Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Writing an Entire Universe (part 3)

After we'd decided on the alien races (plus humans, of course), we needed to design their cultures and histories. Some of these were easy, based on the organism that inspired it--the culture of the insectoid Chiraktis could be similar to the hive structure found with ants. The competitive nature of male iguanas somewhat inspired the culture of the Krissethi, though I will admit it was also influenced by some of today's culture in wealthier societies where status and appearance is highly valued. The formless, solitary behavior of amoebas inspired the culture of Omuls--a chaotic society of relativist anarchists. Yet I conceived some of the cultures totally by imagining what a possible outcome of today's trends, taken to an extreme, could produce. For instance, it is becoming increasingly difficult to succeed in American society without advanced degrees and countless updated certifications. For the Reln, I imagined a society that suffered under the weight of “educational inflation,” where they spent most of their lives advancing their education. Their government leaders were the educated elite, with the most degrees and expertise in their fields. This government is what is known as a Noocracy, an “aristocracy of the wise.” Another theoretical government I imagined was that of the Erwani, whose constant pursuit of technology caused me to conclude their government would be a Technocracy—a government where only the most technically skilled engineers and scientists were considered for leadership.

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