Author Topic: Freespace 3: The Shivans  (Read 14661 times)

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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Well, remember, there's a difference between 'intelligence we don't recognize' and 'non-intelligent.'

We tend to believe that any tool-using interstellar society must have evolved intelligence in the human sense. But it's possible that the Shivans deploy sophisticated tactics and technologies without any intelligence. They could be a machine ecosystem with highly evolved and intricate but non-sapient responses, for instance.

The defining capability of human intelligence is the ability to simulate and modify the simulation. "If I do this, this will happen. If I alter this variable, this will occur. If I do this action, I'll feel this way." That's why we can build sophisticated things (like spaceships) and an ant hive can't in spite of all its organization.

The Shivans may have sidestepped or found an alternate solution to this (admittedly extremely powerful) ability. Or they may once have been created by intelligence, or possessed intelligence, but no longer receive such guidance.

Or, the Shivan race as a whole may be a body with a mind capable of overall guidance and thought, but individual ships may be no more subject to conscious control than our own individual white cells are to the brain.

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Unfortunately, fictional beauty must bow to supportable fact. Present to me a factual method by which nonsentients can use tools as sophisicated as spacecraft, and we will talk.

:snickers: ... well... technically it remains to be seen wether humanity is actually "sentient" or rather intelligent enough to develop interstellar space-travel of some form before the constraints of our growth driven societies clash with the limitations of our ecosystem in a catastrophic way...  for that matter it also remains to be seen how any kind of fictional concepts of faster than light travel would compare to actual reality.

You seem to take a lot for granted, yet quite arbitrarily decide what kind of "fictional speculation" is worthy in your eyes and which not, which of course is quite ironic considering the ongoing philosophical debates about the nature of our own conscience and free will (or if somenthing like free will even exists objevtively) and even the nature of reality (see constructivism - is reality what "is" or is it merely what we "perceive" - after all our perception of reality have changed quite a bit over the course of history eh... ) it's quite ironic that you would limit your viewpoint on what "intelligence" or "sentience" might be so dramitically.


Frankly... i find it quite amusing that one would impose the limits of our existence on fictional alien life, while the properties of our own existence and perception of reality are anything but certain,
and even if you assume the Shivans evolved like any other race (which is a quite huge assumption not based on any kind of fact at all) then we would still be looking at a gulf of potentially millions of years of evolution.
Just looking at how human life evolved on earth or even just at how our societies evolved in a comparably utterly insignificant couple of thousand years... i believe kinda demonstrates just how huge a leap of faith it would be to assume the Shivans might still really "tick as we do" somehow.  Aside from merely biological matters, the concept of evolution has become the foundation of several of the leading sociological theories as well, and heck... if you go even just a couple of hundred years back you find mostly societies still based more or less on faith and individuals with little regard of maximizing any kind of benefits in "this life". The modern mindset and perception of self is actually just that, quite modern and novel ... and no doubt it will be just a stepping stone on the path of future evolution as well.

We know a stone is a stone and that it falls to the ground if you drop it...  but what a stone was in Newtons time is quite different than what the "concept" of stone and gravity have become in modern day.
If we talk science fiction, you have to acknowledge the fact that our perception of ourselves as well as what constitutes "sentience" or society may change just as radical in the future, especially if we ever actually meet an "alien" sentience to contrast our own with (that hopefully will be more benevolent as the Shivans, but thats another story ;) ).

At least i would hope we would evolve and not regress into some sort of "human superiority/dominance" complex that discounts any kind of sentience that doesn't fit into the tight corsett of "human sentience".
In a way, you could of course see the Shivans as a potential endpoint of an evolution of a society that over Millions of years lost any kind of sense of value for anything other than growth and expansion as a whole, i.e. as a "race". It might be intriguing if viewed as a mirror of our own societies obsession with growth, but ultimately i would be worried of how close to a cliche of an extrapolation of Nazi ideology it would be (i.e. a society obsessed not just with growth, but with its own exclusiveness and superiority over all others as well) The Shivans as an evolution of Nazis ?  :lol: LOL Feel free to discuss.

I would still contend that General Battutas viewpoint is much more intriguing as it avoids the usual trappings of Sci-Fi and its most overused cliches much better ;)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 07:12:09 am by Mikes »

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
:snickers: ... well... technically it remains to be seen wether humanity is actually "sentient"

...you are joking, right? Either you're really, really good at the depth of your ability to bull**** and have finally slipped up, or you're extremely igorant and have just been lucky until now.

Sentient is a fancy word for self-aware. We think, and we think about thinking, therefore we are sentient. Nobody is going to challenge that assertion and be taken seriously, least of all you.

You seem to take a lot for granted, yet quite arbitrarily decide what kind of "fictional speculation" is worthy in your eyes and which not, which of course is quite ironic considering the ongoing philosophical debates about the nature of our own conscience and free will *etc etc etc blah blah insert bull**** here*

Relevance to the discussion. It's a big friggin' deal, and you don't have it. From this point on all arguments of nonrelevance have been cut from your post.

Frankly... i find it quite amusing that one would impose the limits of our existence on fictional alien life,

I have done no such thing, and outright stated I have done no such thing, yet you insist on continuing to believe I have. Rather, I wish to point out that you make a terribly stupid assumption that nobody has ever concieved on an intelligence like that of the Shivans, when we have concieved of intelligent beings composed of communal microorganisms without such a concept as "we" or "I" to sentient felines and canines to HLP's very own (literally) Starborn to Lovecraftian eldritch abombinations.

It's a terrible mistake. The depth and breadth of the kinds of pyschology and sentient beings that have been explored by writers are far, far more expansive then you seem capable of realizing.

Just looking at how human life evolved on earth or even just at how our societies evolved in a comparably utterly insignificant couple of thousand years... i believe kinda demonstrates just how huge a leap of faith it would be to assume the Shivans might still really "tick as we do" somehow.

Nobody believes that the Shivans really think in the same way we do. Straw manning at its finest.
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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Anybody else feel like making a spread sheet of all these facts? lol I am bored at work :x

I have been reading these forums for the past week and so many valid points both fact based and speculation based have been brought up many times.

Seriously, we should make a flow chart/spreadsheet of events and facts and come to the most agree'd upon fact based but speculation driven scenario lol.

That or we need like m night shalam to come in and settle this... what a twist! lol

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
:snickers: ... well... technically it remains to be seen wether humanity is actually "sentient"

...you are joking, right? Either you're really, really good at the depth of your ability to bull**** and have finally slipped up, or you're extremely igorant and have just been lucky until now.

Sentient is a fancy word for self-aware. We think, and we think about thinking, therefore we are sentient. Nobody is going to challenge that assertion and be taken seriously, least of all you.

Wether we - not just as individuals - but also as a society are actually aware/intelligent/sentient enough (funny how you distort the meaning of a sentence by leaving out that one word, huh?)  to actually make it to a phase of interstellar expansion, or wether we will exhaust too much of our resources too quickly and finally go under through infighting ...  like it is theorized the cut off settlers on the Easter Islands did on a much smaller scale, remains entirely to be seen. (And as far as science fiction goes... ironically even the sociological utterly and completely over the top optimistic Star-Trek version of our future features a period of turmoil and chaos before humanity managed to grasp for the stars)

And as far as Descartes argument goes, which you seem to losely subscribe to in aboves post (I think therefore i am) ... there is no denying that Descartes has had a huge influence on our way of thinking, but it's a fact that his reasoning has been the focus of heated debate and criticism as well. In any case there is no reason at all, why science fiction might not explore the concept of self-awareness from the viewpoint of different theories.

You keep throwing around concepts as "absolute facts" when they are often neither absolute nor fact... and matter of fact are discussed from different viewpoints in several different fields.
Even merely checking Wikipedia would make you "aware" of that "fact" ... and would also point you towards some of the authors who actually discuss these concepts as part of the philosophical or scientific debate.

In any case... debating Descartes, Constructivism and whatever other philosphical or neurophysiological theories there floating around more recently would indeed go way offtopic for this thread;
the reason it has to be mentioned however is that it does really irk me when someone keeps presenting their own limited viewpoint or knowledge of quite heavily debated (and certainly not sufficiently explored) concepts like consciousness, sentience or self-awareness (which matter of fact aren't necessarily synonymous at all - depending on what specific theory you are looking at) as some kind of universal truth.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 09:03:34 am by Mikes »

 

Offline bloated

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Quote
I may be wrong but I've seen resistance to any potential story.
.... lol it's nice to see truer words rarely get spoken given the discussion that's gone on since my last post.

completely offtopic and having nothing to do with any story in a thread titled Freespace 3.

 

Offline bloated

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Quote from: General Battuta
the Shivan race as a whole may be a body with a mind capable of overall guidance and thought, but individual ships may be no more subject to conscious control than our own individual white cells are to the brain.
this idea holds potential.

the GTVA would likely never be able to communicate with such a being, the scale required and complexity well beyond them, the GTVA if it was ever noticed under this scenario would be treated as  a disease or cancer, the GTVA's growth could only come about by devouring the being itself, no possible peace feasible under this scenario.

alien intelligence or otherwise wouldn't matter if the GTVA was able to get it's attention it would be at the beings cost and peace would be like a human making friends with brain cancer in the hopes of what?.... that it stops spreading?..... again impossible.

as a side note: no interest in my previous story of multiple fronts and limited resources?

I thought it was ok and would lead to the formation of the Freespace universe instead of just viewing Freespace through the limited scope of 3 races battling to coexist in one small corner of the universe.

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
alien intelligence or otherwise wouldn't matter if the GTVA was able to get it's attention it would be at the beings cost and peace would be like a human making friends with brain cancer in the hopes of what?.... that it stops spreading?..... again impossible.

I would say communication would be outright impossible when concepualising the notion of such a being, as it would be a quite impossible stretch to believe that there could even be a shared basis of understanding or meaning. Matter of fact... within the analogy it might as well be a nonsentient organism - wouldn't make much of a difference for the GTVA specifically, now would it ? ;)

and yep...thats exactly what makes the concept so intriguing.
It does of course explain quite a bit and therefore would limit any future interpretations (which i still would consider detrimental to a point)... ,
but it does steer clear of the most overused sci-fi cliches of handling hostile alien species quite nicely and doesn't offer a "cookie cutter solution" to the problem either.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 11:32:36 am by Mikes »

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
I like it because it does prevent an interesting dilemma.

In this case, the GTVA is a disease in the Shivan body. Like a real-life disease, it can bring down a vastly more powerful and intelligent entity. And the GTVA - following NGTM-1R's suggestion of the 'universal language - might very well be able to do serious damage to the Shivans.

But the most successful diseases in real life are those that don't kill their hosts. The best 'diseases' don't have any symptoms. They live in quiet peace, or even symbiosis, with their hosts. Diseases that kill their hosts are failures, poorly adapted.

By destroying the Shivan 'body' the GTVA might destroy themselves. Whatever function the Shivan entity served would be left vacant.

It might come down to a choice between the destruction of the Shivans, and chaos - or an 'alliance', in which the GTVA learned to live in the cracks of the Shivan ecosystem, giving up the hubris of 'humanity ascendant' in favor of a sustainable place in the galactic ecology.

Bosch's ETAK project could be the key to the choice. It might be used as a way to fend off Shivan 'antibodies' - just as some diseases today can masquerade as 'safe' cells and avoid destruction - and thereby allow the GTVA to annihilate the Shivans.

Or, it could be used to protect the GTVA from Shivan attack in order for the Terrans and Vasudans to live quietly and peacefully in the nooks and crannies of the Shivan galaxy.


 

Offline Mikes

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
By destroying the Shivan 'body' the GTVA might destroy themselves. Whatever function the Shivan entity served would be left vacant.

Subspace collapsing as a whole... or even the fabric of our universe torn apart are notions that would come to mind, but of course it's all up to speculation.

It might come down to a choice between the destruction of the Shivans, and chaos - or an 'alliance', in which the GTVA learned to live in the cracks of the Shivan ecosystem, giving up the hubris of 'humanity ascendant' in favor of a sustainable place in the galactic ecology.

Bosch's ETAK project could be the key to the choice. It might be used as a way to fend off Shivan 'antibodies' - just as some diseases today can masquerade as 'safe' cells and avoid destruction - and thereby allow the GTVA to annihilate the Shivans.

Or, it could be used to protect the GTVA from Shivan attack in order for the Terrans and Vasudans to live quietly and peacefully in the nooks and crannies of the Shivan galaxy.

Giving up the notion of an ascendant humanity would of course be a logical conclusion of Freespace's 2 storyline, no matter if the underlaying storyline follows your specific solution or some other.
A final point against the failings of pride and hubris.

A mere "masking" against Shivan antibodies (or of course the more radical solution to defeat the Shivans entirely) however would not adress the long-term problem at all, the contrary, it would only delay humanites destruction until the damage done led to the untimely demise of the "host" (for lack of a better word). The point against Hubris can of course be made either way: By overcoming it and accepting ecological harmony as a solution.... or by portraying Humanity indirectly destroying itself by their own "victory" over the environment (quite ironic and even parallell to reflections about the current state of our society and ecosystem).
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 12:07:43 pm by Mikes »

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
It might be something like the collapse of subspace, or simply the explosive expansion of formerly contained species in the absence of the Shivan threat - leading to galactic warfare. The outcome might be galactic domination by a single culture (leading to weakness - diversity is strength) or the burnout of vast areas of formerly habitable space, leading to tremendous die-offs and the sterilization of much of known space.

These kind of theories were explored by Alastair Reynolds in the 'Revelation Space' universe, as well as Stephen Baxter in 'Manifold Space' and 'Manifold Time'.


 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Oh man, (should it ever come) Freespace 3 is never, ever going to live up to the expectations of the fanbase.
You guys have given this so much thought and developed such high level theories...
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Offline NeonShivan

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
But Still People Remember: The Shivans are a race of war. (meaning they are War Freaks.....Hate Peace Love War  :hopping:)

Let the Shivans Rise againts the Forerunners (Halo 3) SHIVANS RULE FORERUNNERS SUCK
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Offline Droid803

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
But Still People Remember: The Shivans are a race of war. (meaning they are War Freaks.....Hate Peace Love War  :hopping:)

Let the Shivans Rise againts the Forerunners (Halo 3) SHIVANS RULE FORERUNNERS SUCK

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Offline bloated

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Quote
But Still People Remember: The Shivans are a race of war. (meaning they are War Freaks.....Hate Peace Love War
that is limited to the experience and hasn't been established.

Quote
Oh man, (should it ever come) Freespace 3 is never, ever going to live up to the expectations of the fanbase.
You guys have given this so much thought and developed such high level theories...
many of the theory's won't change what must happen..... the theory that the GTVA is a disease leaves little option for the Shivans as they must destroy it until the disease itself changes which is up to the GTVA who have no idea how they must change.

it would be pretty popcorn if all that was required was to be more eco friendly ...... leaving the more grim reality that the universe isn't big enough for the Shivans and the GTVA to exist but even then I don't really like the idea of handing the Shivans the entire universe by default, the accomplishments become overly grandiose and stunt the story, if the Shivans are obsessed with a purity of race/form and are xenophobic aggressive or if they are fragile and can't coexist for other reasons with those around them then it's more a pursuit within a universe on the rise or decline and can be fluctuating as the story unfolds.

introducing new factions new ideas would be much easier and far more likely...... so long as they don't conflict with pre established practice it's all good, it's a big place the universe & I'd hate to see it limited.

always remember many of the assumptions about the Shivans rely on the likely flawed perspective of "the Ancients", they didn't know the Shivans and never as far as we know communicated with them, left with that absense of information they fabricated their own.

I would hate to think Freespace 3 would be the end of the story or the end of the shivans.

I believe the Freespace storyline deserves at the least a universe and is not deserving of short and concise absolutes that come without it.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 12:18:38 pm by bloated »

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
it would be pretty popcorn if all that was required was to be more eco friendly ......

Eco-friendlyness is propably the wrong word, or at least it might be understood wrong.

Arguing within that context...

...  i don't think the Shivans would care what a race does to the planets they live on, or they would have shown up much sooner eh ?;)

Rather it seems that anyone using the subspace node network in some form is being marked for extermination.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 02:57:25 pm by Mikes »

 

Offline Ziame

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
@bloated
I think it would bring the end of humans, not the Shivans. As have been said before: this is a tale of humanity's overconfidence, and as such it should end bad.

If you look at the endings of fs1 and 2 you can see that there are no happy ends. 1st -> Earth is lost, maybe forever cut off the rest of GTA, Vasuda Prime destroyed, billions of people dead. 2nd -> billions dead, another billions left with WTF feeling, and everyone alive in fear: What will happen now? Will they return? Will they bring cookies?!

Though I always have thought that the third FreeSpace game would be about ancients (prequel if you wish) in which shivans would destroy some star and it would be explained why there
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Offline bloated

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Quote
I think it would bring the end of humans, not the Shivans. As have been said before: this is a tale of humanity's overconfidence, and as such it should end bad.
the endings have always been a little negative but humanity has grown & prospered with each episode.

more or less the Shivans have taught the GTVA a lesson in humility sure but it's never been a knockout.

with each victory their has been loss...... the ending to FS2 was chosen by the Shivans without any explanation...... I gave a potential reason on the previous page looking at it from a possible Shivan perspective.

the next episode of Freespace requires a few things...... one a long passage of time will have to take place in which the GTVA teaches itself how to open jumpspace nodes or the Shivans will have to return which has gone against their nature so far.... in the first freespace it was exploration and in the 2nd freespace it was Bosch's activating and going through the gate into the nebula that got things going.

additionally after the first Freespace the GTVA prepared a ship to handle a Lucifer...... it would be a little off to assume the GTVA would initiate much of anything before being prepared for 80 Sathanas....... so with FS3 the military preparedness will have to have evolved substancially.... new ships new weapons and on a scale never before seen.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
If you look at the endings of fs1 and 2 you can see that there are no happy ends. 1st -> Earth is lost, maybe forever cut off the rest of GTA, Vasuda Prime destroyed, billions of people dead. 2nd -> billions dead, another billions left with WTF feeling, and everyone alive in fear: What will happen now? Will they return? Will they bring cookies?!
Where are you getting "billions dead" from FS2?  Capella had only 250 million or so inhabitants, and we're led to believe that the vast majority of them managed to evacuate safely before the supernova.  And the entirety of the NTF rebellion and Shivan incursion couldn't have generated more than one or two million casualties at the very worst.  Compared to what happened in FS1, the GTVA got off scot free all things considered.

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: Freespace 3: The Shivans
Where are you getting "billions dead" from FS2?  Capella had only 250 million or so inhabitants, and we're led to believe that the vast majority of them managed to evacuate safely before the supernova.  And the entirety of the NTF rebellion and Shivan incursion couldn't have generated more than one or two million casualties at the very worst.  Compared to what happened in FS1, the GTVA got off scot free all things considered.

Yet in FS1 they actually defeated the Shivan fleet (at great loss) while in Freespace 2 it was made painfully clear just how outclassed the GTVA military really is.