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jamjar: (Default)
I've been thinking about this a bit. Barrayar as a cargo culture.

Barrayar went from technologically relatively sophisticated to feudal in a short space of time.

Lets say that to start with, supplies were basic. Basic medical treatment, transport, tools, computers. Now, lets say that all the power sources for these are temporary, or based on a fuel source that you don't get on planet. They've started to build some factories, maybe do some mining.

Power runs down. Can't keep good records because you only have so much paper you can print on. What do you try and keep records of? Well, medical journals are an obvious one. Agriculture techniques, maybe cultural books, maths, science, history. And after the paper you can print on is gone, you could be making paper, not good enough quality to stick in a printer, but you could still write on it- that doesn't require masses of technology or equipment and Barrayar has wood. Picture colonists like scribes of yore, sitting in big rooms with a computer screen and frantically trying to copy down as much as they can before the power runs out, because they can't fix anything. If something goes wrong, you can't order a new part. You don't have the machines sophisticated enough to build one. Everything decays and most of it can't be fixed.

And that's it for technology. They still have knowledge, but most of it isn't much use- loads of information on building spaceships, which they simply cannot do, when what they really need is a good manual on steam engines.

But, apart from that... what would people have kept in book form, when moving to another world- they'd try and keep the weight down by having most books stored on a computer, but some would be in book form.

Religious books, for one. Children's books, maybe. Important cultural works- Shakespeare, the Master and Margarita. Music.

And speaking of music... what songs would still be around? what plays? See, I think plays would be better preserved than books, because plays are structured to be recited. memorable is an important feature. TV programs, films come under the same category.

So poems might get preserved, memorable songs- Elvis would make and appearance, I think. the Beatles too. Classical composers, all the pieces of music where you can sit in front of a piano, close your eyes and just *play*. Fur Elise, chopsticks, Ode to joy.

A Serbian friend of mine told me that Blackadder is pretty big over there. Blackadder is very memorable- I can picture the shows becoming little plays, being adapted to match the Barrayans idea of the world.

there would be some loss due to attrition, to the culture just not being able to grasp/not feeling any connection to the subject matter. Romeo and Juliet can be understood by almost any culture. Star Trek cannot- unless you alter it beyond recognition.

More to say on this later.

Barrayar

Aug. 4th, 2002 04:24 pm
jamjar: (crane)
Gregor could remember when Miles couldn't walk. Couldn't lift his arms above shoulder level, could turn his neck, but only by twisting his whole body around with it. He remembered, in those early days when it was natural for Miles to be carried, when it was childhood and not deformity that kept him there, the neck brace Miles had worn to prevent him snapping his own neck during one of his frantic twists to grab something new.

He could remember Miles crying, because even the best, the safest, painkillers can't be given to a child for extended periods of time. And the desparate attempts by the doctors to find something, anything, that could be given to Miles.

Then there were the long, agonising months that followed breaking and resetting his hips. Miles's first attempts at walking, the stumbles that broke both his wrists and put him back in the chairs and his parent's arms.

When his wife asked what Miles was like as a child, Gregor always started from age eight.

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