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[CONTEST DRAFT] Memoirs of a Pale Blue Dot

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The Ankhalic Vaspriot
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[CONTEST DRAFT] Memoirs of a Pale Blue Dot

Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Sun Jun 02, 2024 4:39 am

Concept and Context: This issue is based on the golden records attached to the US space probes Voyager 1 and 2. These records serve as a cosmic time capsule intended to be seen by any potential extraterrestrial life. They contain over 100 images, a wide selection of music, greetings in 55 languages, and other selected media representing humanity and Earth. Inspiration was also taken from the Pioneer plaques.

[Title]: Memoirs of a Pale Blue Dot

[Validity]: Has policy Space Program

Draft 4.4 (minor changes):
[Introduction]: In anticipation of an upcoming favorable planetary alignment, scientists at the nation’s space program are planning a mission which will eventually enter interstellar space. Because of this, some of them have suggested that the probe should carry a time capsule representing humanity in case it gets intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence.

[Option 1]: “This is an otherworldly opportunity!” exclaims prominent astronomer Karl Ceylon. “This is our chance to toss a message in a bottle into a cosmic ocean for whoever may find it, however far in space or time they may be. Send them engravings of our solar system, our anatomy, and our place in the universe. If there’s really anyone out there, the least we can do is say hello.”

[Effect]: the nation’s space program is doxxing the planet

[Option 2 (Validity: Capitalism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for adverti- I mean the interests of the free market?” interjects Udon Tusk, the CEO of a nebulous series of tech startups who tends to gravitate towards your meetings whenever his projects fail. “Our propensity for innovation is only matched by our competitive spirit. Sell space in the time capsule to the highest bidders, and the magic of the free market will fill it with out-of-this-world publicity stu- inventions that will show the universe our avaric- ahem, advancement. Plus, you could use the revenue to bail out m- I mean subsidize further innovation.”

[Effect]: other worlds are informed of limited-time sales millenia after they conclude

[Option 3 (Validity: Socialism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for the workers?” interjects @@RANDOMNAME@@, an ardent Party member who spends more time reading theory than doing @@HIS@@ job. “The human capacity for selflessness and solidarity should be reflected in the time capsule. Send the works of our greatest socialist thinkers, and we can sow the seeds of class consciousness across the universe! With my out-of-this world expertise, I can make the selections.”

[Effect]: celestial bodies that make revolutions receive revolutions

[Option 4 (Validity: Autocracy)]: “Out of this world? You’re out of your mind!” bellows @@RANDOMNAME@@, a mercurial general whose presence seems to compel people to start doing pushups. “If there’s anyone out there, they need to know about passion, patriotism, and propaganda. Send images demonstrating the limitless amazingness of the GLORIOUS @@LEADER@@, whose power is as infinite as the universe and dissenters’ stupidity. For example, how about you front and center, glowing rays around you, with people lying prostrate to your glory?”

[Effect]: the nation thinks the universe revolves around them

[Option 5]: “Why send something to represent humanity when we can send humanity?” postulates @@RANDOMNAME@@, a cryologist infamous for @@HIS@@ obsessive fascination with liquid nitrogen. “The probe should carry a cryogenically frozen brain. That way, any sufficiently advanced lifeforms that come across it would have access to the full cornucopia of human thought and emotion. Our message to the cosmos should be a testament to both our perseverance and our pain, our laughter and our lament, and, fundamentally, what it really means to be human. I volunteer my own brain for the endeavor. Death on Earth is merely the price of immortality among the stars.”

[Effect]: brainfreeze has taken on a new meaning

[Option 6]: “Shhh, they’ll hear us,” mumbles a barely audible voice that you can’t pinpoint the source of. “It’s like a dark forest out there. If they hear us, they’ll come for us. End the space program, and make sure we stay very, very quiet.” You catch a fleeting movement in the corner of the room, but it vanishes as quickly as it appeared.

[Effect]: silence stifles stellar science


Draft 3:
[Introduction]: In anticipation of an upcoming favorable planetary alignment, the nation’s space program is planning a mission which will eventually enter interstellar space. Some of the nation’s top scientists have suggested that the probe carry a time capsule representing humanity should it be intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence, and have met with you to discuss its contents.

[Option 1]: “This is an otherworldly opportunity!” exclaims prominent astronomer Karl Ceylon. “This is our chance to toss a message in a bottle into a cosmic ocean for whoever may find it, however far in space or time they may be. Send them engravings of our solar system, our anatomy, and our place in the universe. If there’s really anyone out there, the least we can do is say hello.”

[Effect]: the nation’s space program is doxxing the planet

[Option 2 (Validity: Capitalism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for adverti- I mean the interests of the free market?” interjects Udon Tusk, the CEO of a nebulous series of tech startups who tends to gravitate towards your meetings whenever his projects fail. “Our propensity for innovation is only matched by our competitive spirit. Sell space in the time capsule to the highest bidders, and the magic of the free market will fill it with out-of-this-world inventions. Plus, you could use the revenue to bail out my- I mean encourage further innovation.”

[Effect]: aliens are informed of limited-time sales millenia after they conclude

[Option 3 (Validity: Socialism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for another Karl?” interjects @@RANDOMNAME@@, an ardent Party member who spends more time reading theory than doing @@HIS@@ job. “The human capacity for selflessness and solidarity should be reflected in the time capsule. Send the works of our greatest socialist thinkers, and we can sow the seeds of class consciousness across the universe! My out-of-this-world expertise can make the selections, of course.”

[Effect]: celestial bodies that make revolutions receive revolutions

[Option 4 (Validity: Autocracy)]: “Out of this world? You’re out of your mind!” bellows @@RANDOMNAME@@, a mercurial general whose presence seems to compel people to start doing pushups. “If there’s anyone out there, they need to know about patriotism, Providence, and propaganda. Send a message informing them of the limitless amazingness of the GLORIOUS @@LEADER@@, whose power is as infinite as the universe and dissenters’ stupidity.”

[Effect]: the nation thinks the universe revolves around them

[Option 5]: “Why send something to represent humanity when we can send humanity?” postulates @@RANDOMNAME@@, a cryologist infamous for @@HIS@@ obsessive fascination with liquid nitrogen. “The probe should carry a cryogenically frozen brain. That way, any sufficiently advanced lifeforms that come across it would have access to the full cornucopia of human thought and emotion. This way, our message to the cosmos would be a testament to both our perseverance and our pain, our laughter and our lament, and, fundamentally, what it really means to be human.”

[Effect]: brainfreeze has taken on a new meaning

[Option 6]: “Shhh, they’ll hear us,” mumbles a barely audible voice that you can’t pinpoint the source of. “It’s like a dark forest out there. If they hear us, they’ll come for us. End the space program, and make sure we stay very, very quiet.” You catch a fleeting movement in the corner of the room, but it vanishes as quickly as it appeared.

[Effect]: aliens are upset that the latest season of @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ politics was canceled


Draft 2:
[Introduction]: In anticipation of an upcoming favorable planetary alignment, the nation’s space program is planning a mission which will eventually enter interstellar space. Some of the nation’s top scientists have suggested that the probe carry a time capsule representing humanity should it be intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence, and have met with you to discuss its contents.

[Option 1]: “This is an otherworldly opportunity!” exclaims prominent astronomer Karl Ceylon, “the last time this was possible, that person was sitting where you are today.” He points to a centuries-old portrait of a famous @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ leader. “This is our chance to toss a message in a bottle into a cosmic ocean for whoever may find it, however far in space or time they may be. Send them engravings of our solar system, our anatomy, and our place in the universe. If there’s really anyone out there, the least we can do is say hello.”

[Effect]: the nation’s space program is doxxing the planet

[Option 2 (Validity: Capitalism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for adverti- I mean the interests of the free market?” interjects Udon Tusk, the CEO of a nebulous series of tech startups who tends to gravitate towards your meetings whenever his projects fail. “Our capacity for innovation is only matched by our competitive spirit. Sell space in the time capsule to the highest bidder, and it will be filled with out-of-this-world inventions. The free market will decide what those are, of course.”

[Effect]: aliens are informed of limited-time sales millenia after they conclude

[Option 3 (Validity: Socialism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for another Karl?” interjects @@RANDOMNAME@@, an ardent Party member who spends more time reading theory than doing @@HIS@@ job. “Send them the works of our greatest socialist thinkers! We can sow the seeds of class consciousness across the universe! My out-of-this-world expertise can make the selections.”

[Effect]: celestial bodies that make revolutions receive revolutions

[Option 4 (Validity: Autocracy)]: “Out of this world? You’re out of your mind!” bellows @@RANDOMNAME@@, a mercurial general whose presence seems to compel people to start doing pushups. “If there’s anyone out there, they need to know who’s boss. Send a message informing them of the amazingness of our GLORIOUS @@LEADER@@, which is as infinite as the universe and dissenters’ stupidity. Patriotism and devotion are some of humanity’s most remarkable qualities, and the time capsule ought to reflect that.”

[Effect]: the nation thinks the universe revolves around them

[Option 5]: “Why send something to represent humanity when we can send humanity?” postulates @@RANDOMNAME@@, a cryologist infamous for @@HIS@@ obsessive fascination with liquid nitrogen. “The probe should carry a cryogenically frozen brain. That way, any sufficiently advanced lifeforms that come across it would have access to the full cornucopia of human thought and emotion. This way, our message to the cosmos would be a testament to our successes and our sorrows, our dreams and our despairs, and, fundamentally, what it really means to be human.”

[Effect]: brain freeze has taken on a new meaning


[Option 6]: “Shhh, they’ll hear us,” mumbles a barely audible voice that you can’t pinpoint the source of. “It’s like a dark forest out there. If they hear us, they’ll come for us. End the space program, and make sure we stay very, very quiet.” You catch a fleeting movement in the corner of the room, but it vanishes as quickly as it appeared.

[Effect]: aliens are upset that the latest season of @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ politics was canceled


Draft 1:
[Introduction]: In anticipation of an upcoming favorable planetary alignment, the nation’s space program is planning a mission which will eventually enter interstellar space. Some of the nation’s top scientists have suggested that the probe carry a time capsule representing humanity should it be intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence and have met with you to discuss its contents.

[Option 1]: “This is an otherworldly opportunity!” exclaims prominent astronomer Karl Ceylon, “the last time this was possible, that person was sitting where you are today.” He points to a centuries-old portrait of a famous @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ leader. “This is our chance to toss a message in a bottle into a cosmic ocean for whoever may find it, however far in space or time they may be. Send them our biology, our science, our place in the universe. Send them laughter, music, and greetings in several languages. If there’s really anyone out there, the least we can do is say hello.”

[Effect]: the nation’s space program is doxxing the planet

[Option 2 (Validity: Capitalism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for adverti- I mean the interests of the free market?” interjects Udon Tusk, the CEO of a nebulous series of tech startups who tends to gravitate towards your meetings whenever his projects fail. “Contract the time capsule to SpaceY, my latest ingenious company, and my out-of-this-world marketing skills will solve the rest! I wonder if aliens like burgers…”

[Effect]: aliens are informed of limited-time sales millenia after they conclude

[Option 2 (Validity: Socialism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for another Karl?” interjects @@RANDOMNAME@@, an ardent Party member who spends more time reading theory than doing @@HIS@@ job. “Send them the works of our greatest socialist thinkers! We can sow the seeds of class consciousness across the universe! My out-of-this-world expertise can make the selections.”

[Effect]: celestial bodies that make revolutions receive revolutions

[Option 3 (Validity: Autocracy)]: “Out of this world? You’re out of your mind!” bellows @@RANDOMNAME@@, a mercurial general whose presence seems to compel people to start doing pushups. “If there’s anyone out there, they need to know who’s boss. Send a message informing them that they must swear their full allegiance to the GLORIOUS @@LEADER@@, and we will become the masters of MULTIPLE tiny dots.”

[Effect]: the nation thinks the universe revolves around them

[Option 4]: “Shhh, they’ll hear us,” mumbles a barely audible voice that you can’t pinpoint the source of. “It’s like a dark forest out there. If they hear us, they’ll come for us. End the space program, and make sure we stay very, very quiet.” You catch a fleeting movement in the corner of the room, but it vanishes as quickly as it appeared.

[Effect]: aliens are upset that the latest season of @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ politics was canceled


References and jokes to explain word choice:
References and Jokes (to explain word choice):
Karl Ceylon is a reference to Carl Sagan, who spearheaded the Pioneer and Voyager time capsule projects.

The “centuries-old” description of the portrait is a reference to the 175-year orbital cycle that produced the conditions used for the Voyagers’ gravity assist. I figured it would sound overly specific to say 175, and thus opted for “centuries-old.”

Udon Tusk is a reference to Elon Musk.

The line “…a message in a bottle into a cosmic ocean,” is a reference to a Carl Sagan quote which uses the same analogy.

“Sirius-ly” is a pun on the star Sirius.

The following words were used for space puns: otherworldly, nebulous, gravitate, out-of-this-world, mercurial.

“...another Karl” is a reference to Karl Marx.

“...which is as infinite as the universe and dissenters' stupidity” is a reference to the famous and potentially misattributed Einstein quote, "[t]wo things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

“It’s like a dark forest out there,” and the last option in general, are a reference to the dark forest hypothesis, which holds that extraterrestrial life exists, but any civilization would be silent to avoid being destroyed by others, and hostile to any it detects.


All feedback is greatly appreciated! It’s been a few years since I’ve tried my hand at issue writing, and I think it’s time to pick up the pen again. In addition to general feedback, I’d like some opinions on the following:
Is it ok that almost all the options follow the form of "Short quote," says speaker. "Long quote."? I know it would be wise to diversify them, but I don't know if it's that important.

Is it clear enough that the use of Providence in the autocracy option is a deification of @@LEADER@@ rather than a religious reference. Alternatively, if someone could think of another word to fit the alliteration, that'd work too.

Some of the words I used for space puns might not be obviously so, and some of them feel shoehorned in.

Is "tech startups" vague enough to not warrant an additional policy requirement?

Should there be a validity requirement for option 5?
Last edited by The Ankhalic Vaspriot on Tue Jun 18, 2024 4:09 am, edited 12 times in total.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sun Jun 02, 2024 6:30 am

The Ankhalic Vaspriot wrote:[Option 2 (Validity: Capitalism)]: “Sirius-ly? No space at the table for adverti- I mean the interests of the free market?” interjects Udon Tusk, the CEO of a nebulous series of tech startups who tends to gravitate towards your meetings whenever his projects fail. “Contract the time capsule to SpaceY, my latest ingenious company, and my out-of-this-world marketing skills will solve the rest! I wonder if aliens like burgers…”
Does your company offer interstellar delivery? Will it even still be around by the time any aliens pick up this record? How the heck are you expecting to make money off this?

The Ankhalic Vaspriot wrote:[Option 3 (Validity: Autocracy)]: “Out of this world? You’re out of your mind!” bellows @@RANDOMNAME@@, a mercurial general whose presence seems to compel people to start doing pushups. “If there’s anyone out there, they need to know who’s boss. Send a message informing them that they must swear their full allegiance to the GLORIOUS @@LEADER@@, and we will become the masters of MULTIPLE tiny dots.”
Ditto. If we're still at the "shouting in the void in a desperate hope that someone might hear us because we have no better ideas" stage of space exploration, there's no way we're possibly going to be conquering any aliens even if they're all a bunch of weakling pacifists with no weapons more advanced than a rotting stick.

You acknowledged the records as a "time capsule" in the opening. You should lean more into that angle. Ask yourself, if we get a chance to send one message to an alien civilization that will only get picked up long after our current civilization has faded into the annals of history, and possible even after our species has gone extinct, what would we want that message to contain? What do we want to be our lasting legacy to the universe?

I recall that the Pioneer plaques drew criticism for depicting humans naked, which may be more biologically educational for any aliens that find it, but is also not accurate to what humans look like most of the time...

Overall the Pioneer plaques make for a more interesting dilemma than the Voyager records, simply because they have space for much less data (being meant to be readable without specialized equipment that aliens may have trouble figuring out to build to our specifications), and so the "just include everything we can think of" compromise is less viable.

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The Ankhalic Vaspriot
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Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Sun Jun 02, 2024 7:28 am

Trotterdam wrote:Does your company offer interstellar delivery? Will it even still be around by the time any aliens pick up this record? How the heck are you expecting to make money off this?


Trotterdam wrote:Ditto. If we're still at the "shouting in the void in a desperate hope that someone might hear us because we have no better ideas" stage of space exploration, there's no way we're possibly going to be conquering any aliens even if they're all a bunch of weakling pacifists with no weapons more advanced than a rotting stick.

You acknowledged the records as a "time capsule" in the opening. You should lean more into that angle. Ask yourself, if we get a chance to send one message to an alien civilization that will only get picked up long after our current civilization has faded into the annals of history, and possible even after our species has gone extinct, what would we want that message to contain? What do we want to be our lasting legacy to the universe?

I recall that the Pioneer plaques drew criticism for depicting humans naked, which may be more biologically educational for any aliens that find it, but is also not accurate to what humans look like most of the time...

Overall the Pioneer plaques make for a more interesting dilemma than the Voyager records, simply because they have space for much less data (being meant to be readable without specialized equipment that aliens may have trouble figuring out to build to our specifications), and so the "just include everything we can think of" compromise is less viable.


You make some very good points here. The intent of those two options was that they're funny in their ridiculousness and futility, which, upon rereading, isn't very obvious. I originally had a line in option 3 that made this clear, but removed it because it wasn't well written. I'll rewrite the options you highlighted to lean more into the time capsule angle you mentioned, since I don't see a way of keeping the current story while making the options reasonable. I also like the idea of basing it on the Pioneer plaques, since there was definitely an issue with exactly how to word option 1 given all the things the record contained. Thank you very much for the feedback.

Edit: the issue has been updated to be less insane and center more on what humanity's greatest qualities are and how that should be reflected in the time capsule's contents.
Last edited by The Ankhalic Vaspriot on Sun Jun 02, 2024 8:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Terrabod
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Postby Terrabod » Sun Jun 02, 2024 9:35 am

This is a fun premise. I like that you're leaning less into the assumption that this thing will definitely be found re: the Capitalism option. Maybe you should take a leaf out of Three Body Problem, and
have the "validity" options suggest sending a cryogenically frozen brain into space. With the Capitalism option, space in the shuttle can be sold off to the highest bidder. With the Socialism option, it can go to your Nation's greatest socialist philosopher. With the Autocracy option, it can go to YOU! The idea here is that is can be defrosted by an alien civilization.


Just a thought! It might be fun to use this at least as a more fun and interesting outcome for the Autocracy.

On a side note, you need to renumber your options.
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Postby Australian rePublic » Sun Jun 02, 2024 7:21 pm

Just make sure it doesn't smash into Uranus. (You NEED to have that joke in there)
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The Ankhalic Vaspriot
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Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:31 am

Terrabod wrote:Maybe you should take a leaf out of Three Body Problem, and
have the "validity" options suggest sending a cryogenically frozen brain into space. With the Capitalism option, space in the shuttle can be sold off to the highest bidder. With the Socialism option, it can go to your Nation's greatest socialist philosopher. With the Autocracy option, it can go to YOU! The idea here is that is can be defrosted by an alien civilization.


That's definitely an interesting idea. I'll write a general option for sending a brain, but the specifics of who to send might work better as a follow-up issue. Also, thanks for notifying me about the numbering issue.

Australian rePublic wrote:Just make sure it doesn't smash into Uranus. (You NEED to have that joke in there)


To think I was sitting there trying to remember words tangentially related to space while forgetting about the infamous Uranus joke. I'll see if I can find a spot for it.

Update: I have added the frozen brain option. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a spot for the Uranus joke that wouldn't require completely rewriting one of the options. Assistance in this endeavor would be appreciated.
Last edited by The Ankhalic Vaspriot on Mon Jun 03, 2024 10:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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The Ankhalic Vaspriot
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Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Thu Jun 06, 2024 6:49 am

Update: I have written a new draft in order to address some funky wording and better reflect the issue at hand. Most options now revolve around how we want humanity to be perceived by any potential extraterrestrial intelligence, which I think is closer to the fundamental nature of the issue than just debating what to put in the time capsule.

Still can't find a good spot for a Uranus joke.
Last edited by The Ankhalic Vaspriot on Thu Jun 06, 2024 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Verdant Haven » Thu Jun 06, 2024 6:02 pm

Hark! I spy a past contest winner, returning to have another go. Fascinating topic choice.

- In the description, there are a few minor word tweaks to help with readability, but otherwise it's pretty solid. I would perhaps clarify (in some way of your choice) that the space program's internal leadership is planning this mission, so it doesn't sound to the player like it's assumed they themself green-lit it. The "should it be intercepted" is slightly confusing – it could be read as saying "if the probe is intercepted, then it should carry a capsule" instead of "it should carry a capsule just in case it gets intercepted." Final minor note – you can nuke the last bit of the final sentence, about meeting with Leader. The options evince that activity for themselves.

Option 3: "another Karl" doesn't really... fit. I'd probably just say something like "No space at the table for the workers?" At the end of this option, "my expertise" doesn't work as a decision-making entity... perhaps "With my expertise, I can..." would work better.

Option 4: For this one I'm really curious what form this message is supposed to take. Writing is meaningless. Flags would just be meaningless pictures. I'm very interested to hear some details on how this general wants to translate ideas like patriotism into a non-linguistic form for recipients who may not even have the concept of a nation-state! There's a bit of this for the previous one as well (sending a book would be utterly useless, after all), but for whatever reason this option is the one that really made me stop and ask "how?"

Option 5: I like this idea as an out-there option, and I enjoy the effect line as well. My own brain wants to take it in a somewhat sinister direction (where is the brain coming from, hmmmmmm?), and perhaps see it as multiple brains, to try and encompass the broadest range of knowledge and experience. Maybe a lottery – the nation's great thinkers forced to draw straws for who gets mindflayed their brain removed and shoved in the cryo-tank?

Effect lines 2 and 6: I would encourage shying away from lines that rely on intelligent alien life, even as jokes. Effect 2 sort-of works, but Effect 6 is Easter Egg territory.

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Postby Tinhampton » Thu Jun 06, 2024 6:09 pm

@@NAME@@ is not an apt choice to represent "humanity." After all, it only harbours so much of the multiversal population... and the people living there may not even be Homo sapiens.
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Postby Verdant Haven » Thu Jun 06, 2024 8:15 pm

Tinhampton wrote:@@NAME@@ is not an apt choice to represent "humanity." After all, it only harbours so much of the multiversal population... and the people living there may not even be Homo sapiens.

For Issues purposes, being human is assumed. In fact, as suggested above, we pointedly disallow anything that treats as fact the existence of intelligent non-human creatures. There are nearly 200 references to humans, being humans, etc scattered throughout the Issues base.

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The Ankhalic Vaspriot
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Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Fri Jun 07, 2024 5:11 am

Verdant Haven wrote:Hark! I spy a past contest winner, returning to have another go. Fascinating topic choice.

Happy to be back! In regard to your feedback, I have made all suggested changes. The effect lines probably still need some work though, since it can be tricky to come up with good ones. Thank you for taking the time to respond as thoroughly as you did.

Tinhampton wrote:@@NAME@@ is not an apt choice to represent "humanity." After all, it only harbours so much of the multiversal population

To the hypothetical aliens receiving the time capsule, what they receive is all they know about humanity. @@NAME@@ is all there is unless we tell them otherwise. Plus, the only explicitly egoistic option is the autocracy one. I don't really see a way around this issue without turning it into a hydra.

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Postby Australian rePublic » Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:36 am

Option 1- This is an otherworldly opportunity!” exclaims prominent astronomer Karl Ceylon. “This is our chance to toss a message in a bottle into a cosmic ocean for whoever may find it, however far in space or time they may be. Send them engravings of our solar system, our anatomy, and our place in the universe. If there’s really anyone out there, the least we can do is say hello. I just hope it doesn't crash into Uranus!"
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Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Tue Jun 11, 2024 4:30 am

Update: made some slight wording changes and made some effect lines more interesting.

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Postby Verdant Haven » Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:55 am

For option 2, I think just a tiny little suggestion of *why* you want to fill the capsule with inventions would be useful. Something like "to prove how advanced we are" or "so those little green men respect us" would be totally fine – just a wee hint one way or another.

Option 4: "Providence" (especially when capitalized) has some fairly strong religious implications that might not work for atheist nations. I think the general concept is solid, but if there's another good word that fits the option it might be preferable.

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The Ankhalic Vaspriot
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Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Tue Jun 11, 2024 11:44 am

Verdant Haven wrote:For option 2, I think just a tiny little suggestion of *why* you want to fill the capsule with inventions would be useful. Something like "to prove how advanced we are" or "so those little green men respect us" would be totally fine – just a wee hint one way or another.

I went with the former and squeezed in another funny slip of the tongue.

Verdant Haven wrote:Option 4: "Providence" (especially when capitalized) has some fairly strong religious implications that might not work for atheist nations. I think the general concept is solid, but if there's another good word that fits the option it might be preferable.

This was my worry. I settled on "Providence" more as a placeholder than anything and knew it should be changed. I've replaced it with "passion," which I can't believe I didn't think of previously. I also considered a potential religion-based option, but figured the issue was already nearing too many options (most of which are quite long).

Thank you once again for your feedback, it is very much appreciated.

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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:44 pm

This one I see that it has already been on the 4th Draft, so you have definitely been busy in a good way, and it shows! I love the premise, very strong start till the end. ♥

Good multiple options for multiple validities, too! I personally (unfortunately) have nothing else that I can contribute or give feedback on. ^^; So all I can say now is - good luck when you are submitting it!
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Wed Jun 12, 2024 5:52 am

The Ankhalic Vaspriot wrote:"Sell space in the time capsule to the highest bidders, and the magic of the free market will fill it with out-of-this-world inventions"
Err... huh? These are two different things.

If you really want to fill the capsule with humanity's most advanced inventions, you'll probably need to pay for them, not expect the inventors to pay you for the priviledge. Do that and you just get trashy advertisements.

Of course, if we're going there, isn't an interstellar probe already one of humanity's greatest technological achievements? What can we add to that that would actually impress anybody?

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The Ankhalic Vaspriot
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Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Wed Jun 12, 2024 8:23 am

Trotterdam wrote:If you really want to fill the capsule with humanity's most advanced inventions, you'll probably need to pay for them, not expect the inventors to pay you for the priviledge. Do that and you just get trashy advertisements.

I've reworded the section to better reflect this, adding another slip of the tongue suggesting publicity stunts as opposed to actual inventions. I think this works, considering the absurd things companies will do for publicity. Also, I think the other slip-ups more than convey that all the innovation and invention stuff is a bombastic façade for "trashy advertisements," as you put it, though perhaps it could be done better.

Trotterdam wrote:Of course, if we're going there, isn't an interstellar probe already one of humanity's greatest technological achievements? What can we add to that that would actually impress anybody?

Although you make a good point here, humanity has made myriad advancements and discoveries not pertinent to or implied by an interstellar probe. Considering the rest of NationStates' near future technology, this is even more true at the time of the probe's launch. Take gene editing, for example. Certainly it'd be impressive that a species can modify its own characteristics to make themselves better (or make designer babies)?

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The Ankhalic Vaspriot
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Postby The Ankhalic Vaspriot » Tue Jun 18, 2024 4:12 am

Update: changed option 6's effect line to "silence stifles stellar science"

Considering the date and recent lack of feedback, I'll move this to last call soon and aim to submit around the 25th.

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Postby SherpDaWerp » Tue Jun 18, 2024 6:12 pm

Discussion of "providence" makes me want to suggest a culturally-focused option - similar to #1, but less about describing humanity scientifically, and more about preserving our culture and presenting it to aliens - heaped with references to the book by Max Barry.

Maybe a mysteriously bald author suggests sending out works of culture - including his book, of course - with hopes that an alien race of 'salamanders' finds it? Or an effect line referencing faraway alien 'hives' finding the capsule and struggling to understand its purpose?

I leave it to your authorial discretion - the issue is well-paced as is, and it may be tricky to add in another option.
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