even in Germany, where I
don't speak the language, I'd feel at home in many places because we
have common culture (heck, we share... shudder... David Hasselhof).

So why don't we ever, in our fiction, meet other species with the same
tendencies? I'd love to see a scifiverse where humans meet another race
whose home planet has as many different ethnicities and political
as does Earth.

** For practical reasons and game fun ones, I'd suggest the KV are as
diverse as the GZG list. They can communicate, cooperate, and
interoperate, but they represent many viewpoints and traditions and
geographic distributions. At GZG ECC III, the Nac'Sol clan (the
swamp/jungle KV) got the toe from the Kol'Kol (mountain/hill KV) to the
point where a Kol'Kol squad killed Nac'Sol wounded for being cowardly
and lying down on the job. And yet they cooperated enough to execute a
large military operation with some degree of success - the differing
views only came out in small moments. I think this goes a long way to
addressing your points.

"Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun." - Ash, Army of Darkness

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