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Traipahni society

This was a comment to ysabetwordsmith, earlier, that I'm repeating here for ranka and others who don't care to hear me ramble for an hour, because it covers much of the same information as was expressed in my MP3 I posted a few posts back =

In some of my novels and stories, specifically on the planet Traipah, the Traipahni people consider adequate food, shelter, water, education, and health care to be basic "conscious being" rights. Everyone living on Traipah or other planets colonized by Traipahni people are assured the basics for survival, with great social pressures and rewards for making yourself useful. Also there are similar great social pressures and rewards placed upon rich people to give back to society, to the point where rich persons who *don't* give back are shunned and boycotted until they come around.

And not only is education free of charge, but their education system is based on values, skills, critical thinking, keeping education fun, and is set up to find individuals' best ways of learning and teaching them how best they're able to learn.

Furthermore, their society has always been in love with ideas and with art, so intellectuals and artists are encouraged and have a larger market there than even on Earth. Basically you have a whole planet full of people who most of them are the sort of people who would say, "When I have a little money, I spend it on books (or art), and when I have some leftover, I buy food and clothing."

Getting a job on Traipah is fairly easy, too. Whether you've found what you love to do or not, the Guilds will give you apprenticeship in their trade, rewarding good work with money and/or extra food. Then you can either go on to be a full, paid Guild member, or you can explore other options. One can also go into one of the Spiritual/Religious Orders, and one wouldn't even have to be abstinent because Traipahni society doesn't stigmatize sex.

And if one can't find a job one wants to apprentice in to try it, one can take one's time in figuring out what one finds interesting enough to make a career of. And mentally ill or depressed persons don't have to have the added stress caused by financial difficulties here on Earth, so it's a better environment to heal in. And that free health care includes mental health care, too. And free medicine.

Because of all this, the crime rate is really really low, to the point of near non-existence. And regardless of what the crime is, criminals are treated like people and are rehabilitated. You don't find on Traipah the shit like the sex offender registries, the subsequent ostracizing of individuals, and the resulting inability to fit back into society. The Traipahni people long ago figured out that the fear-based approach to criminals and crimes creates more problems than it solves, was creating monsters, and making what monsters there were even worse.

And the whole reason they do all this is because they long ago realized that the better off the poorest among them are, the better off *everyone* will be. Every individual contributes, for good or for ill, to the welfare of the whole, and the more people are desperate, insane, or monstrous, the more desperate, insane, or monstrous the society as a whole will be. Especially since the greater monsters tend to be those seeking to protect society from those they call monsters.

Edited to add:

ysabetwordsmith said: Parts of that sound really clever.

How do they deal with the challenge of teaching people to be industrious when the basics are provided?


My response:

1. Part of it is what you get at that basic level: a tiny apartment, just enough food to get by on, and what food you do get is rather dull. It's a stable "income," but a dull one.

2. Most people on Traipah live with other people, usually in large family groups. It's rare for people to live alone on Traipah.*

3. It's not really safe to live alone on Traipah. There are more things that can kill you on Traipah than there are in Australia. And most of the things that can kill you on Traipah will also eat you. Some won't even wait for you to die before they start to eat you. There are even carnivorous trees, and crocodile-like creatures that are warm-blooded and have feathers and are sometimes big enough to swallow a saltwater crocodile whole. So there's safety in numbers.

* There are a lot of reasons for this whole "living together in family groups" thing:

1. Habitable areas for conscious beings on Traipah are limited by a deep-seated Traipahni belief in being harmonious with the environment, and fear of the consequences if the environment is screwed up, a fear which is based on The Reformation (when the biosphere basically rebelled against the planetary abuse, for lack of better terms, via an explosion of biodiversity with species that almost wiped out Traipahni civilization) and on Jophwaan Island, an island whose ecosystem famously died because of "conscious being" interference, and only recently began to have life living on it again with an entirely new ecosystem.

2. The Ah'Koi Bahnis are just more social than humans. They're also more touch-oriented, needing the physical touch of others very powerfully. So much so that more than 3 months of being alone at a stretch is *very* detrimental to the mental health of Ah'Koi Bahnis individuals.
The Duenicallo and Shaokennah species aren't as socially needy as the Ah'Koi Bahnis, but both of those species are pack animals hunt in packs. (Both of those species being carnivorous, where most Ah'Koi Bahnis are herbivorous.)

In case you're wondering how two carnivorous species and an herbivorous species get along, well:

They didn't, at first. When the Duenicallo first came over to the Tahl'Bahn continent from their own continent of N'Ai'Shahn, they hunted Ah'Koi Bahnis.1 When the AKB started fighting back with sophisticated tools, the Duenicallo realized they were people and made peace with them. Now the only time Duenicallo eat AKB is if it's in the shared culture of an area for Duenicallo to eat the deceased among the AKB, as a form of ritual body disposal. Which *does* happen in a lot of places.

The Shaokennah2 only hunt small game, and sometimes scavenge corpses of larger animals. Ah'Koi Bahnis never interested them, food wise. And Shaokennah have always generally kept to themselves.

At one point in Traipahni history, the AKB and the Duenicallo started taking Shaokennah as slaves. These slaves eventually broke free after a couple thousand years, and the Shaokennah still don't entirely trust either species even 10,000 years after The Reformation. (They can hold a grudge for a very long time.)

Footnotes

1 = The thought of Duenicallo on boats amuses me greatly. They're four-legged carnivores whose forepaws double as hands (and who can stand and walk on their hind legs, but can only run on all fours) and are more massive than polar bears or grizzly bears. (There are two "races" of Duenicallo; pygmy Duenicallo are just a little smaller than grizzly bears. The larger race of Duenicallo are the size of average Arabian horses.)
What amuses me is that Duenicallo *can* swim, but they generally don't like to. They're rather catlike in that regard, as well in how they clean themselves. But they also have characteristics similar to bears, hyenas, and dogs.

2 = Shaokennah are warm-blooded and resemble the velociraptors in Jurassic Park, except that they have shorter snouts, more fingers, smaller claws, and lack the giant toe claws of the 'raptors. Their legs also bend differently, as they share ancestry with a smaller creature called a vungtraf, which is a large warm blooded lizardlike creature with four legs, whose legs are more like a frog's legs.

Ah'Koi Bahnis are humanoid.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
christinaathena
Aug. 18th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
In case you're wondering how two carnivorous species and an herbivorous species get along,

Actually, I would think that carnivores and herbivores would be MORE likely to get along. The reason being that most carnivores are not indiscriminate predators, and tend to prefer easy prey. A sentient species would not be easy prey, so they'd be unlikely to be considered food.

On the other hand, they wouldn't be in competition - they'd have different kinds of food, different resources they desire. Two carnivores could come into conflict, as they might each desire the same prey. Likewise, two herbivores could each desire the same plants. But a carnivore and a herbivore would have different needs. This would especially be the case for stone-age societies. More advanced societies could come into conflict as they might each desire a given piece of land for their own purposes, either for grazing land for food animals or cropland. Even so, there'd be a lot of land that would be useful for only one or the other.

The herbivorous species would likely be more numerous, as any given area of land can support more herbivores than carnivores. This might very well lead to a power imbalance, however, the carnivores would still have one major resource the herbivores would desire - fertilizer in the form of manure. A farming society would consider the large quantities of manure produced by the carnivores' herds to be a valuable resource, either through direct trade or indirectly through crop rotation and fallow land. A tribe of carnivores and a tribe of herbivores would share a piece of territory, rotating the use of each piece of land between the two.

Of course, if the two evolved in different areas, and the carnivores developed technology before the herbivores, things might be different, in that the carnivores would likely desire to take the herbivores' land for their own herds to graze.
fayanora
Aug. 18th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC)
Actually, I would think that carnivores and herbivores would be MORE likely to get along. The reason being that most carnivores are not indiscriminate predators, and tend to prefer easy prey. A sentient species would not be easy prey, so they'd be unlikely to be considered food.

Yeah, and they don't compete.

Come to think of it, since Shaokennah prefer small game, and Duenicallo prefer large game, those two species don't compete, either, usually. Kohrihn might be a different story though. There are a few Shaokennah there, but it's mostly Duenicallo up there, since they have fur. (Kohrihn is the northernmost continent, and has lots of hail, snow, and sleet; no ice except in the mountains, though.)

I have recently found out, oddly enough, that there is a subset of Ah'Koi Bahnis who have mutated and are obligate carnivores. This minority group is the last group to be persecuted by the majority of Ah'Koi Bahnis... who don't actually recognize their existence yet.

The herbivorous species would likely be more numerous, as any given area of land can support more herbivores than carnivores. This might very well lead to a power imbalance, however, the carnivores would still have one major resource the herbivores would desire - fertilizer in the form of manure. A farming society would consider the large quantities of manure produced by the carnivores' herds to be a valuable resource, either through direct trade or indirectly through crop rotation and fallow land. A tribe of carnivores and a tribe of herbivores would share a piece of territory, rotating the use of each piece of land between the two.

Indeed.

Of course, if the two evolved in different areas, and the carnivores developed technology before the herbivores, things might be different, in that the carnivores would likely desire to take the herbivores' land for their own herds to graze.

The Duenicallo were still hunter/gatherer types when they came over to Tahl'Bahn and met the Ah'Koi Bahnis. In fact, while they *do* raise animals for meat, they still prefer to hunt.
underlankers
Aug. 18th, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)
The problem is that humans in times past were quite cannibalistic (genes to restrict the ghastly effects of that are in every single ethnic group on the planet)....and they were quite willing to eat the intelligent species of Homo neanderthalensis.

Though that was more of an omnivorous species exterminating a carnivorous one. A better model would be Paranthropus which modern science says was herbivorous and which early Homo was quite willing indeed to eat in a pinch.
underlankers
Aug. 18th, 2009 11:13 am (UTC)
You made me think of a couple of things. First, in the Empire, one of our more progressive laws is to outlaw spaying and neutering, but then we also don't follow the practice of creating inbred pets like Baranin do. It can be interesting, as in the area where a paltry Baranin population resides in Shuhar IV (namely in the tropics, which is where the species evolved), we have a stray population, but it is limited to the tiny section of Shuhar IV that provides biomes for Tamiran life. If it escapes, it chokes on the atmosphere.

And dear God, on Shuhar IV, we have large predators galore. Here on Tamir III the large predators have been more or less eliminated (one big reason for the feral animal problem), but on Shuhar IV they've survived pretty much intact, along with a greater presence of nature (that it takes a long time to evolve into creatures that can live on Shuhar IV if you're from another planet, by which time the native species are already adapted to you, helps that too). We do have a lot of smaller creatures that can kill you too, and also in our oceans gigantic predators which will occasionally be sapient-eaters.

And as far as the Imperial authorities are concerned, Baranin are one of the most social species of Tamir III, and they are more collectivist, even in the USA, than the Xeltrigan ever have been. That my husband can make Hataria work so well is because he's a ruthless bastard who's willing to make examples of people if he feels it's necessary. With Baranin there is coercion in large-scale societies, but much less of it than in the case of Xeltrigan.

Anzaea Roes.
fayanora
Aug. 18th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
First, in the Empire, one of our more progressive laws is to outlaw spaying and neutering, but then we also don't follow the practice of creating inbred pets like Baranin do.

Spaying and neutering is generally done to keep the pet population from exploding, since they don't exactly have self restraint.

If it escapes, it chokes on the atmosphere.

Ah.

And dear God, on Shuhar IV, we have large predators galore. Here on Tamir III the large predators have been more or less eliminated (one big reason for the feral animal problem), but on Shuhar IV they've survived pretty much intact, along with a greater presence of nature (that it takes a long time to evolve into creatures that can live on Shuhar IV if you're from another planet, by which time the native species are already adapted to you, helps that too). We do have a lot of smaller creatures that can kill you too, and also in our oceans gigantic predators which will occasionally be sapient-eaters.

*Nods*
underlankers
Aug. 18th, 2009 11:30 am (UTC)
As I've said, the Baranin cause a lot of the feral animal problem by creating a lot of inbreeding among the animals they control. Shuhar IV, however, is an environment to which the animals of Tamir III without minds cannot adapt to. Given the limitations of the Biomes, the cats and dogs of the Biome-constructions tend to not reproduce as frequently as on Earth, and that's also because food is a bit scarcer even for the Sapients in those.

And the large predators are more or less incapable of eating us, as was the long-term reality on Tamir III, because we use plasma weapons which can incinerate them to bone if they try. And it's less a challenge than a high-powered rifle from a helicopter.

Anzaea Roes.
consortofvenus
Aug. 21st, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
Mm, still love that creative vision of yours and the sense of humour with which you describe it.
fayanora
Aug. 22nd, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
Thanks!

I love putting little comedic moments in the stories themselves, too. Especially in moments of high tension. I think you'd enjoy reading my Traipah novels.

In fact, if you'd like to beta read "100 Year Wait," I'd be glad to send you a copy.
consortofvenus
Aug. 22nd, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
I've read one so far, remember!

I would if I could but my focus is shot right now.
consortofvenus
Aug. 22nd, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
I am buying it when it is published though.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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