Silicon-based life

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
Salmoneus
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Re: Silicon-based life

Post by Salmoneus »

Khemehekis wrote: 21 Jul 2021 13:53 Ah, I see. Thank you for explaining this.

And I suppose that means that most sapient species will be psychologically similar to modern humans
Depends what you mean by 'similar'. It's certainly possible to have species who are on average very different from humans, to be sure. But not mystically different - not 'have no interest in survival' different. For a species like that, you need magic, not evolution.
Or perhaps (d) they have some radical biological difference from us directly relevant to the psychology and sociology of the species, such as no genders or three genders, which would result in a different conception of gender roles?
You don't need to be all that 'radical' - you can encounter different gender roles just by getting on an aeroplane, or reading a Victorian novel.

You also don't need a strictly 'biological' - as in, physical biology - difference to yield a psychological difference. Consider how varied animals are in their behaviours!

For example, one fertile (no pun intended) area to consider is sex. Some species are monogamous - think how different humans would be if they were monogamous. Others are extremely promiscuous. Some advertise to mates with physical displays (whereas human attractiveness is mostly based on social status). Others advertise by constructing buildings. Some males compete through cunning (secretly sneaking in to the female's home without other males noticing); some, through charm; some build alliances with other males; many engage in ritual combat. Some males control harems of mates; other males are roving loners who survive on the fringes of all-female bands.

There are all sorts of possibilities. One species of mine has uncontrollable rage toward oathbreakers (anger is, after all, an evolutionary strategy); another has a lower value of Dunbar's number (how many distinct individuals you're able to maintain distinct social relationships with). Another has very poor manual dexterity. And so on.
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Pabappa
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Re: Silicon-based life

Post by Pabappa »

Khemehekis wrote: 21 Jul 2021 07:31
Pabappa wrote: 19 Jul 2021 21:38 planet Mars is home to silicon-based lifeforms in a Choose Your Own Adventure book that I read when I was a kid. There was a large crablike creature that bumped into me and then ate me.

CYOA isnt necessarily big on accuracy, though .... they were kind of hit or miss. After all, the fact that this scene takes place on Mars shows theyre already making things up.
Maybe you're exploring Mars as it was millions of years ago?

But then humans would have to develop time travel with 1980's/1990's technology, and that's a whole different camel to swallow.

But then again . . . maybe time-travellers from A.D. 13720 Earth are visiting the Choose Your Own Adventure era on Earth to take you into their time machines and thereby visit Mars 30 million years ago?
All good ideas, but the book was set in the year 3000. You read the story from the point of view of a young girl who was born in our time, was cryogenically frozen for a thousand years, and woke up in an unfamiliar world. I think English was still the main language in the year 3000, and I actually will credit them on that, since with the advance of technology and the rapid spread across the solar system it's plausible that languages might stop evolving the way we're used to.

Many other CYOA books were full of plot holes, though .... I think it's one reason why the rise of fan-written CYOA clones killed off the appeal of the originals.
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Khemehekis
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Re: Silicon-based life

Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus wrote: 21 Jul 2021 15:51
Khemehekis wrote: 21 Jul 2021 13:53 Ah, I see. Thank you for explaining this.

And I suppose that means that most sapient species will be psychologically similar to modern humans
Depends what you mean by 'similar'. It's certainly possible to have species who are on average very different from humans, to be sure. But not mystically different - not 'have no interest in survival' different. For a species like that, you need magic, not evolution.
Either magic, or intelligent design. Intelligent design meaning another intelligent species genetically engineering your sapients so that they will have no interest in survival, or otherwise do things a naturally evolved species would never do.
Or perhaps (d) they have some radical biological difference from us directly relevant to the psychology and sociology of the species, such as no genders or three genders, which would result in a different conception of gender roles?
You don't need to be all that 'radical' - you can encounter different gender roles just by getting on an aeroplane, or reading a Victorian novel.
Good point.
You also don't need a strictly 'biological' - as in, physical biology - difference to yield a psychological difference. Consider how varied animals are in their behaviours!

For example, one fertile (no pun intended) area to consider is sex. Some species are monogamous - think how different humans would be if they were monogamous. Others are extremely promiscuous. Some advertise to mates with physical displays (whereas human attractiveness is mostly based on social status). Others advertise by constructing buildings. Some males compete through cunning (secretly sneaking in to the female's home without other males noticing); some, through charm; some build alliances with other males; many engage in ritual combat. Some males control harems of mates; other males are roving loners who survive on the fringes of all-female bands.
Hmmm . . . the homa (the sapient species of Pluos in the Lehola Galaxy) are 90% bisexual and don't have marriage, so there's a sexual difference right under my nose.
There are all sorts of possibilities. One species of mine has uncontrollable rage toward oathbreakers (anger is, after all, an evolutionary strategy); another has a lower value of Dunbar's number (how many distinct individuals you're able to maintain distinct social relationships with). Another has very poor manual dexterity. And so on.
Those are some well-thought-out differences from humans. Although I just read an article on Dunbar's number on UPI the other day, and it said the 150 figure that's traditionally been given for Dunbar's number for Homo sapiens is an underestimate, and it's possible for a human to have, say, 200 friends. Imagine a species whose Dunbar number was 60!




BTW, I've scrapped my silicon idea for the albhikar. I've settled on having the albhikar be cetaceans -- they'll be of the archaeocete-descended branch like the Greys and the Tans, with their fingers and toes separating once again. I've already worked out the bioswath for cetacean sapients like the Greys, Tans, kyuphi, and wama, so I've created all the animals, plants, planimals, fungi, tlogephlaoms, bolsotetams, algae, protozoa, bacteria, and viruses I'll need to fill out the planets. I've given them all their LIE names, too, so I can complete the species master list and add all the words to Kankonian!
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Tanni
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Re: Silicon-based life

Post by Tanni »

Or perhaps (d) they have some radical biological difference from us directly relevant to the psychology and sociology of the species, such as no genders or three genders, which would result in a different conception of gender roles?
Here is an excellently worked out fictional species (with only one gender?) Haluter.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.
Khemehekis
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Re: Silicon-based life

Post by Khemehekis »

Tanni wrote: 30 Jul 2021 13:41
Or perhaps (d) they have some radical biological difference from us directly relevant to the psychology and sociology of the species, such as no genders or three genders, which would result in a different conception of gender roles?
Here is an excellently worked out fictional species (with only one gender?) Haluter.
Thanks for sharing this Perry Rhodan species! The Haluter look very well-thought-out. I'll have to take the time to read this article thoroughly and digest it later.
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My Kankonian-English dictionary: 73,000 words and counting

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elemtilas
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Re: Silicon-based life

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote: 30 Jul 2021 08:25
Salmoneus wrote: 21 Jul 2021 15:51
Khemehekis wrote: 21 Jul 2021 13:53 Ah, I see. Thank you for explaining this.

And I suppose that means that most sapient species will be psychologically similar to modern humans
Depends what you mean by 'similar'. It's certainly possible to have species who are on average very different from humans, to be sure. But not mystically different - not 'have no interest in survival' different. For a species like that, you need magic, not evolution.
Either magic, or intelligent design. Intelligent design meaning another intelligent species genetically engineering your sapients so that they will have no interest in survival, or otherwise do things a naturally evolved species would never do.
On the other hand, when your species is composed of rock, "survival" of the body can be counted well into the hundreds of millions to billions of years. There's a whole different mindset when your fundamentals of existence differ from other creatures'. When you think of angels, they don't have bodies at all -- they are pure intellect, they don't exist within space-time. Fundamentally different psychology. Or even Elves or Denê, longaeval to be sure, having a different relationship with space-time -- their psychology is closer to ours, but not "similar", perhaps not even "survival" similar.

Magic or in-world intelligent design could certainly alter an existing creature or, given a high enough understanding of magic ~ science, create a novel form of life like ours to those rather different specs.
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