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Measuring societal development

science fiction analysis xenosociology speculation

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#21 FarscapeOne

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 04:03 PM

Wouldn't the Systems Commonwealth be an example of Type-13?  Or are they the next step, since the spanned three galaxies?

#22 Cybersnark

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 06:19 AM

View Postgsmonks, on 05 November 2015 - 09:31 AM, said:

Language itself is problematic. That other life forms would or could speak is a purely anthropomorphic idea.

There are umpteen methods life-forms use to communicate. in our case, we vocalised long before the evolution of language.
"Language" doesn't have to mean verbal communication. Language is anything that can convey information, including pheromones, chromatic displays, or psychic influences. The only thing that changes is the amount of information.

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For example, if we had had an atmosphere and biosphere that was highly electrostatic plus extremely low light, it would have favoured the evolution of creatures with electromagnetic senses that would allow them to "see" in conditions where there was no light at all. Colour would be irrelevant to them. They would develop something very different from anything we would consider to be literacy.
Though magnetic charges could probably be made to stand in for colour and luminosity differences. There's also sound (imagine artificial echo chambers, designed to alter neutral tones into a soundscape that tells a story) and touch.

In fiction, there's Rot Lop Fan, who has no concept of a "lantern," nor of the colour "green," yet became the universe's first F-Sharp Bell. Or the Aganof, who are blind and deaf, and communicate via vibrations and scent.

For that matter, what we call literacy is a fairly recent innovation for us; for most of human history, many of us got along reasonably well without needing to read or write. Not to mention that even now, many of us can't see, hear, speak, or move easily, and manage to lead fulfilling lives.

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Clothing is something we take for granted, but it would probably be alien to species living on temperate worlds.
Unless that species wants to ornament itself, or protect itself from physical damage, or simply cover up taboo body parts.

And I doubt a completely temperate planet is possible. Planets are large --even a desert like Mars has multiple different environments.

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We developed politics, religion, philosophy, sociology, cultural anthropology, because we are primates having certain set patterns of behaviour. Non-primates undoubtedly would not develop such disciplines.
Primates are not the only social life-forms on this planet; dolphins and ants have complex societies, complete with primitive technology. Politics and religion are just forms of social management, and philosophy and sociology come from the same scientific drive that leads to tool-use. All of these are survival skills, which suggests that they would turn up time and time again.

View PostFarscapeOne, on 05 November 2015 - 04:03 PM, said:

Wouldn't the Systems Commonwealth be an example of Type-13?  Or are they the next step, since the spanned three galaxies?
You've got it right; the Commonwealth would fit as a Type-14 civilization, though in many ways, its technology seems far more primitive than one would expect. Curiously, what we see of Vedran technology seems to be right around where a Type-14 civilization should be (the Seefra system and its tesseract-based portal network, the Route of Ages, the ability to cut Tarn Vedra off from the slipstream, yet still get around at FTL speeds, Uxulta's super-speed/teleportation).

I've developed the head-canon that the Vedrans were deliberately suppressing technological development among the rest of the Commonwealth and rewriting any history that didn't fit their narrative of Vedran superiority (we're told the Kalderans developed slipstream only after reverse-engineering Vedran tech --so how did this sublight-restricted race become a galactic superpower capable of fighting a war with the Vedran Empire?). Note how quickly they ran and hid once they realized that they were up against another Type-14 civilization (the Magog/Abyss).

(Trance would be from an even higher tier; her people span multiple universes.)

#

TYPE 14 (Intergalactic)
Footprint: Multiple galaxies (local group).

Sustainable Population: Ten quadrillions.

Government: Representative parliament. Synodic or Synaptic hive mind.

Bureaucracy: Divided into distinct sub-societies, usually more immediately influential than the overarching government.

Language: Technological translation is standard; all citizens essentially speak the same language.

Literacy: Universal.

Network: Universally accessible and instantaneous within galaxies. Government may have its own separate network for official communication, with a simpler network for civilian use. Possibly, the government-use network may be the only network (with all members of the species serving in the government to some extent).

Religion: Self-referential; more concerned with personal ethics than an external deity. Any god-like beings are recognized as beings from a higher-tier civilization (as opposed to anything "supernatural"). Mythology may be dismissed as primitive superstition, and spirituality as a "mechanical" process.

Science: Practical time-travel methods are being developed. Biological augmentation is universal (and may go unremarked, described as "evolution"). Creation of synthetic life is incidental (these beings may be considered fully alive, but still lesser than their creators), and entirely new species may be created and "seeded." Devices such as teleporters, holographic generators, energy weapons, ansibles, and life-support suits may now be wearable or even implanted. Spatial engineering is commonplace, with structures built into planetary cores and planets shifted in and out of subspace. Exodimensional engineering is being developed, allowing the creation of tesseracts and mass-shifting technologies, including size-changing mecha and equipment.

Medicine: Technology allows for functional immortality (either through physical maintenance, regeneration, or re-embodiment). Members of this society will almost never die of natural causes. Reproduction may be completely industrial, with all children reproduced in vitro as new populations are needed.

Education: Universal and standardized, likely relying on implanted engram databases.

Energy: Zero-point extraction and wireless transmission mean that infinite energy reserves are universally available.

Industry: Universal nano-scale replication. Physical fabricators replaced by portable pre-programmed nanite colonies. Large-scale industry can now by controlled by individual craftsmen (with an entire self-made factory world at their personal disposal).

Military: Essentially a sub-civilization with a distinct society. Star-destroying weapons are readily available, as are bio-weapons genetically targeted to specific populations.

Economy: Fully post-scarcity; all material resources are readily available.

Food: Bioaugmentation means that some citizens may no longer need to eat at all, while others may be incapable of eating non-synthesized foods. Other life-forms may be capable of eating anything, relying on internal nanite colonies to break down any matter into usable fuel.

Travel: Personal long-range teleporters are commonplace, as are wormholes for interstellar travel. Short-range travel may be via built-in teleporters, or neural transfer between avatars.

Spaceflight: Gradually being replaced by teleportation or wormhole travel. Starships are mainly rescue vessels, siege platforms, or mobile habitats, though they may still be necessary for intergalactic journeys. Even single-pilot craft will have advanced FTL capabilities.

Alien contact: Unlikely. These societies tend to be reclusive; the problems that they face can rarely be dealt with by more primitive societies, so they have little reason to seek out interaction. More likely they will be found first by their artifacts and cast-off technology. If encountered directly, their response will range from polite indifference to a warning to leave the area immediately. Lower-tier civilizations may worship this society as gods.

Examples (reality):
Examples (fiction): Stargate's Asgard, Stargate's Ancients had barely reached this level when their civilization collapsed (due to the Alteran/Ori civil war), Taelons, Vedran Empire/Systems Commonwealth, Magog, Tyranids, Babylon 5's Firstborn, Caeliar (accidentally).

Notes: At this level, these societies may be actively interfering in the development of lower-tier societies to avoid competition.

Technology is now leveling the playing field, making it more difficult for the government to maintain control over private citizens. In the absence of a strong centralized leadership (enforced via military might or social doctrine), this society may fracture into stagnation, with various bureaucratic and social bodies taking the place of self-contained nation-states. Social order will become a matter of tradition rather than actual leadership (thanks to the cultural mores established as a Type-13 society); the government still exists, but it doesn't actually do any governing.

Societies of this size seem to approach a population bottleneck, in which the birth rate drops to almost zero while lifespans extend indefinitely. At this level, an entire civilization may consist of only a handful of individuals (or the civilization is so spread out that they rarely see more than one or two of each other). Members of this type of society may also be approaching "Ascension," a transition away from physical life into a "higher" state of existence.
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#23 Cybersnark

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 06:31 AM

A Type-15 civilization spans most of the known universe, and can break the laws of physics at will --this is where we encounter Daleks and Time Lords.

TYPE 15 (Universal)
Footprint: Multiple galaxies (possibly spanning observable universe).

Sustainable Population: Hundred quadrillions

Government: Libertarian democracy. Central political authority has little influence; technology means that the government isn't powerful enough to enforce direct control (unless that control can be "built in" to the species on a physical level).

Bureaucracy: Distinct sub-societies, with complex interrelations. May be indistinguishable from lower-tier civilizations.

Language: Universal translator in use.

Literacy: Universal.

Network: Universally accessible, instantaneous. Fully-immersive telepresence may be possible (with people "appearing" when they wish to talk to someone, then vanishing). Loss of network access is an emergency to be investigated in force (since it can't possibly fail naturally, which means someone is actively jamming it).

Religion: Organized spirituality and traditional ethical codes. Theism has been replaced with self-reverence or Ancient-worship ("spirits" will replace "gods"). Spirituality and magic are nothing more than well-decorated science and technology, and claims of godhood are either dismissed or accepted as routine (it's possible to become a god).

Science: Required technologies will be either micronized, implanted, or bioengineered. "Real" and "artificial" life will be indistinguishable. Bioengineering allows for the creation of entirely new species ex nihilo. Interdimensional travel is being studied (and may be available to select factions), and working time machines may be available. Technology may allow these beings to manipulate the fabric of reality using tesseracts and extra-dimensional engineering. Multidimensional construction is now possible; machines and mecha may now include non-contiguous parts (part of the structure extends into dimensions not normally perceptible).

Medicine: Members of this society will be effectively immortal and unkillable (able to regenerate from single cells with no external assistance). The only way for them to end is through deliberate and concerted effort (imprisoning them in stasis, then destroying them cell-by-cell while they're still paralyzed). In many cases, "permanent" stasis is more practical than death, even for criminals (who will be "sealed away" rather than executed or imprisoned).

Education: Universal. Engrammatic implants are standard.

Energy: Infinite energy is available, possibly channeled through relays (smashing a relay is as effective as destroying a generator).

Industry: Mass-production no longer exists. Personal replication via nano-swarms handles most material creation. Craftsmen routinely produce one-of-a-kind artifacts far beyond the capabilities of lesser civilizations.

Military: May be the only unified culture remaining. Weapons exist that are capable of functioning on both intergalactic and submicroscopic levels --judiciously deleting entire species from existence. Soldiers may operate individually, rather than as organized units; a single soldier is the equivalent of an entire army.

Economy: Nonexistent. Rare objects and resources will be sought out by individuals seeking influence, but there will be no organized mining, farming, or trading taking place. Physical wealth no longer has meaning.

Food: May be unnecessary for sustenance, used only as recreation or a display of status.

Travel: All citizens have full access to intergalactic travel (via ship, teleportation, wormhole, or telepresence). Point-to-point teleportation is routine.

Spaceflight: Technology now allows for unassisted "shirt-sleeve" spaceflight as needed (pressurization, life-support, communications, radiation shielding, etc are all handled by wearable or built-in tech), possibly including FTL. Large starships are now essentially mobile space-stations (spacegoing palaces, fortresses, or cities). Smaller ships may be necessary for particularly long-range intergalactic travel.

Alien contact: Unnoted. The prevalence and ease of physical modification at this level means that identifying individuals by species is useless. To lower-tier societies, a Type 15 society may register simply as singular supernatural beings rather than as a civilization.

Examples (reality):
Examples (fiction): Green Lantern Corps, Daleks, Time Lords(*), Padishah Empire, Precursors (speculative, based on technology), Commonwealth (Jupiter Ascending), Mumm-Ra's people.

Notes: To this society, entire galaxies may be considered property, with particular groups or individuals claiming stewardship (or even outright ownership) of worlds that are entirely unaware of them.

These societies tend to be concerned with matters of doctrine or moral authority; they may cast themselves as the Protectors (the Green Lanterns), Stewards (the Precursors), or Rulers (Mumm-Ra) of lesser civilizations, and direct their energies primarily toward this mandate.

Despite (or perhaps because of) their massive technological power, wars between these civilizations can be truly apocalyptic, often resulting in the extermination of the society in question (and its ensuing regression into lower-tier civilizations), or even the destruction of the universe itself.

(* We've seen that the TARDIS can travel to other universes, but the Doctor goes to great lengths to avoid it. It seems to be a Time Lord law --one powerful or culturally-ingrained enough for even the Doctor to respect.)
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#24 Cybersnark

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 06:15 AM

Here's where I borrow a concept from Transformers; that universes grow (tree-like) in "multiversal streams," with different streams representing different franchises --so the Star Trek Prime, Abramsverse, and Mirror universes would be part of the "Star Trek stream," while the Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and Transformers clusters would be more remote. Travel within one stream is (relatively) easy, while reaching an entirely different cluster is far more difficult.

This is also where Trance Gemini would fit (she shapes the Andromeda universe by trimming alternate universal streams like branches from a bonsai).

TYPE 16 (Interdimensional)
Footprint: Multiple universes (within the same multiversal stream).

Sustainable Population: Quintillions.

Government: Centralized around a god-monarch, who serves as a figurehead, directing the (otherwise entirely independent) population. Total democracy. Synodic hive-mind.

Bureaucracy: Hidebound and pervasive at all levels; the bureaucrats may be the true rulers of this society (with the bureaucracy itself essentially serving as an impersonal god-king).

Language: Universal translation.

Literacy: Universal.

Network: Universally-accessible via higher-dimensional spaces; no relays necessary.

Religion: Bureaucratized; may be unified with the government in an attempt to maintain social order, with the monarch considered (or even being) an incarnate deity.

Science: Interdimensional travel and scanning are available from specialized facilities. Time travel is available, but controlled. All citizens are heavily augmented to the point of unrecognizability (species designations will become useless), and actual superpowers may be standard. Mecha will likely have built-in reality-warping powers, and may actually be distinct self-actualized individuals. Tesseract and mass-shifting technology are ubiquitous.

Medicine: Disease and debilitating injuries are all but unheard of, and require the intervention of similar-tier technology (both to inflict and to repair).

Education: Universal, using implanted databases. As these societies may be entirely nonreproductive, childhood education ceases to be an issue.

Energy: Infinite and universally available.

Industry: Personal replication as needed, using carriable or "summonable" nanites. No mass-production facilities. Craftsmen and artisans may be a distinct class (as with Asgard's Dwarves).

Military: None. Individual soldiers operate independently with minimal oversight, and may qualify as literal living weapons. Weapons capable of rewriting or destroying universes and warping reality are likely. To limit destructive potential, this society might "deputize" lower-tier individuals, using them as local agents within particular universes or galaxies.

Economy: None. Among their servants, this society might default to an information economy, offering knowledge in exchange for service (or harvesting rare data in exchange for reality-warping energy).

Food: For pleasure only; no physical sustenance required for survival.

Travel: Point-to-point teleportation is readily available, and some individuals may carry built-in teleporters. Some individuals may not even need transportation, but can simply occupy multiple locations simultaneously. Specialized facilities can provide intergalactic or even interuniversal travel. Time machines are a controlled technology.

Spaceflight: No organized space program; most citizens have immediate access to intergalactic craft, if they should need it.

Alien contact: Misleading. These societies will generally be undetectable to other lower-tier civilizations, showing up only as rare individuals with "supernatural" powers.

Examples (reality):
Examples (fiction): Prophets, Ori, Monitors(*), New Gods, Farscape's Ancients, Data Integration Thought Entity, Trance's people, Asgard (MCU).

Notes: Given their disconnection from any one universe, these societies generally adopt a "hands-off" policy regarding younger races, and are concerned only with matters of multiversal integrity, or with their own internal conflicts.

(* Given that their entire species consists of 52 individuals, created at the dawn of time, and restrained by the Source Wall, it is possible that the Monitors themselves are artificial constructs, created by the Overmonitor and not aware of the exterior omniverse. In this case, the Source Wall may be the edge of a cosmic "petri dish," while the Overmonitor observes a single multiversal stream in isolation.)
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#25 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 09:47 AM

What about the Q-Continuum?  Are they type 15 or 16? :)

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Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 26 November 2015 - 09:52 AM.

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#26 Cybersnark

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 06:29 AM

I'd place Q here, in Type-17. Unlike most of my Type-16 exemplars, the Q Continuum don't seem to use any external technology/artifacts at all, and seem to spend most of their time "outside" of any particular universe (as opposed to living within a particular remote universe).

I also subscribe semi-seriously to the fan-theory that Q and MLP's Discord are the same entity (which would mean that this entity has been sighted in two unconnected multiverses); not only are they the same archetype (Q could certainly be described as a god of chaos) played by the same actor, but Discord also parallels Q's arc from dangerous antagonist to That Annoying Friend.

TYPE 17 (Gods)
Footprint: Multiple multiversal clusters.

Sustainable Population: Hundred quintillions; possibly infinite.

Government: Anarchic democracy.

Bureaucracy: Self-referential; processes continue even with no one in charge.

Language: Universal translation.

Literacy: Universal.

Network: Fully-accessible at all points in spacetime.

Religion: Bureaucracy. No external deities, but there is (apparently) someone in charge.

Science: Full interdimensional and temporal travel, as well as complex reality-alteration. Citizens are "evolved" to integrate all tech as natural abilities --no external technology is necessary. All citizens are fully immortal.

Medicine: Citizens have no experience with sickness or injury, though loss of energy (or connection to the network) may involve similar symptoms.

Education: Universal, implanted.

Energy: Infinite.

Industry: None.

Military: None. Lower-tier life-forms may be deputized as needed.

Economy: None.

Food: Unnecessary.

Travel: All citizens are capable of instantaneous teleportation to any point in spacetime.

Spaceflight: None. No starships are necessary.

Alien contact: Rare. These individuals are essentially gods, and will likely interact with lower races only for their own amusement or experimentation.

Examples (reality):
Examples (fiction): Q Continuum, Travelers, Supernatural's Angels, Alternity, Primus & Unicron.

Notes: These beings will spend most of their time outside any particular universe; in some cases (Unicron), they feed on universes themselves --the only source of enough energy to sustain them.

Edited by Cybersnark, 03 December 2015 - 06:30 AM.

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#27 FarscapeOne

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:17 AM

What about the pagan gods on SUPERNATURAL, or the Organians from STAR TREK?

#28 gsmonks

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 11:57 AM

Most of the aforementioned are primates, and primates have a certain type of mentality, psychology, physiology, etc.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but primates exist only on Earth.
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#29 Cybersnark

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 08:01 PM

I'd say the Organians fit into Type-15 or even Type-14 (nothing they do seems to violate physics the way the Q do), with a few oddly anachronistic quirks. They seem mainly concerned with one relatively tiny area around their homeworld; in ENT, we see that they're aware of Cardassians, and some of Marvel's old DS9 comics established that they were known in the Gamma Quadrant. We don't know if they're extragalactic or even interdimensional (though it's possible they are and just haven't bothered to tell anyone).

It's possible that what we've identified as their homeworld might actually be just a minor colony of an intergalactic society, or that early encounters with the Q might have convinced them to bar the proverbial doors and windows and stay inside (evolving themselves rather than ranging outward). Come to that, their demonstrated powers all seem like things that could be easily accomplished with "conventional" tech and some ingenuity --it's possible that they're not "non-corporeal" so much as they've all uploaded their brains into a subterranean supercomputer and are living in their own Matrix. The LARP they've set up on the surface is just to hide the server farms.

Oh, God, they're an entire race of RPG gamers, aren't they?

The Pagan Gods, OTOH, are far less developed (Sam Winchester's definition of "invincible" is. . . conservative). They're really just an absurdly powerful Type-5 society (on the rare occasions they can even work together). While they do have the powerful "magic" of a Type-16 society, they are absolutely limited (needing worship and/or blood in order to survive) and mortal (even at their height, they were not strictly unkillable), and barely even qualify as incorporeal (in fact, bodily integrity seems extremely important). They've given no evidence of interuniversal or even interplanetary travel (compare with Angels, who can jump between Earth, Hell, and Heaven relatively easily, or Death who has verbally confirmed the presence of other habitable planets, and was willing to take Dean there before the brothers ruined literally Everything).

We know that Supernatural Earth is "hackable" (via the Tablets) --it's likely that many of the pagan gods and monsters are created life-forms entirely native to that one inexplicably important planet, artificially engineered (by God or the archangels) to operate at different levels.

(One of the reasons I wanted the show to go "full Lovecraft" is that it would avoid the geocentric idea of Earth the USA being the entire universe [when anyone with a telescope or access to NASA's image library can see that that's not the case].)

Edited by Cybersnark, 10 December 2015 - 08:03 PM.

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#30 Cybersnark

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 03:05 PM

To further test out this system, I took an in-depth look at several societies over larger time-scales, to see how they advanced/regressed up and down the scale.

(I wanted to do this before The Force Awakens came out, but then my schedule went crazy.)

CASE STUDY: the Galaxy Far, Far Away (based on the "Expanded Universe" universal stream, given that the "New Canon" stream is nowhere near as comprehensively charted, and likely never will be.)

The first civilization of note in the Star Wars galaxy was the Celestials, who are known mainly through their acts of spatial engineering; they created the Corellian system (by moving multiple habitable planets around a single star), the Maw Cluster (by dragging multiple black holes into a "cage"), and the Kathol Rift (through the accidental explosion of one of their artifacts), and possibly the Great Hyperspace Barrier (a hyperspace distortion that divides the inhabited galaxy from the Unknown Regions). They were greatly attuned to the Force, and seem to have eventually evolved into beings of pure Force energy. Most notably, the Celestials are credited with inventing hyperdrive technology (presumably after developing slower FTL technologies, which are now lost). As a galaxy-spanning society capable of manipulating subspace, the Celestials easily qualify as Type-13.

(I would also speculate that the Celestials created the midichlorians --given that midichlorians are found in multiple unrelated [and biochemically incompatible] species, they seem to be artificial, and few but the Celestials would have known how to produce such a thing. Given that Celestial technology relied on the Force, the midichlorians may have been intended as a user interface.)

The Celestials are said to have had servants, in the form of the Killiks, Kwa, Gree, and Rakata, though I would again speculate that these "client races" may in fact have been members of the Type-13 Celestial "nation" (with the Celestials perhaps not being a distinct species at all). Notably, the Killiks claim to have been the builders of Centerpoint station (and its sisters), which accomplished the Celestials' feats of spatial engineering.

The Kwa, Gree, and Celestials all had access to wormhole travel (the Kwa used "Infinity gates," the Gree used "Hypergates," and it was a spacegoing "launch gate" that exploded to create the Kathol Rift). The Gree and Kwa seem to have developed this technology independently, and have a history of mutual antagonism both before and after the Celestial era. The Rakata, notably, did not have access to wormhole travel, and were restricted to a single planet when the Kwa encountered them (suggesting that they were Type-8 at best --probably far lower, given their culture of aggression, suggesting that they were in the midst of an age of conquest). The Killiks (having spread to multiple systems) had apparently reached as high as Type-10 even before being "conscripted" by the Celestials.

The Columi and Sharu do not appear to have been part of this alliance, and the presence of the Celestials apparently intimidated both species into deliberate regression: the Columi claim to have charted the galaxy (making them Type-13) before "choosing" to withdraw to their home system (a Type-9), and the Sharu seemingly reached from the Outer Rim into the Core (a Type-12 power, at least) before drawing the attention of "something," that compelled them to return to their homeworld and deliberately lobotomize themselves into Type-3 (neolithic) tribes.

Whatever the exact chain of events, the Rakata (using technology powered by the Dark Side of the Force --possibly having "hacked" the midichlorians) overthrew the Celestials and forced the Kwa and Gree into retreat (effectively reducing them both to Type-10 or 11). The Kwa eventually regressed further to Type-8, completely abandoning interstellar travel, and eventually even to Type-1, becoming nothing more than semi-sapient animals. The Gree persisted as Type-10s, though their more advanced technology was eventually completely lost to them, leaving only a handful of systems in their control. As the Celestials' reign was ending, the Killiks were (forcibly) relocated in the form of the Colony (a nomadic type-11 civilization), which then fractured into several isolated "Nests," ranging from Type-6 to Type-9.

The Rakata formed the Infinite Empire; a Type-13 civilization (albeit a sparse one, with only 500 worlds, owing to the Rakata's Force-sensing navigation system). Rakatan technology includes the Star Forge (an automated factory-world), advanced terraforming (as evidenced on Kashyyyk), energy-manipulation (the first lightsabers), bioengineering, advanced holography, engram imprinting ("copying" living people into AIs and overwriting living subjects), and orbital-range teleportation --all consistent with what a Type-13 society would be capable of. The (botched) Kashyyyk terraforming was intended to turn the planet into an agricultural world, reflecting a Type-13 reliance on single-industry planets.

One of the worlds conquered by the Rakata was Coruscant, home of the (human) Zhell civilization, who had reached Type-9, and had dispatched sleeper ships to neighbouring systems. The (apparently) more advanced Taung species had already been forced off Coruscant and traveled as far as the Outer-Rim world of Roon --though I would class them as a nomadic, FTL-capable Type-9, rather than a Type-12.

The Infinite Empire eventually fractured into civil war, and the Rakata began to lose their connection to the Force. As the Rakata became unable to use their Force-based technology, their slaves rebelled, and the Rakata retreated back to their homeworld, regressing back to Type-7 (and eventually further collapsing into warring Type-3 tribes, albeit with advanced language and theoretical knowledge).

In the wake of the Infinite Empire's collapse, the Type-11 Hutt Empire became the largest unified government in the galaxy (incorporating the Sakiyans and Nimbanel), warring with the Tion Hegemony (a neighbouring Type-11), and eventually stabilizing as an advanced Type-11 civilization, dominating the Si'Klaata cluster (and incorporating the Vodrans, Klaatooinians, and Nikto) and with economic/criminal influence across much of the (then) civilized galaxy.

Most galactic civilizations developed hyperdrives by reverse-engineering the Rakatan technology, meaning that hyperspace-capable ships were ubiquitous even before the (initially Type-11) Galactic Republic formed. This resulted in the unusual formation of a Type-11 society with potentially galactic reach --technically a degenerated Type-13 society, with incongruously primitive technology (more in line with what one would expect from a Type-10, though some areas [such as holography, physics, and mecha] lag even further behind).

The Republic (by now allied with the Jedi) expanded into a galaxy-spanning society over the span of several thousand years, though technological advancement greatly slowed. Despite its limited technology, the Republic at its height does technically qualify as a Type-13, evidenced by its political complexity, massive bureaucracy, military strength, command economy, holonet, casual FTL travel, reliance on single-industry worlds, and (theoretical) availability of planet-destroying weaponry. Smaller local governments (like the Hapes Cluster or the Corporate Sector [both Type-10]) were integrated into this larger society, generally sharing the same languages, culture, and technologies.

The Republic eventually transitioned into the Galactic Empire which, despite its size, was structured similarly to a much smaller Type-10 (with the Emperor himself assuming direct control, and relying on the twin doctrines of military supremacy and "Human High Culture" to dominate the galaxy). The Rebel Alliance, by contrast, was structured like a Type-11 society --an egalitarian alliance, made up of multiple races, species, and creeds, ruled from a succession of "Throneworld" bases rather than any particular Homeworld.

Essentially, this means the Empire was doomed from the beginning: even without the Rebellion, a single ruler (even a master of both the Force and social engineering) could not maintain central control over so much territory and so many people. Instead, the Emperor was forced to rely on subordinates, who (thanks to the Empire's culture of aggressive ambition) often proved disloyal (as with Admirals Harkov and Zaarin).

After Palpatine's death, the Empire fractured into a collection of Type-10 fiefdoms (centred around planetary strongholds held by warlords), which only rarely united back into a Type-11 culture (under the leadership of particularly gifted statesmen), before splintering again. The "Imperial Remnant" eventually unified by Supreme Commander Pellaeon stabilized as a Type-11 society, with the Council of Moffs serving as a representative (yet non-democratic) government, representing their respective territories.

Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance was (relatively) easily capable of adapting into a Type-12 stellar superpower as the New Republic, though the constant war prevented both the Republic and the Empire from becoming an unchallenged Type-13.

The Jedi/Sith (as heirs to the Force-using Celestials) came closest to being a Type-13 civilization at their height; though their numbers were limited, they retained command of the Force, and thus commanded "weaponry" capable of depopulating planets, as well as mostly unrestricted travel throughout the galaxy, improved communication systems (via the Force's visions and telepathic impressions), advanced holography (they were the only ones capable of producing holocrons), and medicine (both Jedi healing techniques and Sith alchemy).

The Yuuzhan Vong represented a more advanced Type-13 civilization (with their rigid religious doctrine providing a stronger social structure than the fractious Republic). This perhaps is the main reason the war between the Vong and the Republic was so destructive; a clash between Type-13 civilizations would inevitably destroy multiple planets.

With that in mind, Palpatine's speculative "long game" suddenly makes sense: he was attempting to rebuild the galaxy into a functional Type-13 civilization (complete with dogmatic social engineering and planet-killing weaponry) in order to counter the Type-13 threat he knew was coming. His greatest flaw was in attempting to have both a single specific ruler and an engineered society based on fear and ambition --the Sith philosophy could have ruled the galaxy, but not with Palpatine-the-individual in command (instead, a revolving sequence of Sith Lords would have taken power, each following the impersonal "will" of Sith doctrine).

The New Republic's own flaw was in attempting to reject Palpatine's social engineering without offering a subsitute (such as society-wide betterment, exploration, or Jedi-based spiritualism). With no clear direction, the Republic fell to political infighting and factionalism, making it easy prey for the Vong.

The Galactic Alliance which grew from the ashes made the same mistake as the Republic, attempting to build a galactic society on a shifting sandbed with no real foundation, and ultimately turning to (and against) the Jedi as the only arbiters of social order --a role that Skywalker's increasingly insular and reactionary Jedi were not equipped to take.
"Hilarity ensues." --Seamus Harper



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: science fiction, analysis, xenosociology, speculation

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