You Get a Fantasy Nation! Are you SURE Advancing Technology is best?

FAN: Discuss various fictional worlds that don't qualify for SF.

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The Romulan Republic
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Re: You Get a Fantasy Nation! Are you SURE Advancing Technology is best?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-29 06:09pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-08-29 05:55pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-29 04:31pm

I'm not sure how a Discworld-style geography would affect certain scientific realities on which technological progress is largely based, though.
No reason to assume it will. Stuff works on the Disc largely as it does on Roundworld, because the basic physical laws are, quite literally, magically the same. Other than things like the speed of light, but presumably the substance of 'light' in the Disc is a different animal than, for example, visual light, otherwise the 'Moving Pictures' films wouldn't have worked. I don't think electricity would be a great issue on the Disc either, as Igors make use of it IIRC, and lightning does exist there.
Longer-term, I wonder how differences in the gravitational field might effect spaceflight, but that's a long way off (side note: look into magical sources of immortality).
Being the power behind the throne is certainly a little safer than being on the throne itself. It also has the advantage of being approachable; it's easier to speak to the Hand of the King than it is the King himself, for example. Perhaps not for commoners (though one could set up a day or a week of the month when petitioners might present their case), but certainly nobility could approach and be approached with greater ease than the King/Queen.
Indeed. And the notion of setting up a regular time when commoners can submit a petition is an excellent idea.
The tech setting is also helpful; it's a lot easier to go to Modern, or Enlightenment/Early Modern anyway, from Renaissance than it is from Dark Ages or Roman or even Hyborian Age. The Renaissance era is right on the brink of a number of significant discoveries and should already have made a few of its own; the main thing to do is give it a few nudges in the right direction and bring the right ideas together. Movable type, as noted, should be a splendid help; widespread literacy will do a LOT for uplifting people.
Modern standards of hygiene, the basics of the scientific method, and the printing press seem the main things to get the ball rolling on tech, yeah.
Renaissance era, politically, is seeing a shift from feudalism (a lot of small lordlings, with absolute control over the people in their realm) to a more conventional centralized monarchy, where you still have a lot of nobles, but they're more beholden to the Crown, and the people are subjects of the Crown rather than their feudal lord (more or less, will vary, the Germans for example maintained a lot of feudal institutions for a long time). As such it should be easier for the King to tell the nobles what to do, rather than having to pander to them. Of course you have to temper this with a bit of wisdom, you can't be pushing them around too much...
As much as I deplore hereditary or absolute monarchy as a system of government, its potentially preferable to a bunch of warring feudal lords (certainly I feel this way about Danny and her dragons vs. the status quo in Game of Thrones, for example). And it certainly gives me more leverage, if I have the ear of the monarch. It would be better if I can avoid the whole "divine right of kings" crap though, and move towards a more parliamentary system. My idea is to try to set up a Bill of Rights, perhaps initially for nobles (who may feel that their position is threatened by the aforementioned changes) but then expanding at least some of it to the commoners (including the right to petition the Crown, as noted above), then eventually set up a Senate (perhaps growing out of an expanded Royal Council of nobles and prominent/wealthy commoners), but perhaps retaining a Royal Veto.

This is pretty much me copying my "Reform Westeros" plan, though, at least in broad strokes.
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Re: You Get a Fantasy Nation! Are you SURE Advancing Technology is best?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-30 06:37pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-29 06:09pm
Modern standards of hygiene, the basics of the scientific method, and the printing press seem the main things to get the ball rolling on tech, yeah.
The trick is getting TO those things.

Printing press honestly isn't that hard. Show people the basic concept of wood-blocks if they don't have it already, and then be all 'but think about it, what if each letter was separate, and you could make ALL the words... and then rearrange them to make different words'. Take advantage of the utility of the press to give out a lot of free books-- there was actual debate back in the day IRL that the press would put professional scribes out of business, so the thing to do is show them how much better it is that you can publish so many books so quickly.

Modern hygiene has two primary issues to overcome: public education and logistics. People have to be made aware, on a very wide scale, of the benefits of hygiene, and it's difficult to prove this stuff on short notice. You can make a few basic demonstrations though, have models built and what not. Remember, low literacy-- visual aids are important. Take the London cholera problems, for example-- why not make a cut-away model showing how bacteria goes from sewage to water supply? That kind of thing. Once public awareness is up, that's where the logistics come in-- you have to have money to pay for the supplies and the working men and women to build sewer systems, to improve any existing sanitation models, and so forth. Are you going to be able to set up plumbing? Will you be able to make the plumbing to start with? And so forth. Those are two major separate problems which need to be resolved, and you're going to have to do some considerable planning ahead in order to establish what you need in the proper order.

Scientific method is also difficult as it's a mindset, not something tangible like a big chunk of sewer. It's something that has to be taught and established, and that's tricky when you don't have schools. Perhaps have a conclave of scientists/wizards/engineers and walk them through the concept of hypothesize, test, confirm, and independently verify. Maintain the idea by regular publications, perhaps some kind of bi-annual or quarterly journal.
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