Re: A good short honest FAQ but very bad PR

Anders Sandberg (
07 Jul 1998 18:33:07 +0200 writes:

> Anders Sandberg [] wrote:
> >Seems rather different from Bank's Culture, where the Culture treats
> >the lesser civilizations with respect - they might be laughing behind
> >their backs at their silly ideas, but they don't interfere directly.
> Provoking a civil war to eliminate the government in 'Player of Games'?
> I'd say that's direct interference.

Yes, but it was Special Circumstances... :-)

It seem that the Culture strategy is to use minimal force to change things, leaving the actual change largely up to the other civilization. In PoG they crashed the system, but let the Azadians start building a new (with some subtle help to avoid getting trapped in the old attractor). The various wars in Use of Weapons were similar: just add Zaklave to any already existing military conflict to make the outcome certain. The major exceptions seem to have been Excession (where minimal force might not have been applicable to reach the Affront) or Consider Phlebas, but both novels deal with 'non equilibrium politics'.

> But I wasn't talking in terms of outlook, just the basic setup of the
> society. Moorcock's is far less socialized than most of the Culture,
> but it has the same feel of extremely powerful individuals with too
> much time on their hands.

I haven't read the books, but one thing that amuses me is the idea that very powerful beings will have too much time on their hands. I expect the opposite. :-)

<Looks at a cosmological watch; chi is almost 2pi> "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!" <pops down a large worm-hole>

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y