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In the OTU In the Official Traveller Universe. Any milieux that's been published in any edition. Not for discussion of rules except in reference to how they reflect the OTU

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  #11  
Old March 8th, 2016, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan159 View Post
2nd Fundation? the party side of the 2nd Foundation?
As I remember it, there's no such a thing as a party in Azimov's 2nd Fundation.

I stated many of my thoughts about the Zhodani in this thread, so many of my comments here can also be found there.

I compare the Zhodani to it because of the psycological basis of its society. Like in in 2nd Fundation, leaders don't need to talk too much, as they understand themselves without it, with non verbal language and (I guess) thelepathy (so that no one can bug their meetings).

Also like in 2nd Fundation, their care of their citizens is based on aplied psycology to subltly move them where the goverment wants to go, and it's very slowly expanding and defending themselves according to a long set plan. No culture should be incorporated to the COnsulate until it's ready for it, never forcing the pace (though probably accelerating it by psycohistory moves).

But it's also Orwell's 1984 in its intrusism, well accepted by its citizens. There's no place for privacy, that is seen as shyness in the best case. It's expected the government will intervine in any dissention, for the good of the individual himself and the society as a whole.

And it's also like 1984 in the reeducation of its cityzens, though in the Zho case they bring no stigma nor change in status in society, being seen as enduring a curable disease. And it's also different in that the Thought Pólice is seen as care givers in the Zho society (remember the example given in CT:AM4, page 14, where the the prole feels slightty better knowing that someone cares when the Tavrchedl' calls his door (unlike the feeling in 1984 when the THought Pólice called one's door).

And it can also be seen as Houxley's A happy World in that they try to adapt people's wishes to their place in society, instead to the other way. Just conditioning may be quite more effective with the use of psionics.

Of course, that's not to say there's no dissent, or reformist moves. As Roboject says, they exist in all cultures, but, in this case, they are known by the government (through the Tavrchedl' ), and I guess usually allowed to exist as they can bring some good changes and evolution to the society, as long as they are not too radical (in their view).

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Originally Posted by maksimsmelchak View Post
I have always found it ironic that the Zho Consulate is probably the closest the Traveller Universe major races have to a democracy.
In this way it would be a Classical Greek (or Starship Troopers) democracy, where only a small part of the society (citizens in classic Greece, nobles in the Consulate) are allowed to vote.

The main difference is that proles, while not voting, sure have also something to "say", as the voting citizens are well aware of their thoughts and needs, and can modify their actions due to them. I believe that Zho society is also influenced by this way, though no oficial mention to this prole's influence is ever stated, as it's effect is better if they are not aware of it.
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  #12  
Old March 8th, 2016, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Murph View Post
That is a very good point, although with an enhanced knowledge of psychology, could they also not be the most stable of the human races due to psionics? I just re-read Alien 4 from GDW last night and a point is not clear, is it once a noble, always a noble regardless of psionic strength, or do non-psionic nobles get booted to Intendent?
But would they really be stable? The young law breaker who steals, who also maybe does a few drugs, sometimes just reforms on his own, seeing and knowing that there's no future, so he shapes up.

No amount of psychology or psychiatry is going to "patch his software", because that's pretty much a self realization thing. Ergo, in my opinion, you probably have a lot or unrest in Zho space, but the consulate reserves power for the elite, and picks out those who are "Elite material" and gives them power to rule over the rest of the slobs. I'm thinking that creates a lot of resentment. But the psych police are there, so you have to be careful about what you think, which creates even that much more resentment.

Instead of a monarchy you have an oligarchy, but with the exact same powers and power structure as a monarch. And, on top of that, they get to decide what are good thoughts and what are bad thoughts.

What if you want a car (or grav vehicle) like your neighbors? By Zho standards that's a bad thought, and you clearly need re-Neducation ( https://youtu.be/IlgndK1cV_s ). Heaven forbid you have an impure thought about his significant other, or your kids' hottie teacher, because that's also re-Neducation territory.

... this gets me to thinking ... how in the world did they hook up with the Vargr for a military alliance?
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  #13  
Old March 8th, 2016, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
First off, well adjusted is in the eyes of the beholder. Who decides what is 'healthy thought' and what is not? By what criteria?
The original description of the Tavrchedl' and their interventions suggest a light touch.

We have only the PC-biased character generation system to inform us on how many Intendant and Noble class psions a population generates, so it may be that there are never enough Tavrchedl' to go around. The removal of all Lo Pop worlds from Consulate space suggests the same thing; the Zhodani do not assign Tavrchedl' resources to so few people because those resources are scarce and possibly need to be assigned at higher densities as population (and thus psychological friction) increases.

There is going to be two types of unease in most populations. Clear grievances can and should be taken to a local Noble openly. That's what the Nobles are for, after all. Direct information and direct action to quell society's ills.
The Tavrchedl' exist to catch those grievances and stresses that do not, for one reason or other, get brought to the attention of a local Consul.

This is, of course, a "Light Side" interpretation.

A "Dark Side" interpretation is more akin to THX-1138 or Cherryh's Azi, with direct psionic manipulation applied frequently and in response to minor issues or even as a way to change the course of a world or region via directly implanted propaganda.
The problem here is that the psionic mechanics are such that a *much* larger populace of strong telepaths would be required to maintain and run such a system. No single Telepath can wander the streets changing minds (literally) all night and not be brain burnt at a young age; the mechanics simply do not support it. So you would need a lot more Telepaths to either run shorter shifts or to replace the burn outs.
This interpretation being an evil empire, option 2 seems more likely. A passionless and blindly efficient empire would take Option 1 if it could get it.

Such systems are vastly more expensive to run than a Light Side polity, and would probably not last the many thousands of years the Consulate has managed.

Rob's points are valid, though. The Zhodani are culturally unified in a way we can't understand solely because they arose from a monoculture that went through a population bottleneck in *recorded* history. The Plague of Duskir that swept the Vilani after the Interstellar Wars has nothing on the Viepchakl Plague. The result is a much closer to homogenous state. Politics, as they say, is local, and that is where the Zhodani internal variations are going to arise. Centuries or millennia on a world far from Zhdant will make that world's issues far more important to its populace than the issues of Zhdant. Sometimes the solutions to such issues are purely economic, and sometimes they become so overwhelming that the Consuls and Tavrchedl' of that world can't stop them, or are even part of them. Not all Unabsorbed Worlds in the Consulate are old problems...
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  #14  
Old March 8th, 2016, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
how in the world did they hook up with the Vargr for a military alliance?
By stabilizing dynasties in exchange, and trying never to give away that the Vargr are only pawns.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 02:08 PM
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Zhodani: Gestalts

Once a week, all Zhodani psychically link together, and harmonize their thought processes. One member of these regional gestalts then travel to a capital annually, and syncs his thought with an ubergestalt.

Every Olympiad, a representative of every ubergestalt travels to the capital planet, and syncs his thoughts with the presiding Fuhrungsgestalt.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 02:23 PM
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When the Zhodani were introduced they were the 'bad guys'.
Or rather they were the 'bad guys' of pro-Imperial propaganda.

The Imperium - a state that does nothing for its members; the Imperium - that locks away political dissenters without trial; the Imperium - that ships criminals in cold sleep to colony worlds on the frontier to provide labour (but not slavery, no never slavery); the Imperium - that turns a blind eye to rampant exploitation of people and resources; the Imperium - the original 'bad guys' for PCs rebel against.

I see the Zhodani as a much more enlightened, benevolent and 'good' polity; the Imperium as the aggressive, expansionist, power hungry state.

Imperial justice - let's execute the criminal.
Zhodani justice - let's treat the criminal and return them to society.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Imperial justice - let's execute the criminal.
Zhodani justice - let's treat the criminal and return them to society.
Where "treat" could mean "the punishment never ends".
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  #18  
Old March 8th, 2016, 04:37 PM
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Where "treat" could mean "the punishment never ends".
I hear echoes of Greek Mythology... Remember a guy named Sisyphus?

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Old March 8th, 2016, 05:01 PM
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The caste system is what irks me about the Zhos. Otherwise, a society where mental health issues are treated early and not stigmatized as in some cultures (*cough*) is pretty appealing.

Of course, the Imps have their hereditary nobility as well so the 3I is hardly superior in that regard. The same spin could apply to justifying both, and at least for the Zhos it's an objective meritocracy.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McPerth View Post
In this way it would be a Classical Greek (or Starship Troopers) democracy, where only a small part of the society (citizens in classic Greece, nobles in the Consulate) are allowed to vote.
Not so sure. Sounds more like a democratic republic. the proles vote in the general election, but day to day business is handled by congressmen and senators... Umm, I mean consuls.

Voting by middlemen, the republicanism way since time immemorial.

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Originally Posted by McPerth View Post
The main difference is that proles, while not voting, sure have also something to "say", as the voting citizens are well aware of their thoughts and needs, and can modify their actions due to them. I believe that Zho society is also influenced by this way, though no oficial mention to this prole's influence is ever stated, as it's effect is better if they are not aware of it.
Hmmm...

They do have those city councils of 10,000 folks if I recall correctly.

There would be one heck of a lot of city consuls on a mega-populated planet of a few billion... Boggles the mind.

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