How NOT to Conworld.

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
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Aszev
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Aszev »

I'm sorry that I didn't notice this thread earlier, because I think there are some unacceptable comments here made by Salmoneus (e.g. "[your post is] actively disgusting") and Khemehekis ("Seems like the Dunning-Kruger effect to me."), directed at a new member (who unsurprisingly never showed up again).

I would like to remind everyone to Be Civil (House Rule 1) and to not bite the newbies. You may disagree with a post, or think that it is absurd, but this is no excuse to not treat the poster with respect, especially if it's their first or second post on the entire forum.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by elemtilas »

Mándinrùh wrote:
28 Apr 2020 05:42
You raise good points. I would argue that a close copy of the real world is a bad conworld in the same way that a relex of English is a bad conlang; it's not that there isn't value there, but the idea was to produce something new, that hasn't been accomplished.
That's fair!
I obviously need to refine my second point, since it is too vague and subjective. There's definitely a line here, but I'm not quite settled on where it is.
I wonder: could points 2 & 3 be merged? After all, if an invented world is "underdevelopped", might it not follow that it could not fulfill its goal?
As for goals, if there was no goal, then my third point doesn't apply, but most human pursuits have come goal, even if that goal is just personal entertainment or edification. However, if you want to make a conworld to set a novel in, and you end up being unable to set it in the world you've made, then it is bad for that purpose, though it certainly could still have some value.
Fair. I didn't mean to disparage goal setting of course! I agree especially when it comes to setting a goal outside the world itself.
I suppose that in the end, if at least one person can appreciate the existence of the thing, then it has value, but that's so general a statement as to miss the whole point of the thread!
Ah! An easy goal to accomplish!

I think it might really be how not to make an invented world, if the maker herself can't even be persuaded to appreciate the mere existence of she has made!

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Khemehekis »

Aszev wrote:
28 Apr 2020 10:15
I'm sorry that I didn't notice this thread earlier, because I think there are some unacceptable comments here made by Salmoneus (e.g. "[your post is] actively disgusting") and Khemehekis ("Seems like the Dunning-Kruger effect to me."), directed at a new member (who unsurprisingly never showed up again).

I would like to remind everyone to Be Civil (House Rule 1) and to not bite the newbies. You may disagree with a post, or think that it is absurd, but this is no excuse to not treat the poster with respect, especially if it's their first or second post on the entire forum.
That poster, who made their first post accusing k1234567890y of being "a racist" merely because there were no East-Asian-looking people in her conworld, also sock-puppeted with Pork. I heard from a mod that Pochka's alternate account Pork was supposed to be banned after the "Deadly Sins" thread was locked, but the admin or mod didn't get around to it. I falsely assumed that all the admins and mods were in on all the sock-puppet investigations and bans, but I guess you didn't hear about it, Aszev.

Also, please see this cross-post of Pork's "Deadly Sins" thread at the ZBB. I direct you to Ava's post in this thread. Ava says Pochka/Pork already has an account at the ZBB and has been creating sock-puppets to criticize their own past work a number of times, so they could hardly be called new to conworlding.

In short, this is clearly a bad-faith poster. I wouldn't have brought it back up after my conversation with the mod, but after reading Aszev's reaction to my (and Salmoneus'!) reactions, I had to explain this point.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

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Khemehekis wrote:
29 Apr 2020 08:27
Aszev wrote:
28 Apr 2020 10:15
I'm sorry that I didn't notice this thread earlier, because I think there are some unacceptable comments here made by Salmoneus (e.g. "[your post is] actively disgusting") and Khemehekis ("Seems like the Dunning-Kruger effect to me."), directed at a new member (who unsurprisingly never showed up again).

I would like to remind everyone to Be Civil (House Rule 1) and to not bite the newbies. You may disagree with a post, or think that it is absurd, but this is no excuse to not treat the poster with respect, especially if it's their first or second post on the entire forum.
That poster, who made their first post accusing k1234567890y of being "a racist" merely because there were no East-Asian-looking people in her conworld, also sock-puppeted with Pork. I heard from a mod that Pochka's alternate account Pork was supposed to be banned after the "Deadly Sins" thread was locked, but the admin or mod didn't get around to it. I falsely assumed that all the admins and mods were in on all the sock-puppet investigations and bans, but I guess you didn't hear about it, Aszev.

Also, please see this cross-post of Pork's "Deadly Sins" thread at the ZBB. I direct you to Ava's post in this thread. Ava says Pochka/Pork already has an account at the ZBB and has been creating sock-puppets to criticize their own past work a number of times, so they could hardly be called new to conworlding.

In short, this is clearly a bad-faith poster. I wouldn't have brought it back up after my conversation with the mod, but after reading Aszev's reaction to my (and Salmoneus'!) reactions, I had to explain this point.
You're right that this was a sockpuppet account. I didn't remember that at first glance. However your understanding of the connection between accounts is incomplete, so I would advise you to not jump to conclusions regarding their identity or intentions.

And I don't see how the sockpuppet incident is relevant for the matter at hand. The account Pork didn't show up on either forum until half a year after you made your condescending remark towards Pochka, who at the time just seemed to be a new member.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Curlyjimsam »

Nobody on my conworld strictly resembles people from any real-world race. While they are basically human, the distribution of "racial characteristics" is entirely different.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

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Khemehekis wrote:
29 Apr 2020 08:27
That poster, who made their first post accusing k1234567890y of being "a racist" merely because there were no East-Asian-looking people in her conworld, also sock-puppeted with Pork.
Pork was a sock of k#y, not почка.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Pabappa »

alynnidalar wrote:
01 Feb 2019 18:36


We've had the same debate over conlangs before, and I think it all comes down to three different camps:
- Earthlike realism (that is, only things that are actually attested in the real world)
- naturalism (that is, things that are plausible or are a logical progression from certain premises, even if they aren't directly attested)
- not caring about realism or naturalism at all (that is, things that don't make any attempt to be "explainable"; they simply are)
I may be in the third group, but I'd add that I am very consistent in what human universals I violate. So I would say that it is naturalistic, its just that nature itself has changed on my world. Humans on planet Teppala are more pacifistic than humans on Earth, and I explain that by saying human behavior is innately different there. That's perfectly naturalistic because we have examples in our world where two species that look identical ... for example, chimpanzees and bonobos ... have radically different behavioral patterns.

Human behavior varies from one culture to the next on planet Teppala, just like on Earth, and sometimes nations on Teppala do start wars with other nations, but the norm around which behavior oscillates is much more peaceful than that of Earth. In the great war between the Players and the Baywatchers, each side sent only about 2% of their population to battle, and when the Players won the war, the Baywatchers submitted calmly and did not call on their reserve population to push the Play army back out.

And when I change human nature, I do it consistently. Humans are pacifistic in all aspects of life, not just in organized state-to-state relations. This means there is less violent crime than one might expect for a planet whose people are just barely getting by. However, applying a behavioral trait consistently means taking the bad with the good ... a nation of pacifists will have a difficult time standing up to those rare violent criminals that they do get, and that is why, for example, the United Pacifist League completely abolished prisons, and murderers in UPL-run states are allowed to walk free even if they openly admit that they committed the murder. The only punishment the UPL allows is exile, and due to the primitive nature of communications such people can assume a new identity and move to another town. Similarly, many humans are killed by wild animals, even in cities, because humans in most societies do not have access to weapons any more deadly than kitchen knives and fishing spears, and even those weapons are often made of wood rather than refined metals or even sharpened stones.

Similarly, I think a peaceful race would be unlikely to revolt if captured and enslaved, and though slaves do run away, most slavery operations on planet Teppala continue unopposed until the masters themselves turn against slavery and set them free.

As for my languages .... I use a nature metaphor again. Teppalan languages that evolve unusual characteristics often keep evolving in that direction rather than returning to "normal". I think of it by analogy to the evolution of species, where, for example, animals who evolve a specialized trait will commonly become even more specialized over time rather than returning to the same generic animal body plan. The only limits on what a language can evolve into are set by the need for its speakers to communicate their thoughts concisely. Thus, a language that is losing phonemes will not go so far as to end up with only one vowel and one consonant, as the words would be too long to enable meaningful communication, but Late Andanese reached a low of only 30 syllables during the time when it became a major world language.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

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I derive some pleasure from violating one of the "dont do this" items in the list a few pages back ... though to my credit, I didnt do it on purpose.

The central divide on planet Teppala is between tribes whose men are taller than their women and those whose women are taller than their men. The gene controlling this is binary, so there is no intermediate phenotype, and while mixed populations evolved shortly after the original mutation, the two groups of humans have mutually agreed to live apart and therefore people have been evolving further apart for tens of thousands of years.

The biological preferences for an ideal mate are instinctual, so women in the tall-female tribes such as the Moonshines are happy the way they are, and they see an ideal man as someone who is strong, deep-voiced, and well developed under the belt, but not particularly tall. Thus the tall men of the Dreamer tribes are without success in wooing the tall Moonshine women. Moreover, Moonshine women give birth to babies that are exceptionally large, meaning that childbirth would be extremely painful and often fatal for a Dreamer woman who marries a Moonshine man. This is why, even when people from the different tribes are attracted to each other, most such couples remain childless.

I came up with this idea long ago but I never really thought it through. I only just now realized that such a vast difference in female anatomy between two groups of humans would almost certainly result in a corresponding difference in male anatomy. Put more bluntly: DREAMER MEN HAVE TINY PENISES. This is a consequence of their women's slender figures and much shorter adult height, and historically it is the Moonshine men who have grown, not the Dreamers who have shrunk. But nonetheless, despite Dreamer men being the tallest in the world they are jealous of the men of the eastern tribes and go to great lengths to keep their women from finding out about their differences.

This is a gross violation of the idea that one people cannot be objectively considered more attractive than another, because both sides agree that the Moonshine men have the superior anatomy and both groups prefer it that way. Up until now I had been focusing entirely on differences in the female body shape, and saying that men's preferences for women varied partly due to instinct and partly depending on what they saw around them. But even after saying that women in Moonshine are hardwired to prefer short men, I dont think I will go so far as to say women in Dreamland are hardwired to prefer men with underdeveloped genitals.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

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Pabappa wrote:
26 May 2020 18:57
...
I came up with this idea long ago but I never really thought it through. I only just now realized that such a vast difference in female anatomy between two groups of humans would almost certainly result in a corresponding difference in male anatomy. Put more bluntly: DREAMER MEN HAVE TINY PENISES. This is a consequence of their women's slender figures and much shorter adult height, and historically it is the Moonshine men who have grown, not the Dreamers who have shrunk. But nonetheless, despite Dreamer men being the tallest in the world they are jealous of the men of the eastern tribes and go to great lengths to keep their women from finding out about their differences.

This is a gross violation of the idea that one people cannot be objectively considered more attractive than another, because both sides agree that the Moonshine men have the superior anatomy and both groups prefer it that way. Up until now I had been focusing entirely on differences in the female body shape, and saying that men's preferences for women varied partly due to instinct and partly depending on what they saw around them. But even after saying that women in Moonshine are hardwired to prefer short men, I dont think I will go so far as to say women in Dreamland are hardwired to prefer men with underdeveloped genitals.
Historically there were cultures that saw smaller penises as preferable, and even in our culture that prefers larger male anatomy overall, there are individuals who find smaller ones preferable. I know someone who even said if their partner was bigger than 5 inches, they'd find them a lot less attractive and larger than 4 inches was pushing it even. So it's not like preferring bigger bits on guys is a species-wide preference. So your one group definitely could like smaller penises and it isn't even weird by our own universe.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

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Yeah, that occurred to me after i wrote the post, and i think now that it's *men* who are the most obsessed with penis size, not women. I still think women would overall lean in the same direction, but it's really the Dreamer men who cant get past the issue, and they build their worldview around it, meaning they are hostile to nations that would otherwise be their natural allies, and friendly towards nations who do them no good, simply because of those nations' general physical type. They are too embarrassed to admit the real reason for their world view, so they say that it is because childbirth is dangerous for the woman when her partner is from one of the eastern tribes ... which is in fact true, as i detailed above.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by elemtilas »

What's your take on these two sections?

The first clip deals essentially with objectification of persons, perfectionism, and specialism of characters; the second deals with gender roles.

Are you saying what the teacher is proposing is an example per se of how not to worldbuild, or are you citing the examples cited in the class as how not to worldbuild?

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Pabappa »

I watched both clips and they seem like good advice to me, though I'd say that because he's aiming at novel writers, and some of us just write for self-enrichment, it's not necessarily horrible if one of us here defies his recommendations. e.g. he suggests *not* spending thousands of hours compiling naturalistic conlangs because few of the readers of fantasy novels will appreciate them. and thats true. and i would say that the main Wheel of Time conlang is not very well developed. But that isnt going to stop me from pouring ever more effort into Poswa, Pabappa, and even my minor projects, because I never had any expectation that others seeing them would appreciate them in proportion to the effort I put into them ... I spend time on them because it's fun, and dont consider it to be work.

I agree that if you want a female-dominated society, its better if you have a good reason ... e.g. I didnt know until now that the Wheel of Time had a stable female power structure built on magic, which means that a male power structure would seem unnatural to them. He touches on racism a bit too .... I try to avoid that word for various reasons, but I would say that the male/female height-gap divide I mentioned above is the primary racial difference on my planet, and that it leads to a whole new kind of discrimination becuase childbirth is actually dangerous for some mixed couples. I dont like to consider my humans to be divided into two races in the fantasy sense, though, because most uses of that term imply that they wield magical powers, whereas magic in my world exists only in religious interpretations of visible events.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Khemehekis »

Pabappa wrote:
28 May 2020 17:27
But that isnt going to stop me from pouring ever more effort into Poswa, Pabappa, and even my minor projects, because I never had any expectation that others seeing them would appreciate them in proportion to the effort I put into them ... I spend time on them because it's fun, and dont consider it to be work.
You and I have very different attitudes towards our conlanging/conworlding. I don't do it for fun; I do it because I'm attempting to create a masterpiece of a conuniverse that other people can enjoy as well as myself. I am creating Kankonian and the other conlangs of Lehola (as well as Txabao for Damta) for their artistic value (I also hope to make them practically useable). I also hope to seriously explore some social, political, religious, etc. concepts, and hope that others will read the thoughts that come through. Sometimes it can be hard work for me; but, like writing The Bittersweet Generation, it's got to be done.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by jimydog000 »

It seemed like a helpful thing to post to give, not even necessarily advice, but to give some background. This thread reminded me of those lectures I passively watched and I spent a bit of time finding them again.
Although it was probabably awkward of me to post those links without saying anything it was because my thoughts were all over the place.

Firstly, from my take on the subject of "racefail" it's like, even if you can successfully defend yourself about a risqué thing in your own publication, you can still be accused of trying to use shock-value on your audience, being incensitive etc. etc. (like that time someone put a swastika into a conscript)

Secondly, I'm not sure if the examples are how not to worldbuild, there are just consequences, after all, Gor got published and became a movie.

And about that rule that one people cannot be objectively considered more attractive than another? Can't I list off a few things that break it and nothing happens because of it? Such as the Argonians of the Elder Scrolls, Lizardfolk in DnD, the social hierachy in Red Rising?
I can imagine a moderator in a collabrative-worldbuilding project to set that as a rule, but to present it as an absolutive rule for all...

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by elemtilas »

jimydog000 wrote:
29 May 2020 22:11
It seemed like a helpful thing to post to give, not even necessarily advice, but to give some background. This thread reminded me of those lectures I passively watched and I spent a bit of time finding them again.
Although it was probabably awkward of me to post those links without saying anything it was because my thoughts were all over the place.
No, not awkward! I was just wondering what your take was! Particularly the segments you cited.
Firstly, from my take on the subject of "racefail" it's like, even if you can successfully defend yourself about a risqué thing in your own publication, you can still be accused of trying to use shock-value on your audience, being incensitive etc. etc. (like that time someone put a swastika into a conscript)
True. Part of human nature to be on the lookout for failings in others! What's wrong with swastikas that someone got their knickers in a twist? Can you point to examples?

Me I refuse to let Nazi propaganda emerge victorious on that front: I use (properly understood) swastikas all over the place, and I'm not going to let either their race idiocy or the post-post-war eternally offended determine what symbols I can use or not.
Secondly, I'm not sure if the examples are how not to worldbuild, there are just consequences, after all, Gor got published and became a movie.
On that I concur! I didn't take his lectures to be examples of how not to do this art so much as here's some issues to be aware of. That's why I asked you!
And about that rule that one people cannot be objectively considered more attractive than another? Can't I list off a few things that break it and nothing happens because of it? Such as the Argonians of the Elder Scrolls, Lizardfolk in DnD, the social hierachy in Red Rising?
I can imagine a moderator in a collabrative-worldbuilding project to set that as a rule, but to present it as an absolutive rule for all...
I didn't see that rule, but I didn't watch the whole lectures either. I'm sure that's just an example of mammalian supremacy! That's probably "rule" one can do without.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote:
29 May 2020 09:51
I don't do it for fun; I do it because I'm attempting to create a masterpiece of a conuniverse that other people can enjoy as well as myself. I am creating Kankonian and the other conlangs of Lehola (as well as Txabao for Damta) for their artistic value (I also hope to make them practically useable). I also hope to seriously explore some social, political, religious, etc. concepts, and hope that others will read the thoughts that come through. Sometimes it can be hard work for me; but, like writing The Bittersweet Generation, it's got to be done.
And that's what í like to see! Masterpieces of the geopoetical art! Works created for their inherent artistic labour & aesthetic value. Works created to elevate the mind as well as magnify the spirit. Works that seek to illumine the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in so far as our blinded eyes can see and our clouded minds can comprehend and our broken hearts can feel!

We may not have the same vision, but I think we at least share similar artistic ideals.

I could only wish you'd share more here!

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