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The culture of The Culture
The issue of Western cultural bias is actually quite real in OA. Virtually all of our authors come from a single set of cultures with very similar values, many of which we simply take for granted as 'the only way things can be done', when really they are just 'the way our cultures happen to do things'.

While I don't have the background in other cultures to speak to them (although I suspect Stephen may have something to say on the matter when he returns), I can point to several examples of things from our own cultures that were taken for granted as 'the way of things' not so long ago in history but which we (mostly) think very differently about now. These include:

Race relations, especially inter-racial relationships and sex




The divine right of kings

The conquering of the Americas by Europeans or 'the white man'

The status of women to varying degrees across time

Looking back over the last 500 years or so, we can see that views on all of these issues have changed drastically. People at various points in 'Western' history would have looked at some or all of these things in ways that most of us here would find repugnant and/or baffling. But to them their viewpoint was 'the only way things can be done'. This wasn't just something they mouthed in public while secretly yearning to live in a Jeffersonian democracy or a world of equality between the races and genders. They actually thought how they did things was the right way to live. Every bit as much as we may think our way of doing things or thinking is 'the right way'.

For a more immediate example, look at the Middle East. Prior to the second Iraq War it was popular to think that all you had to do was give any given population the opportunity and a pluralistic democracy would just spring into being of its own accord as the only 'natural' way for human beings to organize their affairs. The reality has turned out to be rather more...complicated.

It should also be noted that monarchy and feudalism in various flavors has been the norm for most of human history. Whether democracy will be 'the new normal' or just a historical aberration has yet to be determined.

This is not to say that non-Western cultures won't go in for democracy or treating women or minorities equally or whatever. Rather they can (and often do) have their own very strong ideas about 'the right way' that may be somewhat or significantly different from our own. We have our biases and they will have theirs. The interesting question is what that might look like after 10,000yrs of history spread across the stars. And what new notions on 'the right way' might develop at the same time.

Certainly in the case of the sephirotics, it seems that most sophonts thing that rule by transapient is 'the right way' to live one's life. But they likely have additional notions as well that we might find very strange, either in Y11k or at earlier points in the timeline.

Some sephirotic transapients might take the position that humans 'naturally' organise themselves into a range of different cultural options, such as democracy, monarchy, tribalism, dictatorship and so on; just as we humans attempt to recreate natural conditions for any particular social animal when we keep them in captivity. Transapient social arrangements will no doubt be radically different.

The transapients would then have two options; they could either support any social structure that the humans choose to adopt, and prevent it from failing, by overt or covert means; this is the strategy generally used in the Utopia Sphere, I imagine. This means that some Utopia Sphere societies will be intrinsically unstable or unworkable, but are kept from failing by 'divine' intervention.

The opposite strategy would generally be used in the NoCoZo, I expect; human societies there are not supported artificially, but allowed to fail. This results in some suffering in certain situations. Other sephirotics will generally fall somewhere along this spectrum.

This is the same dilemma as faced by biologists who study great apes and other social animals; when these animals suffer setbacks, especially if those setbacks are caused by social conflict, in many cases the observers could act to ameliorate that suffering; but by doing so they disturb the relationship between the species concerned and its environment.

Some transapients might make very harsh decisions and display some very callous reactions to suffering that we might find hard to accept.
(12-12-2014, 02:44 AM)Dalex Wrote: If this is western bias or purely western thing then I call western values superior.

A nice illustration of what I'd been implying. I value (some people from other traditions would say I overvalue) freedom and autonomy too, but then I'm also raised in the Western tradition. Other people, raised differently, also value 'freedom', but they might not put it at the top of the list as do many people from current Western cultures. Honour, or loyalty, or charity, or piety, something else most humans in most places value could be the trump card instead. While there are a number of things that most people in most places would put somewhere in their 'top ten', their relative rankings when two good things come into apparent conflict can be very, very important.

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