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Deus Siddis
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2005, 08:22:13 pm »

"I'm going to worry about finding food for my family by using any scientific knowledge and technology at my disposal."

The next time you go camping, leave your tech behind and use quantum mechanics to figure out how to build a shelter, hunt/find food, start fires, etc, and then do it. You might find that our "advanced" civilization's theories are not all that useful when you don't have any infrastructure or means of applying it.


"How does a civilization with antigravity and teleportation get so degraded they can't generate electricity, or make cars run, or know to disinfect wounds?"

Are you aware of the energy crisis that we're having right now? Imagine if all our power plants and fuel refineries were destroyed completely. Do you know everything that you would need to build them back from scratch, using yourself and a few other local survivors? If you couldn't rebuild them in your lifetime, could you educate your kids well enough that they eventually could, while trying to survive? Would your kids just get used to not having a rotary toothbrush and an Xbox 360, and live as they had originally evolved to do?

This is not an RTS, you can't just find some raw materials and then use your MCV/SCV to rebuild everything from scratch.
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2005, 11:51:43 pm »

Well duh, I'd raid the local supermarket and steal all the batteries!
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2005, 12:24:05 am »


[M]ost of the greco-roman thinking was lost to us westerners and was only preserved in the Arab civilization because they saw its value.


Just because this is a major pet peeve of mine, it's worth bearing in mind that the reason it was "only preserved in the Arab civilization" was that the Turks destroyed Constantinople in 1453, thus smashing the remnants of Greco-Roman culture.  (Byzantium was, after all, initially the Eastern Roman Empire.)  Constantinople was a Christian city from the inception (its earlier incarnations nothwithstanding) in the Christian heart of the Roman empire.  To be sure, Popes helped recenter things westward, but until 1453, Constatinople was the center of learning in the world, and it was more or less Greco in ethnicity and culture, Roman in heritage, and Christian in faith.

To the extent that the Muslims (frequently not *Arabs* -- we're talking about Moors here as often as not, who were North African, and Turks who were, heh, Turk, and Persians) acted as a conduit for Greco-Roman wisdom, that was because even before 1453, Germanic barbarians and Muslim jihadists had cut Byzantium off from the rest of Europe.  It wasn't because European Christians weren't interested in the learning -- in many cases, it was assiduously preserved by monks -- although the European Christian faith often involved absurd rejections of science.  (Le plus ca change. . .)

Arabs get credit for much more than they're due simply because their geographic position in the Middle East and North Africa allowed them to act as a conduit for knowledge and goods from around the world.  "Arabic" numerals were invented by the Indians, not the Arabs (who rarely even used them).  Algebra was developed by the Greeks, even if the word for it comes from a Muslim (Persian, not Arab).

Don't get me wrong, I would probably rather have lived in Muslim (Moorish) Spain than in Christian Spain (I'm a Jew), nothwithstanding the fact that I would have had to pay extra taxes, live in a ghetto, avert my eyes from every Muslim woman, face torture and death randomly, etc.  At least the pogroms weren't nearly as bad, the architecture and food were more interesting, and the standards of public health were rather better.

To go back to your quote, though, that's a little like how the British stole the Elgin Marbles off the face of the Parthenon and now refuse to give them back because the Greeks, says Johnny Rosbeef, have failed to preserve the Parthenon.  I mean, the Arabs destroyed and stole the Christian remnants of Greek culture.  Can we really credit them for holding onto a little bit of their plunder?  Maybe it makes them better than heathen barbarians, but so what?
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Deus Siddis
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2005, 04:08:09 am »

""Arabic" numerals were invented by the Indians, not the Arabs (who rarely even used them)."

India, Iraq, and Eqypt were basically where everything came from, civilization wise. Arabia was usually just a tribal zone that often got dominated by various nations, until Islam came along and it built a formidable empire, for a time.


"Maybe it makes them better than heathen barbarians, but so what?"

That's funny, because "heathen barbarians" is what europe was really about. Europe was a tribal zone until the concept of "civilization" was forcibly spread from the middle east. First there was greece, taking after egypt and babylon. Then from greece came rome which stayed very weak until middle-eastern Phoenicians or whoever, conquered them and then taught them some architectual and maritime skills. Then romans conquered the heathen barbarians that made up most of europe, and eventually spead a middle eastern religion, christianity, to europeans.

It's funny too -- once europeans had been taught, mostly the hard way, the path of large scale civilization and christianity, they used it to conquer the middle east for their own empires!
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2005, 04:15:52 am »

Say, Star Control had the Arilou as Greys, but what the hell are the Syreen supposed to be.

I know that blue people are hindu gods/godesses and celtic warriors and that some lunatics think blue dudes helped us monkeys along with our civilization, but isn't that what the Greys/Arilou were supposed to do?

How many humanoid, human-helpers do you need?
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2005, 05:49:58 am »

Quote
That's funny, because "heathen barbarians" is what europe was really about.

Well, I don't think "heathen barbarians" were altogether so bad, either.  They had values that helped made Europe less decadent, they brought resistance to a lot of diseases, and some magical blend of barbarian and Greco-Roman brought us modernity.

But "heathen barbarians" were terrible with regard to the wisdom of the past.  When the Germans burned the library at Louvain in WWI, they were just doing what Germans had been doing for millennia.  Destroying knowledge and engaging in senseless barbarism.  (Not to suggest that the Germans were particularly worse than others, although I think they were.)

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Europe was a tribal zone until the concept of "civilization" was forcibly spread from the middle east. First there was greece, taking after egypt and babylon. Then from greece came rome which stayed very weak until middle-eastern Phoenicians or whoever, conquered them and then taught them some architectual and maritime skills. Then romans conquered the heathen barbarians that made up most of europe, and eventually spead a middle eastern religion, christianity, to europeans.
[

Here is where I really, strongly take issue with your account of history.  Greece took many things from the Middle East, but their culture was something new and something unique in the ancient world.  The notion of the rule of reason, the rights of the citizen (albeit often just wealthy landowners), the importance of the individual, the equality of men, etc., were all coined by the Greeks.  When Greece and Persia fought, it was free Greeks doing battle in phalanxes -- a formation ruled by reason and equality  -- against Persian slaves thronging en masse.  This was true throughout the conflicts of East and West, even when it was the barbarian Franks fighting the cultured Moors at Tours.

The Phoenicians never conquered Rome (it was Rome that committed the atrocity at Carthage, not vice versa)  and to the extent they were anything other than Mediterraneans like the Greeks, the Phoenicians were North Africans, not Middle Easterners.

Beyond that, I confess, my recollection isn't that great, but I don't remember the Romans being conquered.  (I could Google this point, but why?  We can both check it out later on our own and not have me pretend to already know it.)  I remember them fighting another tribal people to the south, who used the manipular phalanx, which Rome then adopted to great effect.  The Romans were wonderfully omnivorous when it came to effective foreign military techniques and technologies and foreign gods, even if they were disdainful of the "bar bar bar" barbarians.

But the aspect of Rome that we revere -- its culture, philosophy, government, architecture, etc. -- came from Greece, which Rome loved the way a young child reveres an older boy, even when Rome discovered that the older boy was petty and squalid and ultimately needed to be put away.

Rome had its own brand of militarism, of course, but that didn't come from the East.  If anything, it came from the North.

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It's funny too -- once europeans had been taught, mostly the hard way, the path of large scale civilization and christianity, they used it to conquer the middle east for their own empires!

Mmm.  I don't know.  The techniques that the Macedonians used to conquer Persia were distinctly Greco-Macedonian, not Persian.  Later on, young Alex got sucked into Persia pomp and culture, and when he did, he transformed his empire into a potentially (though probalby not) enduring entity into the kind of empire that dies when its arrogant ruler dies.

That said, there is some truth to your point.  Jihad -- Holy War -- was taught to the Europeans by the Moors in Spain, and it was a lesson they took to heart, transforming it into Crusade.  Of course, Crusade could hold the Holy Land no better than Jihad could hold Spain, but c'est la vie.

I hope, by the way, that my scorn for various peoples has been sufficiently promiscuous that you don't think I'm picking on anyone in particular.  My bias is definitely for Greece -> Rome -> Renaisance Italy -> England -> United States, and I confess at least some partiality to the post-diaspora Jews, but all my favorites have their fair share of iniquities and even the groups I'm most scornful of made major contributions to history.

It's true what they say -- if not for everyone who ever was, I wouldn't be here today.
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2005, 05:53:05 am »

[W]hat the hell are the Syreen supposed to be[?]

Art had a nice theory of them being a genetic control group that the Arilou whisked off to Syrea (or whatever their world was called; I've blanked) to measure the effect of their work with the humans and in case they needed to reset the human genome.

It doesn't quite work if SC2's prehistory is the same as IRL, since the Syreen pigmentation belies a "control" for homo sapiens, but I think his theory (which is spelled out well in the other thread, IIRC) is the best I've heard.
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Deus Siddis
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2005, 10:48:52 pm »

"Well, I don't think "heathen barbarians" were altogether so bad, either."

I'm not really talking about good or bad, just that europe was made up mostly of non-monotheistic, spread-out tribes. Large nations that were centered around cities instead of spread out villages, were an adaption for packing people into the wet zones in a desert biome, I believe.

You see, in the desert you have some nice fertile areas around rivers and oasis often with a year-round growing season, and then you have wasteland. It makes the most sense to pack people into the fertile zones and grow your crops there. Doing so would create a somewhat large population density in the good lands, leading to cities. For greed or protection, cities would then conquer/ally with other neighboring cities to form nations.

In temperate biome europe, you have fertile lands everywhere, but with a limited growing season. You don't need to sardine pack people, because there is plenty of good growing/hunting lands, and it is better for people to be spread out, so that you don't over hunt any particular area during the winter.

Of course, with more advanced farming techniques and social orders, europe could and was transformed into a middle-eastern style series of nations. Sadly, I think the wet climate was a bad place to build cities for sanitation reasons, which lead to a series of plagues.

These two life styles greatly affect religion, I think. Centralized cities gravitate toward centralized and orderly monotheistic religions, spread out villages gravitate toward more cryptic and complex religions. Also, the monotheists seemed to put more faith into a super being, while multitheists (not sure if that is the correct term or not) were slightly bigger on heros and average folk, who did amazing things. Anyhow, I'm an agnostic, and my personal bias probably leans towards non-triumvirate (non-judaism, non-christianity, non-islam) religions, because I'm not *that* much of a minimalist. Smiley


"Here is where I really, strongly take issue with your account of history."

I don't really remember the details. I thought phoenicians came from just below asia minor. I just remember that somebody conquered rome very early on, and taught them the skills they used to eventually become an empire. I know the greeks and persians fought like cats and dogs, but that is usually the case with separate nations of ancient times (both inside and outside of the middle east). My thought is that civilization started in the middle-east and egypt and then spread from there. Notice how close greece was to those places. I'm sure the greeks, romans, etc. had many innovations, but the basic concept of a city-based-civilization seems to have started in the mid east and moved across the mediterranean coast (as well as other places). Greece is closer to the middle east, than any other part of europe. All that sits between greece and roman italy is the aegean. I'm not sure of specific dates and happenings, but if you look at a map, you can see how modern civilization spread, evolving as it went.


"I hope, by the way, that my scorn for various peoples has been sufficiently promiscuous that you don't think I'm picking on anyone in particular.  My bias is definitely for Greece -> Rome -> Renaisance Italy -> England -> United States, and I confess at least some partiality to the post-diaspora Jews, but all my favorites have their fair share of iniquities and even the groups I'm most scornful of made major contributions to history."

Everybody has their preferences, and you don't seem to disfavor my favorite cultures (celtica, rome, or india), so what can I say. Smiley But there are always bad sides, as you said, celts and greeks may have had some human sacrifices (though I think these were just done by a few lunatics in rare occasions) and the greeks attacked and destroyed cultures for riches, the romans generally attacked and destroyed their neighbors, took slaves, caused the diaspora you mentioned, israelites commited genocides of their own and stoned women to death for fake crimes like "adultry", india had the caste system, slavery, and that one group that burns widows to death, england wrote the book on torture (actually, I think they literally wrote a few books on it) and killed, impoverished, and stole the lands of their neighbors (and eventually some others around the world), etc.

It all almost makes you wish we were descended from bonobos instead of chimps.
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2005, 12:12:07 am »

Well, my armchair anthropology is different from yours, so here goes.

Quote
Large nations that were centered around cities instead of spread out villages, were an adaption for packing people into the wet zones in a desert biome, I believe.

I don't think that's right.  After all, you had cities in the Americas and in Asia and they weren't in deserts.  And the "cradle of civilization" civs were not really in deserts, but rather in fairly fertile zones, Persia and Babylon especially.  We just think of the Middle East as a big desert because that's what The Arabian Nights fantasia is all about.

Cities don't spring up from a shortage of arable land, as you suggest, but rather from an excess of arable land.  Cities -- i.e., large, non-farming communities -- can only exist when there is a superabundance of food produced outside the city.  That can happen fairly easily in fertile areas like Latin America, the Nile Delta, and Mesopotamia.  It's much more difficult to achieve in less arable regions such as England, Greece, the North American plains, etc.

We think of Europe as full of pastureland because that's how it is today.  But back in antiquity, those pastures were still largely forested and choked with glacial scree (I believe; as I said, arm-chair anthropology).

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Centralized cities gravitate toward centralized and orderly monotheistic religions, spread out villages gravitate toward more cryptic and complex religions.

Although I agree this makes a convenient theory, I don't think there's data to back it up.  The Jews became monotheistic before they had any major cities.  The Egyptians became monotheistic (briefly) by fiat, but the major city cultures of antiquity (Rome, Egypt, Babylon, Persia) were all polytheistic.  (I don't think of Greece as a city culture, despite the city-state.  The populations of the polises were pretty small, but it was polytheistic, too.)

Christianity's flourishing predated the urbanization of Europe by a wide margin.  Christianity may have helped urbanize, of course, by brining some degree of civility to the heathens.

I don't know enough about Islam to say for sure, but my recollection is that its early roots were exurban -- i.e., Mohammad was kicked out of Mecca when he started gathering followers big-time.  Then the Muslim outcasts conquered the big pagan cities and converted them.

The process of urbanization probably moves you toward monotheism if only because urban cultures deal with more complex issues, which moves them away from the easy "Fire God, War God, Sea God, Forge God, etc." model into a single, "Mystery God."  Then, eventually, cities just wipe out religion altogether (at least so has been the course of history).

The problem with any attempt to explain the causes of monotheism is that there are so few monotheistic religions.  I mean, really, what is there besides Judaism / Christianity / Islam and then fringier ones like the cult of Aten?  (My sense is that given the way bodhisatvas work and the attitude about Buddha, Buddhism really oughtn't to be consider monotheism.  But again, I'm ignorant.)

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somebody conquered rome very early on

The city of Rome was sacked fairly early on by barbarians from the north, but I don't think they were conquered.
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2005, 04:24:47 am »

"After all, you had cities in the Americas"

I don't have enough info on those. The history of the americas is still very murky waters.


"and in Asia and they weren't in deserts."

Afterwards, yes. But today we have cities everywhere, not just deserts. My point is that I think the city/nation concept had something to do with the desert biome (because that's where it originally evolved).


"Cities don't spring up from a shortage of arable land, as you suggest, but rather from an excess of arable land."

Rivers provide vast farmable lands, easily enough to build cities off of, but they do not create a giant temperate forest, as seen in ancient europe. Iraq's little fertile crescent is probably one of the largest sections of arable land in the mid east, yet compare it to gaul or tutonia and suddenly it doesn't seem so big. Remember that tribes were not just a few families living in a dozen grass huts, they were just as big as modern european nations, in the lands they covered. There just was not much population density in any one spot. But over in the cradle of civilization, people were slightly closer together along the banks of rivers, where there was usually a year round growing season and, as you mentioned, plenty of open farmland.

So my feeling is Oases and Rivers provided more bang for your box, while the forests provided less potent lands in larger quantities. Keep in mind though, that either way, we're not talking about a hell of a lot of people. This is before there were six billion of us, swarming the earth like sentient locusts (if that sounds too negative, then let's say we're like sentient rabbits). Wink


"Christianity's flourishing predated the urbanization of Europe by a wide margin.  Christianity may have helped urbanize, of course, by brining some degree of civility to the heathens."

Okay, that might be right. I probably had it backwards, monotheism aids the building of nations. It makes sense, having a unified religion where everybody bows to the same super dude probably builds some common ground, and get's people used to taking commands from a singular source. The catholic church had one god, and one pope from which supreme orders could be dished out. Hehe, "The One Pope. . .to Rule Them All."
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2005, 06:15:22 am »

There are two problems with your analysis:

1) You keep thinking of the Middle East as one biome and as that one biome as being a desert.   In fact, the Middle East has many biomes -- including mountainous regions, desert, and lush plains.

2) You keep thining of dense forest as good land for growing.  In fact, although forests obviously are support plants, they are not good for growing food.  The best arable land is flat plains with rich topsoil (as in the Ukraine or, as in antiquity, the Nile River Delta).  Forests are extraordinarily difficult to cultivate, because you need to clear them, and even then the topsoil is often depleted.  Even after they're cleared, they need to be leveled and plowed, which is tough, especially tough when you haven't yet domesticated oxen and developed the ox collar.  Moreover, Northern Europe has a much, much shorter growing season (one that was even shorter in antiquity due to colder temperatures back then) than equatorial climes.

My last ditch effort to explain city development is to put it in simple strategy game terms:

- Every person requires an upkeep of 10 food
- Every grower  (G) will produce X food, where X is determined by easy food is to produce (i.e., how much arable land each food producer has, or how much grazing land for his herds, and how good that land is)
- Out of population P, some percentage (at least 20%) will be unable to labor at all due to youth, age, infirmity, pregnancy, or cultural norms; this is D, dependents
- Cities require citizens (C) to exist
- For there to be food to feed C, each G must produce at least 10 food for himself, plus 2 food for dependents, plus some surplus.
- To get food from G to C will require someone to work as transporters (T); some of the surplus food must go to feed T
- The more land it takes to produce food (i.e., the less arable the land), the longer the distance between G and C (because your farms will be farther from the city) and the more food therefore must go to feed T

I'm not sure if this simplified things at all, heh, but hopefully maybe it did.

The point is that with relatively unfertile land, where people are leading essentially a subsistence existence (say 15 food per person), you're only going to be able to support a very small population of citizens.  Most of your citizens early on are just going to be warriors and priests.  Unless the land is sufficiently fertile that you can support more than just warriors and priests (i.e., sufficiently fertile that you don't hit a point where transportation costs eat up all the surplus food G's are producing), you'll never get a city.

Until you get a city, you don't start developing the technologies that increase output (irrigation, good farm tools, agronomics, mills, etc.) and reduce transportation costs (roads, horse collars, preservatives, storage techniques, etc.).  So basically you're stuck in the Neolithic until someone jump starts you, or until your slow technology creep by your few priests and warriors gets you a breakthrough.

Arable areas therefore hit the key techs first, and often then spread them outward.  In other cases, low tech barbarians stole technology through conquest.

The best arable areas are fertile plains with long growing seasons.  The best examples of those were in Mesopotamia and the Nile Delta.  It's not because those areas were deserts . . . .
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2005, 06:27:03 pm »

I agree with most of what you said, and I don't see how it conficts with my city theory.


"You keep thinking of the Middle East as one biome and as that one biome as being a desert.   In fact, the Middle East has many biomes -- including mountainous regions, desert, and lush plains."

Let me clarify, when I say "desert", that means that most of the space in a certain region is desert. Obviously nobody runs up and down sand dunes, hunting reptiles and bugs. They live in relatively small pockets of very lush, arable lands around great water sources (like above or below ground rivers). These semi isolated edens are where cities spring up.


"You keep thining of dense forest as good land for growing."

No, I think it is a fair place to get food. Ancient europeans were both farmers and hunter/gatherers. They farmed small plots (perhaps in meadows) and consumed plants and animals in the forests. I consider this to be much less productive than farming in the fertile crescent and much more productive than running up and down sand dunes, hunting lizards and bugs.


"Unless the land is sufficiently fertile that you can support more than just warriors and priests"

Just priests, the warriors were probably hunters/farmers during good times.


"- To get food from G to C will require someone to work as transporters (T); some of the surplus food must go to feed T
- The more land it takes to produce food (i.e., the less arable the land), the longer the distance between G and C (because your farms will be farther from the city) and the more food therefore must go to feed T"

Yes, you would probably have some transportation costs to feed people in the cities of the river basins. Fortunately, you have rivers to help you do that and greatly lower those costs. Tribal europeans probably would not do much food transporting, they'd just eat what they produced/found close by.
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2005, 07:39:51 pm »

Put simply, my understanding was that your theory of the city was: "Large nations that were centered around cities instead of spread out villages, were an adaption for packing people into the wet zones in a desert biome."

This suggests that cities arose as a way of "packing in people" and arose in "desert biomes" because "n temperate biome europe, you have fertile lands everywhere" which means that people "spread out."

That's contrary to my understanding.  My understanding is the cities are the natural progression of any human society as that society has craftsmen, and that to have craftsmen, you need to have very fertile land.  The land in Europe was not fertile and Europe was not a "temperate" biome in the sense of "good for growing."

My sense is that if you had a huge fertile plains region, that wouldn't discourage cities -- it would produce a lot of cities (probably walled cities, because plains regions are amenable to invasion).  In fact, that's what happened in antiquity in the Holy Land, which was not a desert, but rather "a land of milk and honey."  You had lots of walled cities (not as big as Rome or Babylon or Persepolis, but cities all the same).  It's what happened in Italy once Italy had been cleared and plowed and made arable by the Romans.

I'm also hesitate to call European cities "Middle Eastern style cities."  I just don't know enough history to say for sure, but I believe they were fairly different in composition, and Europe didn't get really big cities (post-Rome) until much later.  But ancient European cities had huge public spaces, which were notably absent from Middle Eastern cities, where the large spaces were simply royal preserves, gardens, and the like.

So, the key difference, I think, is that you think cities rise up as a coping mechanism for limited space, whereas I think cities are the default and arise only when there is sufficient rich land to support them.
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2005, 02:58:41 am »

"Put simply, my understanding was that your theory of the city was: "Large nations that were centered around cities instead of spread out villages, were an adaption for packing people into the wet zones in a desert biome."

Also, those fertile regions had long growing seasons, so they were especially productive. But, if you wanted to journey over land to another fertile zone across a desert from you, you'd have to carry all kinds of supplies with you to do so because you would not be able to gather water of hunt much along the way. You'd be much more stationary, than clans of tribal hunter/gatherer/farmers in a temperate forest, who both could move around and collect goods from the environment, and might have needed to during the winter as packs of yummy herbivores traversed, searching for some food of their own.

In short:

Desert with oasis and basins: You're living in eden with nothing but burning sands around you. You may want to stay home.

Forest with a winter season: Things are about the same over the next hill as here, only there's more deer over the next hill. You might want to go after the beef, unless you like the taste of tree bark.
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Re: The Arilou are in StarGate SG1!
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2005, 08:39:29 am »

Say, Star Control had the Arilou as Greys, but what the hell are the Syreen supposed to be.

I know that blue people are hindu gods/godesses and celtic warriors and that some lunatics think blue dudes helped us monkeys along with our civilization, but isn't that what the Greys/Arilou were supposed to do?

How many humanoid, human-helpers do you need?

It's implied that Syreen came from Humans, or vice versa, but not that the two developed races had much contact. Certainly the Syreen don't exactly seem like Human benefactors -- it never mentions anything about Syreen giving Humans technology like hyperdrive *before* the War (the two races didn't even know of each other), and during the War it was actually the Humans who were far more technologically advanced and militarily powerful.

If the Syreen symbolize anything it's something pretty clearly spelled out in the game -- that Syra was "an Eden". Syreen seem to be Humans unspoiled by things like greed, war, sexual hang-ups, racism, and so on. There are certainly mythological precedents for the idea of a perfect human civilization that's free of the problems of our own -- the idea of a Golden Age and whatnot -- but the blue-ness, I think, doesn't really tie into that. I doubt the blueness of Syreen comes from anything more than the old sci-fi trope of having aliens that looked just like humans but with their skin tinted some unnatural color.
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