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Old August 8 2010, 05:18 AM   #18
Cicero
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Re: Worldbuilding: New member integration in the UFP

Penta wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
5. The educational system more fully melds local knowledge and traditions and customs with Federation knowledge
This sounds more than a little scary. This procedure could eventual lead to a "Federation Clone World." Traditions and customs need to be vehemently non-melded.
Absolutely. Poor choice of words on my part. My intent is that local knowledge is melded with Federation knowledge (for example in the sciences), with Federation knowledge (and just as importantly, access to UFP databases like Memory Alpha - because my God, it'd be a planetwide case of learning too much, too fast, of "Too Much Information" if you just gave out full access in one move!) being introduced first in and through universities, then secondary schools, then primary schools over time, perhaps over generations, so that local knowledge isn't lost and local customs and traditions can hold up.

It would turn the stomachs of many here on TrekBBS, myself included to a point (I like the idea of knowledge being free), but I'd see knowledge being introduced only with the consent of those "in control" such as planetary governmental and religious authorities - not an "all or nothing" thing, but very carefully delineating what can be introduced to a population over time in what areas. I could see most religions, for example, having no problem with knowledge of warp physics or astronomical knowledge...But they might want to hold back on letting knowledge about the Q filter out, while theologians figure out a response. (Yes, I am saying that the Federation would reluctantly assist in censorship. Not because they like it, but because it would be a necessity. The simple fact of the matter is that to unleash everything at once, on principle, would rip most societies apart. Censorship of anything may often be distasteful to "liberalized" minds such as ours, but the Federation has no interest in seeing First Contact (or the introduction of new things after FC) cause revolutions or societal upheavals. That rarely ends well for the planets that undergo them, and, purely self-interestedly, it probably leads the locals to blame the Federation for introducing everything.)

The UFP wants to introduce the new folks to all the wondrous knowledge they have on offer, but they have no interest in the introduction of said knowledge causing societal havoc or the overturning of societal structures. If the knowledge impacts the evolution of the society, okay. But it's okay only while it remains an evolutionary process.
To advocate a different point of view:

Noninterference as Federation principle seems to apply in two ways, both of which relate to cultural evolution. First, it protects the development of immature societies from accelerating influences. Second, it secures the right of peer societies to make their own informed choices about their futures.

The recognition principles by which the Federation operates seem to imply a judgment of maturity operates when communicating with a culture. If a culture is judged mature, it does not seem unreasonable to presume that its citizens are entitled to all information that is normally freely available, to do with as they choose.

That I can recall, we've never seen the Federation withhold information from a culture that it considered equal to its own. It seems to me that withholding knowledge from an equal, or acceding to the censoring desires of its powerful structures is inconsistent with the Federation's philosophies and behavior. If anything, Starfleet captains seem to approach with a certain degree of relish what opportunities they have to challenge societal structures with uncomfortable truths (to be resolved by persons within the affected society).
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