Timeline probably ruined

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
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Wolfy
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Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:40 pm

Hey george, I think its time to just say that we're dealing with an alternate future here - first Brexit, and now with isolationist trump at the helm, and an actual secession campaign with money starting to form in California (aka, Calexit - which is actually a very well founded and thought out movement originally unrelated to but exacerbated by trump* that picked up a lot of steam after trump's election last night. Some Silicon Valley money has already pledged support too), with some other states probably following in turn (including NY, OR, WA), I think its time to retire any attempts at matching up the timeline with history.

On the bright side, if multiple states secede and team up with canada or something to form the 'North American Union' (paralleling the EU), we could just retcon NAU to mean that instead. :P

*Californian nationalism has been driven by resentment towards out of state policy making and federal use of california as a donor state preventing us from spending tax money on our own schools and infrastructure, along with federal control (and mismanagement) of nearly half the state's land. As a fellow californian, I urge you to check it out!
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Shrike
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Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:35 pm

Eh, I've always viewed the timeline as branching off at around about the year 2000.

Edit: And this is off-topic, but probably more important. I know we've got folks in the community who are going to be hurt by this election result. We'll have folks who know folks who'll be hurt by this election result. If you need to talk, jump on IRC or flick a PM to a moderator, and above all else don't give up on yourself and your future. I've come close to doing that myself in the past a few times, and it's not a good option. There's not much we can do to help, but since I know we've got plenty of folks with longterm mental health issues (hell, I'm one of them) I think it's important that we're here to give what little we can. At the very least we can commiserate and share pictures of animals and stuff.


On a more humorous topic I forgot in my initial post, IIRC California (or part of it) is actually an island in the Transcendence setting IIRC, so either the Calexit folks (Hi wolfy! :P ) got a bit literal, or someone decided to flood Death Valley and did it a bit too well.
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Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:49 pm

Always in motion the future is. And having guessed wrong about the US election, I'm not really in a position to make more predictions.

But I think big events like this one shrink as you gain distance in time. After 9/11, we all thought the world would never be the same again. And even though there have been major changes as a result, I think it's fair to say that the world is not fundamentally that different. So it will be with Trump, in my opinion.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that no US state will secede in my lifetime.

But you're right that the world of 2016 is different from what I thought it would be at Transcendence's first release in 2003.

I think we can address this in two ways. First, as you said, we can retcon when we have no choice. If we get a signal from an alien intelligence next year, of course we'll have to retcon. Second, though, I think the Transcendence timeline should be sufficiently vague and ambiguous as to be compatible with multiple possibilities.

There is lots of text in the dev wiki about timelines and history, but most of it is background not meant to be in the game itself. As long as the game text is properly ambiguous, I think we can alter the internal timeline to be as consistent as possible. For example, I don't think there's any text in Eternity Port that would contradict a divided US, with some pieces joining NAU and others not.

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Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:03 pm

Shrike wrote:Edit: And this is off-topic, but probably more important. I know we've got folks in the community who are going to be hurt by this election result. We'll have folks who know folks who'll be hurt by this election result. If you need to talk, jump on IRC or flick a PM to a moderator, and above all else don't give up on yourself and your future. I've come close to doing that myself in the past a few times, and it's not a good option. There's not much we can do to help, but since I know we've got plenty of folks with longterm mental health issues (hell, I'm one of them) I think it's important that we're here to give what little we can. At the very least we can commiserate and share pictures of animals and stuff.
I agree with this.

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Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:41 am

It's a little early to guess that we'll see geographical changes that will disrupt the timeline. I believe it's a much better bet that we won't, especially considering how much supposedly happens in the next ten years.

I'm definitely on the side that the timeline is very malleable and I'm not convinced that anything has outright invalidated it yet - at least, not until we're disappointed with the lack of moon bases in ten years.
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JohnBWatson
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Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:30 am

Wolfy wrote:Hey george, I think its time to just say that we're dealing with an alternate future here - first Brexit, and now with isolationist trump at the helm, and an actual secession campaign with money starting to form in California (aka, Calexit - which is actually a very well founded and thought out movement originally unrelated to but exacerbated by trump* that picked up a lot of steam after trump's election last night. Some Silicon Valley money has already pledged support too), with some other states probably following in turn (including NY, OR, WA), I think its time to retire any attempts at matching up the timeline with history.
To any non - Americans that are wondering - Calexit isn't that likely in practice. It's been a thing since forever, and has been receiving money from SV millionaires for about that long. Nearly every state has some sort of movement to secede from the country, and a fair portion of them have subsections that want to secede from that state!

(Personally, I'm in favor of letting the rural areas around cities in several adjacent states merge into their own states in a way that would maintain the current 50/50 Senate balance while getting rid of the urban/rural conflict that inevitably leaves one side or the other with no representation, but that's about as unlikely as any other proposal.)
On the bright side, if multiple states secede and team up with canada or something to form the 'North American Union' (paralleling the EU), we could just retcon NAU to mean that instead. :P
NAU feels very America - centric. The naming schemes are all American to the core, and a lot of the culture we've seen is directly descendant from America. I think that whatever leads up to it is going to be, at its core, an American successor state.

All of that said, I think the cleanest and most robust way to Make America the NAU (Again) would be to cast the NAU's origin as the 'solution' to America's polarization. It's not all that farfetched to imagine that both sides of the American political divide might soon agree that the desire to force their policies on the other side is unhealthy and unsustainable, as shown by the huge increases in premiums as the ACA fell apart recently, brought about partially by the conflict over its implementation, and the tense protests of the election result going on in NYC at the moment, which emerged partially due to resentment at having a president that their state/city/cultural ingroup didn't vote for.

A way to resolve partisanship while not causing an upset of the international order might be to transition the USA to an EU - like structure, with a shared currency and defense force and at least partially open internal borders but independent individual governments with limited ability to dominate one another. Once this is done, a major obstacle to Puerto Rico becoming a state, something they've been wanting to do for a while now, is eliminated. Perhaps Canada would also like to join, given the renegotiation of NAFTA? Britain's probably also looking for a new home that could provide it with an export market while being more open to its favored immigration policy, so why not join its former colonies? There's already a shared cultural heritage, after all. Perhaps the next few countries breaking off from the EU might follow Britain's lead.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that no US state will secede in my lifetime.
I'm in good company. :D
Second, though, I think the Transcendence timeline should be sufficiently vague and ambiguous as to be compatible with multiple possibilities.


Exactly what I was aiming for. Even if nothing much happens in the next 4/8/16(If those rather tongue - in - cheek predictions of Melania or Ivanka as the first female POTUS end up panning out) years, America could plausibly just decide to switch over to a new system. It sort of works out no matter which side of the culture war wins: Either the EU is seen as a successful model that America decides to follow, should that side of the isle manage to regroup, or a rise in nationalism globally causes the American people to take a hard look at the vast cultural and political differences between the states and decide that, while there is strength in numbers, a certain degree of absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I'm definitely on the side that the timeline is very malleable and I'm not convinced that anything has outright invalidated it yet - at least, not until we're disappointed with the lack of moon bases in ten years.
The GOP *has* been voting for higher NASA budgets in recent years, with particular emphasis on space exploration, and a single party government, for all of its risks, does tend to be a bit better at achieving an individual goal. Assuming the NATO scaleback resulting from the assumed detente with Russia ends up working out, we could see a fair amount of the military budget headed in that direction too.

I wouldn't count it out quite yet, even if Trump seems partial to pointing the space program at Mars instead.

On a non - NAU note, we might be seeing the history of the ED being written. Putin's influence in the EU's member states seems to be building at around the same time the USA is souring on neoconservatism and acting as the world police. If the EU continues to fall apart, as it likely will without America funding its military obligations, it's quite possible that its member states would either be absorbed by the Russian sphere of influence or retreat into the American one. In a way, the election results make Transcendence's future *more* realistic - without a detente with Russia, there would almost certainly be an additional conflict between the culturally Russian dominated ED and the culturally American dominated NAU, making the latter's neutrality in the War between the Powers extremely unlikely.

Calming of tensions between NATO and Russia also makes it more likely that Russia and Turkey could get along, though I think most of the hope for that died when the secular faction of Turkey was destroyed in the failed coup.

On another somewhat tangent point, I'm less hopeful about a UAS emerging. The ethnic conflict in South Africa, the continued demise of secularism in the Middle East, and the somehow growing movement against the study of modern medical science all seem to point to progress in the opposite direction. Perhaps Iran will become more moderate once the pressure is off? I'd be more optimistic if that had happened when we tried it with Cuba.

Finally, I'd like to ask whether anyone has any idea what the kack happened in South Korea. The president seems to have fallen to single digit approval ratings, and was recently exposed as being controlled by a malevolent cabal of elite women who referred to themselves as "goddesses". I'm starting to wonder if those people on the internet weren't joking about Trump severing the barrier between anime and the real world.

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Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:26 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:On a non - NAU note, we might be seeing the history of the ED being written. Putin's influence in the EU's member states seems to be building at around the same time the USA is souring on neoconservatism and acting as the world police. If the EU continues to fall apart, as it likely will without America funding its military obligations, it's quite possible that its member states would either be absorbed by the Russian sphere of influence or retreat into the American one. In a way, the election results make Transcendence's future *more* realistic - without a detente with Russia, there would almost certainly be an additional conflict between the culturally Russian dominated ED and the culturally American dominated NAU, making the latter's neutrality in the War between the Powers extremely unlikely.

Calming of tensions between NATO and Russia also makes it more likely that Russia and Turkey could get along, though I think most of the hope for that died when the secular faction of Turkey was destroyed in the failed coup.
I agree with this, though I see Russia and Turkey getting **closer** together after the failed coup. Both Russia and Turkey are headed towards centralized, authoritarian power. They don't fit in the EU and are thus driven closer together. The ED is a formal union between these two powers, but not a dissolution of the two powers. That is, Russia and Turkey share power and need to agree on any major ED decision (hence "Diarchy").

The way I see it, the EU (and the US) get closer and closer to the Commonwealth system. Things like the Dollar and the Euro don't matter as much in the Commonwealth economy, which is why the NAU trades in credits. Whether EU nations are part of NAU or not, they would also trade in credits.

In contrast, Russia and Turkey want control over their own destiny. They don't want to join the credit economy because they would lack power in it. Instead, they adopt the Euro (which the EU no longer really cares about, since it's moved on) and use it in their own sphere. [Whether they literally adopt the Euro or create a new currency with the same name doesn't really matter--they want the legitimacy from the name.]

This is a lot like the fall of the Roman Empire. The Western Empire fell and eventually evolved into a new system after the Renaissance. But the Eastern Empire became the Byzantine Empire and always saw itself as a continuation of the Roman Empire. In that sense, the ED sees itself as the true heir to the old system of the EU.

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Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:50 pm

That's incredibly interesting - I hadn't thought of it that way. Now that I examine the situation again, there's quite a bit of historical precedent for something like that happening.

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Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:41 pm

Wolfy wrote:Hey george, I think its time to just say that we're dealing with an alternate future here -
No no no, you're getting it all wrong. Transcendence has the correct timeline, and we just branched off into a freaky alternate universe.

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Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:02 pm

Ihlosi wrote:
Wolfy wrote:Hey george, I think its time to just say that we're dealing with an alternate future here -
No no no, you're getting it all wrong. Transcendence has the correct timeline, and we just branched off into a freaky alternate universe.
Both of you are wrong! Its the Matrix playing with us!

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