Mono-cultural planets

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putaro
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Mono-cultural planets

Postby putaro » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:36 pm

It's nearly always the case that when Star Trek (any of the flavors) introduce us to a new planet, that planet has a single language and a single culture. That's in pretty sharp contrast to Earth which has thousands of languages and hundreds if not thousands of cultures.

Aside from lazy writing, what do you think alien planets will be like? Are they likely to have many different cultures? Is it something that gets smoothed away as technology brings everyone closer (hello, cultural imperialism)?
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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby Distracted » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:37 pm

An interesting question. I think it would depend on whether the planet was a colony settled by a culturally uniform group or whether it was populated by indigenes (or by culturally complex group of colonists). Certainly I would anticipate the formation of cultural variations eventually even if the planet was originally settled by a more uniform population.
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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby Cogito » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:06 pm

I suspect the answer is largely one of timing, and geographic variations will fade away as travel and communication becomes easier. If you came back to Earth a hundred years from now, I suspect you'd fund it was far more homogeneous than it is today. The differences that are left will probably be caused by factors other than location.

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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby Weeble » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:09 am

In my humble opinion it has to do with trying to get an episode completed in 44 minutes. Even if you use an arc you are going to spend a great deal of time comparing and contrasting. Going further, seeing that Starfleet was nearly always projected as the defenders of the perfect culture, you know no money, no disease, no worries; it follows that any culture that was encountered was lesser unless the beings were superior and why wouldn't they want to join Starfleet anyway. While this was fine in TOS as the series was radical and new, TNG really went to far.
So what do I think about discovering civilized planets, I think if they are out there they will run the gamut. Rigel Kent's fine work "Divergent Paths" handles this well with multiple cultures and a civil war. I would also expect to find many belief systems of which we have no understanding.
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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby Alelou » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:38 am

I'm conscious of this problem just dealing with North Star. We met just one settlement. What are the others they alluded to like? Are there any minorities in the other ones? Is there any central system somewhere? How come this one little group of people had the right to do all the dealing with Enterprise?

I'm conscious of it but not doing anything about it yet. That story has gotten complicated enough, and I haven't had time to work on it at all. I'd like to get another chapter written when classes are over.
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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby Weeble » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:03 am

Alelou,

Pressure, pressure, new chappie. I know you are feeling the pressure....

><((((º> is the barometer rising??
RIP Tom, I will miss you, as will many others

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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby Alelou » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:08 am

I'm feeling much more pressure to get my danged paperback version of The Awful Mess selling on Amazon (next week sometime it will finally go live, unless things go a lot faster than they claim). Mind you, this is mostly because my parents are pressuring me big time. Either they expect to give away copies to everyone they know, or they actually believe all their friends will buy it (that I rather doubt, though I'm sure a few will).

Also I feel the pressure of all those research papers that are about to start pouring in. The semester ends on the 13th.

But after that ... yeah, I need to get poor Trip out of his hole in the ground. That is the very least I could do. ;)
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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby Cogito » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:04 pm

Are there any other settlements on Northstar? I haven't checked the transcripts but I don't remember getting the impression that there are. Perhaps it's just the main town, and a few settler families/communities based around the town who are farming and hunting in the area. The original setup doesn't sound as if they would have had the resources for a population explosion and I get the impression there weren't many of them in the first place.

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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby putaro » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:08 pm

My opinion on Northstar was that that town was way too technically sophisticated for the number of people we saw. They've got nice lumber, clocks, guns, hardware for wagons. There's an industrial base somewhere.

I like Dis' point about settled planets versus those where an intelligent race evolved. That would probably be a big factor.

And, speaking of planets, how come every time the crew needs something they wind up at a "trading center" (seriously, who talks that way?) that looks like some kind of medieval bazaar? Haven't any of these alien races heard of shopping malls? Or like the Orion slave trading place? That would have been more chilling, really, if it was very antiseptic and computerized.
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Re: Mono-cultural planets

Postby Alelou » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:21 pm

IMO They had to have some other settlements, or Archer's explanation of being from somewhere else wouldn't have held any water, and everyone would have been freaked out by any newcomer (including Trip and T'Pol, who don't appear to excite much curiosity at all). It's true that they play it like an old western town, with the accoutrements of civilization that in a real western town would have been imported from the factories back east. But then it doesn't make sense that Archer holds all their negotiations with that little town. It's a logical flaw in the episode.
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