Author Topic: Shivan sociology -- help!  (Read 15431 times)

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Offline TDM/JM

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I'm thinking about all of this and will respond to various comments tomorrow, after I've gotten some sleep.

For now, a further question: Perhaps I missed earlier discussions, but does the "character" of the Shivans follow from the descriptive cosmology of Hinduism? Hinduism is the source of GTVA names for all things Shivan, of course, and I'm assuming that this is where the "elemental force" idea comes from. But how far did the V-people go in emulating or gaining inspiration from Hinduism in creating the FS universe? V-people do know Hinduism, perhaps better than I do, as some of them are of that faith. So, do the Shivans play the same role in the FS universe that Shiva plays in many incarnations in the Hindu "universe"?

In Hinduism, Shiva performs the cosmic dance of creation and destruction, and maintains the harmony of the universe by balancing the two acts. He is the Great Lord of the Hindu godhead. As the balance on which the universe rests, Shiva has antithetical (opposite) sides. When incarnated with his wife, Shakti, he is both giving and loving (devi), and fierce and punishing (deva). He can also be incarnated as Mahadeva Shiva, Lord of Death and the Underworld, and Yoga Shiva, Lord of Wisdom and Calm. As Rudra Shiva, he is identified with the stars, particularly Sirius, and is the Supreme Hunter of All Living Things. And he has an army of bhairavas, all of whom are terrifying reflections of himself.

Hmmmm. If the Shivans are deva, then there might exist another advanced species that is devi. . . . This may be starting to make some sense.  

Ascraeus

[This message has been edited by TDM/JM (edited 12-07-2001).]

[This message has been edited by TDM/JM (edited 12-07-2001).]

 

Offline Ace

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As Rudra Shiva, he is identified with the stars, particularly Sirius Hrmm... NTF tie in here, Polaris as the Compass, Sirius as the anchor, Regulus as the bridge...  

Needless to say, Volition has given a whole lot of answers in little symbolisms, though they don't seem to mean much, they do.

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Offline Shrike

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Yeah.... too much.  Like seriously, it's all too pat.  Or perhaps too blatant, if you want to look at it that way.  I find it a bit hard to swallow that everything would just fall into place like that.  But that's just me.
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Offline Nico

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I don't think hinduhism (sp)? has anything to do with how shivan behave, in volition's "mind". First, hindus names are not that used: manticore, basilisk, sathanas, mephisto, cain, lilith,... should I go one? basically no hindu name apart from the wing names lol.
Plus, terran names are from the greeck mythos, and they don't behave at all like the olympus gods I think, same thing for the vasudans. I think the elemntal force theory doesn't come at all from that, but is just an interpretation (sp?) of what the big V guys told us.
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Offline karajorma

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Oh dear. I`m a bit late to this topic so I`ve got a lot to say.

There's a novel by the SF writer Greg Bear called THE FORGE OF GOD, in which Earth is invaded by AI-based smart weapons that are millions of years old. It's a security strategy of an "ancient" species who concluded that the safest universe was one in which they remained the only sentient species. So everytime a species reaches a certain broad technical level, the AI weapons show up and WHAMBAM! Earth is reduced to plasma-laced rubble.

I take it you`ve read the sequel "ANVIL OF STARS"? If not beg, borrow or steal a copy. That book has a lot about fighting on an intersteller scale.

Re: shivan hive minds

I agree that the biggest mistake that Star Trek ever made was to make the borg more human. Why repeat that mistake by giving the shivans a queen or even several queens.
 I love the idea of shivans being a hive mind with no centre. Each shivan forms a link in the giant hive mind. There is no queen or she is no more important than any other drone (easily replaced if she dies).
 This makes the shivans more terrifying. No matter how many shivans you kill they can still turn any random surviving shivan into a queen and repopulate.
 The Sirius Insect League from the game Warhead had interesting property for a hive mind. A single insect wasn't sentient. You needed hundreds before intelligent actions started to occur.
 The shivans are without a doubt more intelligent than that but what if they do become more intelligent the more shivans they have in a system? The loss of the lucifer or a sathanas would be a big loss to their tactical abilities.

Re: communication

All this talk about communication gives me an idea about Capella. The real question isn`t why the shivans destroyed Capella but why they ONLY destroyed Capella.
 Suppose that shivan high command (what ever that is) sent the sathanas fleet off with orders to destroy Capella. They plan to send to send the fleet on from Capella to destroy the rest of the GTVA but the orders don't get though cause some SOC four man mission blew up the communication nodes.
 The fleet blow up Capella and then return home instead of touring through the GTVA and exiting at Ross 128.

Re: shivans as cosmic protectors / destroyers

On major thing people forget is that the shivans may be religious. That would perfectly explain the discrepancy between the times they seem to be protecting weaker races and the times they try to exterminate them.
 This is especially true if the shivans don't care about converting other races to their religion just as long as their own race follows the rules.
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Offline Raven2001

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I think that they only destroyed Capella because they knew of something that they had to stop, before it was too late... they destroyed Capella to prevent that thing from hapenning, and then they vanished, leaving the GTVA alone... why did they leave us alone? Simple, because we weren't the same assholes that wanted to destroy anything that was in disagreement, and we posed no threat to the natural evolution of other species... The shivans aren't bad guys at all... Also, by destroying Capella they even prevented the extinction of both human and vasudan races...
Yeah, I know you were waiting for a very nice sig, in which I was quoting some very famous scientist or philosopher... guess what?!? I wont indulge you...

Why, you ask? What, do I look like a Shivan to you?!?


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Offline Raven2001

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Oh, btw, who are the Andarta?????
Yeah, I know you were waiting for a very nice sig, in which I was quoting some very famous scientist or philosopher... guess what?!? I wont indulge you...

Why, you ask? What, do I look like a Shivan to you?!?


Raven is a god.

 

Offline Su-tehp

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Quote
Originally posted by Raven2001:
Oh, btw, who are the Andarta?????

This is Ascraeus' website for his "FS2.9" project that he's working on:
 http://faculty.concord.edu/manzione/fs3.htm

It looks to be a Freespace user campaign with great potential.  

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Offline MasterJ

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Quote
Originally posted by karajorma:

Re: shivans as cosmic protectors / destroyers

On major thing people forget is that the shivans may be religious. That would perfectly explain the discrepancy between the times they seem to be protecting weaker races and the times they try to exterminate them.
 This is especially true if the shivans don't care about converting other races to their religion just as long as their own race follows the rules.

"War of Pacification" from SFC 2.

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[This message has been edited by MasterJ (edited 12-08-2001).]
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Offline Nico

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Quote
Originally posted by Raven2001:
I think that they only destroyed Capella because they knew of something that they had to stop, before it was too late... they destroyed Capella to prevent that thing from hapenning, and then they vanished, leaving the GTVA alone... why did they leave us alone? Simple, because we weren't the same assholes that wanted to destroy anything that was in disagreement, and we posed no threat to the natural evolution of other species... The shivans aren't bad guys at all... Also, by destroying Capella they even prevented the extinction of both human and vasudan races...

mmh, I wonder where did you get that. If it's what I think, don't be more precise  
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Offline karajorma

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Quote
Originally posted by MasterJ:
 "War of Pacification" from SFC 2.


Means nothing to me I`m afraid.
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Offline Anaz

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ok, funny idea, what if the shivans are broader. For example, with the hive-mind theory, the shivan's we encounter are the hunter-killer or police force of a greater race, the greater race creating the shivans. (Now we have a perfectly valid reason to use dyson spheres  ) There could also be other sub-sets for the 'shivan' race as a whole. Or (as I posted in 2nd subspace topic) the shivans we fought are following the programmed hive command to return home, and the only way for some of them to return home is to blow up a star with certain properties, to form a special subspace tunnel...

This opens up some interesting possibilites

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Offline Zeronet

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I dont know about Freespace 2.9, Shivans asking for asylum in the GTVA because the clan was told to commit suicide. Seems pretty far-fetched.
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Offline IceFire

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Quote
I dont know about Freespace 2.9, Shivans asking for asylum in the GTVA because the clan was told to commit suicide. Seems pretty far-fetched.
Thats my biggest gripe with the FS2.9 plot but I'm told that it was adapted from the BEL outline rather than part of the initial 2.9 outline.

If Shivans are as we say they are (hive minded or elemental) there really isn't the possibility for defection.  That again makes them less alien and more human.  They should be totally mindless (in one sense of course) and completely unified in their objectives.

The Shivans didn't show any problem with destroying some of their own ships in the Capella supernova.
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Offline karajorma

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Maybe one of the humans from bosch's ship could have something to do with the defection?
 Not bosch himself but maybe one of the others. Depends on what you`ve decided happened to them.
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Offline Sandwich

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Quote
Originally posted by TDM/JM:
Does the idea of the Shivans as a "programmed smart weapon" fall under the category of "Elemental Force"? There's a novel by the SF writer Greg Bear called THE FORGE OF GOD, in which Earth is invaded by AI-based smart weapons that are millions of years old. It's a security strategy of an "ancient" species who concluded that the safest universe was one in which they remained the only sentient species. So everytime a species reaches a certain broad technical level, the AI weapons show up and WHAMBAM! Earth is reduced to plasma-laced rubble.

I seem to recall something about the cybernetic qualities of Shivans from a cutscene in FS1. So, are the Shivans a smart weapon created by some as-yet unknown species "further toward the galactic core"?

Should we start planning for FS4? The discovery of the species that wields the Shivans like a sword? (So what's bigger than a Dyson Sphere?)  

Ascraeus

Whoa! I missed out on a lot! I'll have to divide things into multiple replies, so sorry in advance.  

In my favorite ST book, Vendetta, Peter David merges the original Trek episode with the Doomsday Machine with the Borg. The short version is that an ancient race (the Preservers perhaps) were at war with the Borg eons ago. While battling it out on the front lines, they were developing an ultimate weapon as far away from the Borg as they could - the planet killer. The war started to go very badly, so they released the prototype they had completed, which was the Doomsday Machine that Kirk encountered. They also raced to complete the final version, but came just short when the Borg managed to exterminate them.

Anyway, an lady wth a big vendetta against the Borg gets ahold of the final version, finishes the thing, and goes for the Borg.

So the theory was that the planet killer was a last-chance doomsday weapon programmed to wipe out the Borg.

The cool thing was how the 2 stories meshed. The Borg would travel the galaxy, leaving behind them ravaged hunks of radiated rocks instead of planets. The doomsday machine would then use those hunks of rock as fuel, thereby turning the Borg's "garbage" against them. It's a really cool read.

 
Quote
Originally posted by mikhael:
A better evolutionary path would be a tough, flexible hide for containing the internal bits. Physics shows us that the perfect shape for 3d structures is a spheroid, as pressures exerted anywhere upon the surface are shifted outwards from the point of impact. Give such a body a token 'ribcage' for protecting internal organs, and you have a good start for a zero-g body.

Actually, the reverse is true:
The sphere is the most efficient shape in terms of surface area to volume. A spherical object will contain the largest volume for the least surface area. So, in space, where there is virtually no outside pressure, the sphere would be the worst shap for containing gases or bodily organs, as the pressure difference would be at its extreme.

On the other end of the spectrum would be an object completely composed of extremely long spikes, thereby giving the most surface area with the least amount of internal volume, minimizing the pressure differences.

Hmmm... spiky.... Shivan ships are spiky...  



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Offline Sandwich

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Quote
Originally posted by mikhael:
...Maybe, they slay races that use subspace because we don't understand that it is their home and in our ignorance, we destroy it wantonly?

In Dan Simmons Hyperion novels, there is a second layer of reality called 'the Void Which Binds'... Humanity...do(es) not know that this gross misuse of the Void is destroying the things that exist there. Eventually, these things reach out and remove humanity's ability to use the Void (mostly).

Maybe that's what the Shivans are.

In its own way it's like the beings that exist in the DS9 wormhole, and the discovery that high warp travel damages the fabric of subspace (both in Trek).

 
Quote
Originally posted by IceFire:
The key issue with the Shivans I think is that we know virtually nothing about what they really are.  Thats a bonus for the story because you get this sense that your fighting against something that just doesn't look at things the same way you do.  The whole concept of Shivans is that they do almost nothing conventionally, they are meant to be alien.

This is the primary factor in the FS universe storylines. The Vasudans were, in the beginning, the devil that humanity already knew. While they were a threat, they weren't terrifying, simply because they were a "known" factor to humanity.

Then came the Shivans. They were the unknown, their purposes and origins were and still are a complete mystery. That is what made them terrifying.

If that unknown factor is completely removed or explained away in a campaign, the Shivans will become just another enemy. Perhaps more powerful than the usual, but no longer will they be the devil we don't know.

 
Quote
Originally posted by jonskowitz:
The borg were only scary until we had something to communicate with (the queen).  After that they were no more frightening than the Romulans, the Kazon, or even Wesley Crusher.

I still liked my theory on the Borg (which could also be applied to the Shivans I guess).  The behavior of any one unit is decided/ influenced by the behavior, information, and instructions gathered by all the units around it.  So long as all of the units remain in commucications with each other they all function as a huge brain, guiding the actions of the whole with the information from the individuals.  It also explains why away teams can simply board without attracting much attention so long as they don't draw the attention of too many of the individual Borg to themselves...  So long as there is no central "descision-maker" the Shivans can remain enigmatic and dangerous.

I agree with you here - the Borg got totally screwed up as the ST shows progressed - they needed to be kept "leaderless".  

The idea of the Lucy not being the "queen's" ship but a mobile communication device makes sense to me. AFAIK it fit's all the facts, whether yo go for hive mind or elemental force.  


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"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline Sandwich

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Quote
Originally posted by Su-tehp:
There might not be ONE "queen bee" but SEVERAL "queen bees" in all of Shivan "society." Rather than have all the Shivans ruled by some sort of "central authority" in one nexus, (like the queen of the Borg), Shivan society could be separated into several hives, each with their own autonomous ruler. Rather than have the Shivans emulate the Borg by having only one collective, Shivan society could be made up of several hives all working in tandem towards the same goal(s).

...

For lack of a better term, we can call this the "multiple hive theory." As to how many hives there are and how big each hive is (how many Shivans and how many ships, etc.), this still remains open to speculation.

About the Borg and the multiple hive thing, in Shatner's ST book, The Return, he theorizes that the Borg are not a single hive, but what you said: a multiple-branch hive mind. This explains why the Borg kept on exsisting after First Contact. Sort of...  

It's late here (almost 6am - thanks, guys!   )   , so I'll stop here.  


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[This message has been edited by sandwich (edited 12-08-2001).]
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline Su-tehp

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Quote
Originally posted by sandwich:
 About the Borg and the multiple hive thing, in Shatner's ST book, The Return, he theorizes that the Borg are not a single hive, but what you said: a multiple-branch hive mind. This explains why the Borg kept on exsisting after First Contact. Sort of...    

Yeah, I read this book, too, but my theory is slightly different. While the collective may have several "tentacles", there is only one collective with one queen. All the "tentacles" lead back to her. Shatner's book "The Return" was a good read, but it was written before the appearance of the Borg queen in "First Contact". The Star Trek TV shows and movies never mention Kirk and company's attack on the Borg "homeworld" and the Central Nexus computer that was located there. The TV shows and movies always maintain that the Queen WAS the collective so SHE, and not some mysterious supercomputer at a faraway neutron star system, was the center of the Borg.

The Borg have only one collective. It may be a collective with several tentacles, but it's still one collective. My hypothesis is that the Shivans have several collectives all working in tandem. It's not quite the same thing.

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Of course there's nothing that says that the Queen (as encountered) wasn't the computer's avatar (sort of like "Rommie" in the show 'Andromeda')  

This would (largely) explain why she could be killed again and again (there are three documented cases of her death during a TNG episode, the final Voyager episode and 'First Contact') and still come back to make a nuisance of herself.

  Of course we don't know what happened to the collective after Voyager, but the damage was caused by a computer virus (I think, can't remember off the top of my head) so even if they were destroyed by that event it could just as easily be the supercomputer got infected with said virus as the queen entity (quite likely if they are one and the same).

[This message has been edited by jonskowitz (edited 12-08-2001).]
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