Almanac of the Nexus - Book 1

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Almanac of the Nexus - Book 1

Post by Katie » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:37 pm

Book 1
Almanac of the Nexus

Chapter 1: The Introduction
Preface

The Almanac of the Nexus is meant to be a way to connect the body of legislature that is the World Assembly and translate it into the context of Cynosure: The Nexus. While these bills and commendations and such may not have a direct effect on you as clients, the purpose of this publication is instead to ask key questions about how your client society functions. This will become clear as you continue reading, but I want to say how grateful I am to be here to bring this almanac to you and to help drive forward this universe. Thank you, and good luck.

On the Subject of Reproduction1

Human sexuality is a constantly developing field of study that has many facets and layers, but all stem essentially from whether one has the urge to reproduce and the qualities of the individual(s) with whom they’d prefer to reproduce. This is all based on the core tenant that Humans have a natural urge to reproduce sexually, which may very well not apply to the various species and races of the Nexus.

The questions and riddles I posit to the clients of the Nexus today are these: How does your species reproduce? Do they reproduce sexually or asexually? Do they reproduce at all? If they do reproduce, do they make a logical choice to do so, is it an urge from deep within pre-encoded elements of their psyche, is it both, or is it perhaps neither? Are there societal norms, standards, traditions, or taboos related to reproduction (should your society have them)? Do they choose certain qualities in their potential mate? Are they monogamous or polyamorous? A species, should they be mortal to whatever degree, should possess some method of duplication, unless the propagation and growth of said species is not of importance.

Think about these questions and, if you wish, incorporate them into your story or the story of the Nexus as a whole.

In Summary

While this is a short chapter of the Almanac of the Nexus, keep in mind that it is the first of many to come. I hope all of you consider the questions and propositions contained in this text, and a new publication of the Almanac will be released every second Friday, starting on this day.

1This subject of ponderance was inspired by Defending the Rights of Sexual and Gender Minorities, GA Resolution #457.
Last edited by Katie on Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Almanac of the Nexus - Book 1

Post by Katie » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:31 pm

Book 1
Almanac of the Nexus

Chapter 2: The Great Diamond Authority

On the Subject of Hierarchies1
While the topic of hierarchies may be a broad one and not every society may even have hierarchical systems, this week I will be asking three questions specifically about the way people behave within hierarchies:

Firstly, what kind of traits exemplify a leader or one at the highest level of a hierarchy? Are there any traits at all? If so, are they based on appearance, personality, intelligence? It is best to come up with a system that is different from the ways we define leaders here on Earth, especially the western system, but don’t feel pressured to that suggestion.

Secondly, how are subordinates expected to behave? Are they meant to submit and be modest towards the higher levels or are they on equal level behavior-wise? Does your society employ a caste system? Do most hierarchies function as a single unified body or are they fragmented into different “clans” or factions that share loyalty to a higher class? Is it considered disrespectful (or worse) to disguise oneself as a member of a more senior class? Remember, these hierarchies need not be specific to one area. They can be in the army, government, or society as a whole.

Thirdly, what sorts of systems are used to enforce these hierarchies? Does logical process implement it, where members of society understand that these hierarchies are the way to structure things? Is it mostly psychological, via social pressure? Does social pressure exist? Do threats help to enforce it? As was said in the last issue, if your client species does not have an instinct of self-preservation, this may not apply.

Finally, are these systems easy to change? Is democracy present in your society? Are there other ways in which your society changes social, governmental, or other structures?


On the Subject of Commerce2
Should a species have an egalitarian system in their culture, theoretically members would not need to trade at all. The same may apply to cultures who are non-materialistic or are not concerned with self-preservation. However, if your client culture is non-egalitarian, or it is egalitarian, and yet the exchange of goods still happens, I posit the following questions to you. This is not meant to be an in-depth look into the nature of economics, but rather a general template to start building such a system.

Firstly, does your system of exchange use items, a precious mineral, a common object? Does it function similarly to Earth, with fiat currencies or currencies backed by gold, silver, or some other natural resource? Do only certain individuals hold the privilege to buy and sell? Does exchange happen anywhere, or only in specific hubs? Or maybe your culture goes once a year to a central place on the planet or in the system and trades, like a trading convention.

Secondly, what value does buying or selling hold? Is it a hobby, or is it necessary for societal survival? Are people with more buying or selling power more powerful, or is power in your society unrelated to commerce? If so, what role does commerce play in your society if not to increase power (or at the very least image)?

Finally, and perhaps most complexly, how does the economy of your species work? Does it function like Capitalism? Is it more like Communism or Syndicalism? Georgism, Feudalism, Mercantilism? Or is it something entirely new? One need not describe the science of this economy, but merely describe the system by which commerce is carried out. For example, “the economy of this species consists of a state economic policy aimed at increasing currency reserves for the sake of maximizing exports through a positive balance of trade” is likely sufficient, and you do not even need to go so far as that.


On the Subject of Interspecies Relations3
When one species lives on a planet with another, it is almost inevitable that there will be some interaction between them (unless one is invisible to the other). On Earth, Humans put other species at a lower priority to other humans, although in recent years animal rights activists have become prominent. With these things in mind, I posit to the Nexus the following questions:

How does your planet’s main species interact with other species? Do they have an instinct of conflict, like humans, but in this case two or more intelligent species are a state of constant war? Do they utilize other species for their survival (should that be important to them)? Do they treat and live with all other species equally? Have the other species on the planet died out, regardless of if that was caused by the planet’s main species? Have the main species interbred with other species on the planet as to create more similar races (should your species reproduce sexually or even at all)? This question may be short, but the question is important.


On the Subject of Planets4
Your society may or may not be a spacefaring one, and that’s okay either way. But more likely than not, your species will reside on a planet or some other natural body. The only situation I can think of in which a species doesn’t interact with planets at all is if they were created on a giant “ark” and their progenitor species has died out, leaving them with no way to know how to control the ark’s movement, but that’s likely very rare (although in an infinite universe, possible.) That aside, I posit the following questions to the Nexus regarding this topic:

Firstly, how highly does your species value the pristine-ness of the interior of the home celestial body? Do they make full use of its resources? Are the planet’s internal resources required to sustain the population, such as if the species were created from the very rock within it? Or does it have minimal need for the planet’s resources (possibly for lack of survival instinct) and as such, it remains relatively untouched inside?

Secondly, and this relates to interspecies relations, how much does your species value things on the surface of the body, like mountains, bodies of liquid, and other, potentially non-intelligent lifeforms? Do they make full use of these for their benefit, or does the species – as said earlier – have no use for self-sustaining practices?

Finally, if the species is space-faring, how much do they hold these respects for other planets? If any keen-eyed Steven Universe fan should see this publication, they’d notice that I’ve been alluding quite a bit to the show’s most prominent antagonist body, the Great Diamond Authority. It is an intergalactic dictatorial quadrarchy known for sucking every last useful resource (including the rock itself) out of every planet they encounter, including their own, for their species needs those resources to merely produce more members. It is important to know how your species interacts with planets, both their own and others, as a culture’s environment can influence their behavior (that is, unless they are incorporeal, in another dimension from the planet and can phase through anything, or lack any survival instincts).


On the Subject of Knowledge5
Earlier in the publication, I mentioned a scenario in which a species is created on a sort of “ark,” and the progenitor species leaves no information as to how to control it behind. This brings to light the necessity for some questions on knowledge:

Firstly, how does your species obtain knowledge? Does knowledge even exist, or do they simply progress on instinct? If that’s the case, are they truly intelligent? Do they obtain knowledge via telepathic abilities or some sort of giant history archive or book? Do they continually produce knowledge, or do they rely on older, wiser, or even long-dead members to obtain it? Have the species not had much knowledge, and much or most of it was obtained through the Nexus?

Secondly, and similarly, how does your species record knowledge? Is it in books, in audio recordings, or some sort of database? Is it in something entirely different, like some sort of giant object that members of the species communicate with telepathically to gain knowledge? Or do members of the species have an excellent memory? How high or low is the “bus factor” of your species? The “bus factor” is how much knowledge would be lost should a member of the species perish.

Finally, what is the nature of most of the knowledge among your species? Is it about technology, philosophy, the celestial body on which they reside? Is it about the nature of the universe itself? Or is it about everyday things, like preparing food or interactions with other members of the species? Perhaps it’s mostly about something else.

In Summary
Think about all these questions and, if you wish, incorporate them into your story or the story of the Nexus as a whole.

Remember everyone, a new publication of the Almanac will be released every second Friday. I hope this is assisting in the construction of your lores and societies in the Nexus. Thank you, and good tidings.

1 Inspired by Command Responsibility, GA Resolution #458, Transfer of Power to Nondemocratic Parties, and Stolen Valor Act, two GA Proposal Resolutions
2 Inspired by Economic Prosperity Committee and Debtor Imprisonment Ban Act, two GA Proposal Resolutions.
3 Inspired by Livestock Rights Act, a GA Proposal Resolution
4 Inspired by Oceans Protection Act, a GA Proposal Resolution
5 Inspired by Education for All, a GA Proposal Resolution
Last edited by Katie on Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Almanac of the Nexus - Book 1

Post by Katie » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:36 pm

Book 1
Almanac of the Nexus

Chapter 3:

Hello All. As you all may have noticed, a new issue of the Almanac has not been published in a few months. This is because, due to lack of need for much more than 2 issues of the almanac to build up one's world, I have decided to publish the Almanac Seasonally, with a Book completing once every two years. This will reduce the load on myself and make it easier to fit more topics into the Almanac (although I will be limiting that number to 3 per issue.)
On the Subject of Crime1
In an earlier publication, the topic of interspecies relations was considered. Now we will consider a more broad topic, one that can transcend species or be within a single species.

What forms the basis of crime? Taboo, Religion? Perhaps it is based on more universal standards, such as "morality" or instinct. Perhaps your planet is governed by a single culture who all agree with eachother, or perhaps culture is not a concept at all. If that is the case, is crime considered more on a basis of survival and reproduction? What if your species is not concerned with their species survival? Can other species commit crimes? Perhaps there is no crime. The possibilities are endless in this arena.

Additionally, if there is crime, how are the perpetrators punished? Is the punishment as simple as social ostracization, as harsh as death? Perhaps there is some other form of punishment (for species that do not have social structures or are invincible, for example.)

On the Subject of Privacy2
Privacy is, in many ways, related to the concept of knowledge (which was discussed in an earlier publication), although is quite specific and so not many questions can be asked.

Does your species have the concept of privacy? If so, why? Is it driven by social structures, by survival, or by some other mechanism? Is privacy essential, or is it merely something nice to have that isn't absolutely necessary? Is privacy limited to the witnessing of acts, or does it extend to personal items or information?

On the Subject of Injury3
This subject need not apply to species of incorporeal nature, although extradimensional species can still be injured, it can be assumed.

The reason Humans feel pain is part of a self-preservation instinct, but species who are not concerned with self-preservation may not feel pain. Species like this might be war-based and so soldiers of their armies would not feel pain, or perhaps pain is a hindrance to the mind and so intellectual species do away with it.

How do your species get injured? Is there a body to be injured? Can they only be injured by certain objects or methods? What happens physically and psychologically when a member of your species is injured? Can they regenerate somehow when injured, or are injuries permanent? If the latter, are all injuries permanent or are only certain injuries permanent, and in what ways? Can one be psychologically injured? These are very important social questions, but this would likely extend beyond the realm of social machinery.

1Inspired by World Assembly Justice Accord, GA Resolution #466
2Inspired by Protecting Personal Data, GA Resolution #461
3Inspired by Freedom To Seek Medical Care II, GA Resolution #456
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