Are monocultures actually the rule?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Shik, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I concur that a human monoculture is unlikely for a long time. Another question that I neglected to mention is whether extraterrestrials would perceive us as having a monoculture by their standards.

    Well, the problems of humans being unable to recognize aliens ("The Devil in the Dark" and "Home Soil") and of aliens being unable to recognize people (The Motion Picture) have both been treated in Star Trek. Having difficulty communicating with aliens has also been treated ("Darmok").

    I think that we shouldn't be surprised if real extraterrestrials end up being far more alien than we're accustomed to seeing in science fiction films and TV. With no examples to point to, I think it's not inconceivable that we might have trouble establishing a common frame of reference, even with aliens who evolved in their habitats similarly to how we evolved in ours.

    What I'm getting at is that the problem of aliens existing in ways that we can't even imagine might well extend to aliens who evolved also.

    Even for aliens who we could recognize, and who could recognize us, communication could be practically impossible for cultural or even instinctual reasons. For example, if they were predisposed to regard us something that they must eradicate, it might be impossible to carry on conversations with them of any kind, even though their science might be based on principles similar to ours and even though we could recognize each other.
     
  2. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    Oh,we do. It's been all but wiped out, but there's still traces.
     
  3. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    They wouldn't be looking at out clothes, hair, or any of that. Those are little local regional subcultural differences. They'd look at how we conduct our lives and the operating forces behind them. Looking at it that way, we HAVE a global monoculture.

    Every day, no matter where you live--NYC, Jakarta, Buenos Aires, Mogadishu, Nuuk, Astana--people live in exactly the same way. They all get up, go to a designated job, toil hard and for long hours to get a symbol, take that symbol and exchange it for food. Everywhere. WITHOUT FAIL. The food is locked up everywhere, thus causing the control.

    Oh, sure, there are people who refuse to live that way, but they're weird. They're not us. We've wiped out all but a tiny fraction of a percentage of them through disease, conquering, assimilation...but in some remote area, they still endure. And they have much to reteach us.
     
  4. Wadjda

    Wadjda Commander Red Shirt

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    I wish Voyager woulld has spent an entire season stranded on planet and it would had explored multiple cultures.
     
  5. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    Shik, I get the impression you're trying to use fictional references to support a view you've already decided on despite any basis in fact.

    I was under the impression we were gonna discuss some shit about human cultural development and how it applies to our imagination regarding how we might interact with alien cultures (which I assume we both believe exist despite any truth). So I'll bow out of the thread, good luck with the diatribe.
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think it's so much a case of monoculture as it is unified cultures. I think various planets still have many different belief systems, but their unity may come from the elimination of extremist views (the need to hate, if not eliminate, others). By the time of Trek, you can still have people who disagree with one another's culture but can look beyond their differences and work together (regardless if they are Human or Vulcan, gay or straight, black or white, etc.).
     
  7. FreedPhotons

    FreedPhotons Ensign Red Shirt

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    1/ you don't know what they would be looking at in real life. They might not even be able to "look" anyway.

    2/ This thread was about the likeliness of Monocultures as they're seen in Star Trek: many planets, especially if we accept that somehow they're inhabited by humanoids who look and function pretty much like humans, have unlikely monocultures. Everyone looks the same, dresses the same, has the same culture, view on life, etc.

    If you look on Earth, you have cultures that are so different we already have trouble understanding each other. Indians see time as a circle, a cycle, instead of a chronological line as Westerners do. Some cultures believe in reincarnation while others believe in a all-or-nothing life after death. A Swedish woman working in advertising in Stockholm has a life, ideas, views and looks that are radically different from that of a poor male farmer in Kazakhstan, are they not? Yet in "planets of hats", everybody seems to look exactly the same, do the same things, believe in the same things, dress the same way and seem pretty much interchangeable.

    Any way, If we imagine a human-like humanoid culture, I do find many of ST monocultures improbable yes. And it's not like ST writers sat down and tried to imagine a monoculture - it's purely out of lack of time and budget to imagine and portray realistically diverse societies.
     
  8. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    My viewpoint is that those as subvariants of a larger culture, like how some people talk about the Avenger variants of the Miranda-class & such. At any rate, we feel that they're improbable...because we look at ourselves with such difference. But when we look at ourselves with similarities, a very real case can be made for them actually being the norm.

    Not diatribing, believe me; if I were, you'd know. Putting aside the "basis in fact" part (which would start a diatribe), yes, this is my viewpoint that I've based much of my life on; see supra. That doesn't automatically negate the question, though. From what I've seen, I appear to be the only person who thinks that my premise is possible based on what I have learned & experienced. (again, see supra) What I'm asking people to do is to put aside what they know or think they know, & turn it around. LOOK at it. Yes, what I personally hold to be true is controversial on a multitude of levels, but that doesn't make it invalid because it's been tested out. That's the foundation for the idea.

    Now don't go thinking I'm saying all this out of spite; I'm simply explaining. When you thought we were "gonna discuss some shit about human cultural development", so did I, & we have...but what I'm seeing is a very narrow, limited, "corporate line" view; everyone's starting around telling Khaleesi "it is known." Maybe things don't really go the way we think they do.
     
  9. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    I do apologize for that response, I was waiting for a reason to apologize, I guess. I was transferring a little RL frustration on to the anonymity of the internet. We're all guilty of that on occasion. Please, carry on.