The Breezes of Heaven
|Subject: Culture Trends Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:04 am|| |
I sort of see the colonial period of space exploration a lot like the 'great push west' in 19th century america. This would mean that there is a lot of cultural emphasis on exploration, on growth and expansion, and pioneering spirit.
Also, when you go from enough people to fill one tiny planet to spreading out across the galaxy, especially within only a handful of generations, there will be a population boom.
At this time, large families are likely the norm, especially for colonists. the norm is likely somewhere between 6-8. Those who have careers star-side which might hinder their ability to wrangle a large family might have as few as 3-5. Ghosts, due to the special challenges of raising children with special abilities probably have the statistically smallest families, with only one or two children at most.
There are probably very good provisions to assist with the cultural emphasis on having children. People with careers probably get excellent parental leave and other incentives to raise a family, there's probably good and easily available child care. There's also probably no longer any stigma associated with being a single parent, although single-parent families are probably by necessity a bit smaller with 2-3 children. It's probably assumed that at some point, everyone will procreate, and someone who doesn't have any children by a certain age are probably considered to be a bit of an anomaly.
When you add technology into the mix things get even more interesting. With the importance of supporting population growth, and assuming current medical trends get more advanced, I see the distinct possibility of using In Vitro as a common form of conceiving. No longer just for infertile couples, In Vitro is used to ensure multiple births. twins and triplets are common. Larger multiple births might also occur but I think most families would rather have a couple of sets of twins or triplets than having 6 or 8 children all at once.
Also, the In Vitro process is also used to help 'scrub' the parents Dna before conception, to help weed our congenital defects, ect. We're not to 'Gattica' levels yet, it's basically the same technology available now to ensure healthy children through the in vitro process, only used on a wider scale.
There is also probably larger and more available banks of 'donors' to chose from for single parents, parents of the same gender, and even possibly those who just want better or special DNA for their children. (more on that later).
I see a large social debate of the time being 'natural birth' vs 'boutique babies'. While these technologies have become more common, there is probably also a fair subsection of the population who advocate natural conception and birth instead. Fears of possible future eugenics programs, especially with the new Global Admin, are probably the most vocal detractions leveled at the trend.
I see the current social stigma against being gay or lesbian going away, and society getting generally more permissive. The idea being that what people do in their spare time is their own business. Marriage is probably considered more sacred as a result, as you don't -have- to be married anymore to raise a family or anything else, so those who do choose to get married are assumed to do so out of real love and genuine life-long commitment. This is true for same-sex couples as well.
Birth control is extremely good and and sex education very extensive, so accidental pregnancy is much more rare. There is a distinct cultural distinction between 'recreation' and 'procreation'. Recreation is noone's business so long as it is between consenting adults, and 'procreation' is considered both a duty and a privilege. While public morality no longer interferes in 'recreation', 'procreation' is considered a type of moral issue as Parents are expected to nurture their children and provide them the best loving environment to encourage their growth.
With the advent of the GAF and the dissolution of distinct nations, there are probably several trends that are being encouraged by the GAF.
One is the idea of 'all parts make the whole' the idea that each culture is a colorful thread in the warp and weft of the overall 'Terran' culture. In this multi-culturalism, Any one culture is just as relevant and important as the next, and all work together and are stronger and more vibrant for it. Popular music is likely very fusion and multicultural as a result (and I'm putting together a playlist =), as well as cuisine, and entertainment media. It would not be strange to eat a meal that consisted of dishes from half a dozen different cultures, and then download a vid which combines the trends of classic hollywood with bollywood.
The 'thread in the tapestry' idea is echoed in the pioneering spirit that comes with colonization, and each individual is also expected and encouraged to be the best individual they can be, and thus the entire human races is stronger and better. Children are encouraged to excel at what they are naturally good at, and continual self-improvement is considered to be a good way to live one's life. Those who have reached the top of their fields are considered to have done so not just by natural ability, but by the push and drive to continually hone those abilities. This would be where more of the 'star trek' flavor comes in with the GAF, while the gritty pionnering spirit of the colonies would be more the firefly flavor. Same idea, two different takes.
The GAF obviously is interested in the 'terrans' being the very best they can be, so while the eugenics fears that surround that social debate above arn't really more than fears... those fears arn't helped by the fact that there is a trend to encourage the best and brightest to ensure that their genetic code is passed to the next generation. it's expected that everyone take an interest in supporting the future, and while there is no -requirement- to have children, it is highly -encouraged-. For those who truely are the best, it is also encouraged that genetic information be donated to the Genetic banks, so it may be used to help other children be born in future generations, even if the donator has already had all the children they intend to, or for some reason are dead set agianst having children of their own. Agian, this dosn't help the concerns over eugenics and what these 'genetic banks' might be used for in the future.
I had some other ideas, but I lost them and this has gone on long enough =)
There were some things about cloning and such I talked over with josh, But he's going to post them as he's expanded on the idea a lot more. Go Go Tokyo convention.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Re: Culture Trends Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:42 am|| |
And because I can..
Of course the Ghosts tend to throw all of this out the window. Off-planet Ghosts have less of an issue with the family planning than their oubliette counterparts, but all Ghosts are generally leery of genetic donation.
While the GAF would love to have Ghosts donate genetic material (what better way to ensure that the Ghost populace is raised in military-friend families) the Ghosts themselves are well aware that the challenges of raising empathic and telekinetic children shouldn't be left to those unfamiliar with their abilities. At this point, Ghosts have yet to buy into the "donate your genetic material for the future!" schtick.
Family planning wise, Ghosts, as previously noted have close-knit families both in and off planet. The family unit is extremely important and close, though to outsiders it may seem overly quiet and aloof as much of the subtext is heightened by the Ghost's powers. "Mixed" ghost and "normal" families are a bit more overt. Ghost families, unlike the trend in "breed 'em and seed 'em" colonial family planning tend to remain small. Single children are normal and it's rare to see a ghost family with over three children. The tensions of raising specially gifted children means families tend to remain smaller. As Nova would put it "do -you- want five telekinetic children all throwing peas at once?" Culturally speaking, the beliefs of Ghosts also tend to cause them to frown on the Terran party line of breeding, their own beliefs tending to the more conservative and personal. Oubliette Ghosts in particular are somewhat leery of governmental control over their lives already given the break from the GAF.
|Subject: Re: Culture Trends Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:07 am|| |
There is also the possibility of a lot of the trends towards the mroe widespread use of in vitro and genetic banks might be because it actually is getting a bit more difficult to conceive. The infirtility rate is actually already in an increase today, and that trend might continue in the future. There is also the possibility that the common use of the new technologies that come with space travel and colinization: hypersleep, artifical lifesupport, fun with terraforming, ect. might be subtly efecting the human genome to make it harder to conceive without help. This would mean the risk of acidental pregnancy is even lower, and there is a real medical reason behind the initial widespread use of In Vitro practices. I'll let Josh decide on that though.
If that is the case, the social debate over 'natural birth' vs 'botique babies' is much more than just a knee-jerk reaction to fears of possible future eugenics and 'gattica' like genetic planning. If it's a bit harder to conceive naturally, then it becomes that much more special, and those who support natural birth probably are quite fervant in their assertions that such births are to be highly prized and valued.
|Subject: Re: Culture Trends Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:40 am|| |
I should probably mention that just because culture trends are tending in one direction, that dosn't mean there arn't counter-cultural movements.
While for the most part large families are the norm, the focus on the ability to provide a loving nurturing enviroment for one's children means that people also don't tend to have more children than they can support. So if there is a good reason why someone shouldn't have children, then they are encouraged not too. And children in obviously bad situations are adopted out to better enviroments. DCF probably works much better and more efficiently in this regard.
There is the 'natural conception' movment which is agianst the common use of In Vitro techniques, and VERY agianst anything that smacks of a eugenics project.
I also expect there is quite a few hold-outs agianst the 'multiculturalism' encouraged by the GAF. Smaller Colonies which were dominated by one culture or another might be circling the wagons and taking a stance agianst mingling their culture with others. There might even be some who do this so strongly that we have a few Amish like communities scattered about, though these enclaves probably hold to some religious reasoning so they are likely to be from those cultures who have a strong religious component to their culture, like jewish, hindu, or muslim. Also, Obviously, those who fought in the colonial skirmishes hold very strongly to their personal cultural identity "i'm an american, damit!" despite the younger generations leaning towards the Terran multicultural ideal.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Re: Culture Trends Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:43 am|| |
For those seeking a cultural analogy to wrap their brain around: turn of the century immigration (and current hispanic immigration) trends. The immigrants coming into America at the turn of the century and many of the spanish cultures immigrating in today share a mindset of trying to maintain cultural identity in the face of the "melting pot" ideal.
In this case, apply it to a larger planet wide scale. So while as Brit noted the younger generations are easing into this much better, the older ones still very much have a cultural identity they are likely trying to maintain.
Mmm sociopolitics in the midst of space larp
Posts : 51
Join date : 2009-02-06
|Subject: The Tokyo Convention Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:42 pm|| |
I felt left out, and wanted to touch on a few trends and terms.
1) The Tokyo Convention
In the early 22nd century, after nearly three decades of serious conflicts that all came far too close to becoming World War III, a significant amount of the world leaders met in Tokyo, Japan, to discuss the modern state of warfare and the military advances in the last two centuries that had not be covered under the Geneva convention. The six largest and most significant decisions were the following:
1) The upholding of most of the original Geneva Convention, although the ban on the use of Hollow-point bullets was largely replaced with the decision to ban the use of plasma or laser-based projectile fire, as well as the use Mass Drivers after a discharge outside of Bejing destroyed several skyscrapers in the Daegu province of Korea before rocketing on to tragically strike Hiroshima, Japan. This was also amoung the primary reasons Isley refused to manufacture ship-mounted weaponry.
2) The banning of wholesale Human Cloning, and the formation of the International Cloning Regulatory Alliance, or the ICRA. While it was largely agreed that the cloning of individual tissues and organs was acceptable, any cloning of a full person had to be approved by the ICRA, and then only in the direst of circumstances.
3) The banning of bioeingineered weapons of war, and the formation of new species. This grew out of the debate on cloning after Germany revealed its newly formed "dog soldiers," werewolf-like creatures grown from a cocktail of wolf, lizard, bats, and feline.
4) Along the same vein, the creation of any Artificial Intelligence, specifically applied to machines of war. The United Arab Emirates funded the creation of "The Swords of Heaven," a group of advanced robotic tanks and light artillery vehicles that were controlled by a vast, overarching AI called "the Brotherhood." Tragically, the system became self-aware, pulled a "Skynet," and destroyed Oman, Yemen, part of Saudi Arabia, and partially nuked India before it could be stopped.
5) The universal ban of the use of Nuclear weapons. After the Brotherhood War, nuclear weapons were considered far too dangerous and far too indiscriminate to be used in modern warfare, especially given how densely packed all the population centers of the world were. This stipulation of the Tokyo Convention has quietly been repealed, since it has been centuries since anyone has SEEN an actual nuclear explosion, and the GAF has begun creating Nuclear mines that can be swiftly deployed along key spaceways in case of emergency.
6) The ban on infant drafts and enforced soldiering. Several countries had begun programs of social modification and psychological programming, with the intention of taking infants with promising genetic markers and raising them to fight and response as a team of professional soldiers from childhood on. These units of soldiering could respond to threats and attacks with a teamwork and training that bordered on preternatural, but the meteoric rise to fame of Karl 03876A9 after he went AWOL from his squad in the German Army brought attention and swift condemnation from the world stage.
|Subject: Re: Culture Trends || |