maybe also Euthydemus and Dionysadorus
-Robotics (a Woland segment) & Automation
-How to run a Galactic Civilization
-Clouds, Frogs, Birds, Wasps, and Knights
*****Moving the intro to the Asteroid from original part1, here.********
In ‘The Clouds’ by Aristophanes, Quoted by Wikipedia:
‘… &: ‘The Frogs,’
‘the Knights’ and
In ‘The Wasps’ he ridiculed the Athenian law courts: “The jurors have been considered the most vividly realized Chorus in Old Comedy; … ‘The [Bird’s]’ plot revolves around [a central figure,] an Athenian who convinces the birds to create a great city in the sky… and thus regain their status as the original gods. [The central figure of the story] eventually transforms into a bird-like god himself, and replaces Zeus as the king of the gods. ‘The Frogs:’ The underlying political theme of ‘The Frogs’ is essentially “old ways good, new ways bad”… the last lines of the play suggest Athens ought to look for a less stubborn end to the war… The exiled general Alcibiades is a main focus of ‘The Frogs.’
At the time the play was written and produced, Athens was in dire straits in the war with the Peloponnesian League, and the people… ‘The Frogs’ tells the story of the god Dionysus, who, despairing of the state of Athen’s tragedians, travels to Hades (the underworld) to bring the playwright Euripides back from the dead.
Aristophanes, the comedy-writer of Ancient Athens, is said to have been known as ‘The Father of Comedy,’ … and ‘The Prince’ of ancient Comedy.
Only eleven out of his forty plays survive virtually complete.
Some of his notable works include ‘The Clouds,’ ‘The Wasps,’ ‘The Birds,’ and ‘The Frogs.’ …
Aristophanes’ powers of ridicule was feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries…
“In my opinion,” he says in that play’s Chorus, “the author-director of comedies has the hardest job of all.”
Aristophanes works: ‘The Clouds’ is a play lampooning the intellectual fashions of classical Athens… in 423 BC… the play remains notorious for its caricature of Socrates.
Plato singled out Aristophanes’ play ‘The Clouds’ as slander that contributed to the trial and subsequent condemning to death of Socrates… although other satirical playwrights had also caricatured the philosopher.
Aristophanes Works, continued quotation:
“A typical Aristophanic Chorus, even if it starts out as hostile to the protagonist, is the protagonist’s cheer squad by the end of the play. In ‘The Clouds’ however, the Chorus seems sympathetic at first but emerges as virtual antagonist by the end of the play…”
The play managed only winning second place… ‘The Clouds’ can best be understood in relation [Aristophanes] to Plato’s works, as evidence of a historic rivalry between poetic and philosophical modes of thought.” … struggling to overcome an addiction and it represents in allegorical form the theme expressed by the Chorus in the parabasis: the old customs are better and more manly than the new fashions. When the play opens, [the protagonist] is a prisoner of his son and, when the Chorus enters, the old jurors are found to be virtual prisoners of their sons too—they rely on the boys to help them through the dark, muddy streets. The Chorus leader’s boy takes full advantage of the situation, threatening to abandon his elderly father if he won’t buy him some figs…
Alcibiades, [although] later known as a dashing general and a winning aristocrat, he was not yet a major public figure and here is mentioned… only for his lisp… and he is later mentioned in ‘The Frogs.’” Aristophanes’ plays promote conservative values and support an honorable peace with Sparta, whereas Cleon was a radical democrat and a leader of the pro-war faction… In ‘The Birds,’ [Aristophanes] also only managed to win second place… It has been acclaimed by modern critics as a perfectly realized fantasy remarkable for its mimicry of birds and for the gaiety of its songs… The setting [of ‘The Birds’] is a hillside wilderness outside the Hoopoe’s nest… The plot revolves around [a central figure,] an Athenian who convinces the birds to create a great city in the sky… and thus regain their status as the original gods. [The central figure of the story] eventually transforms into a bird-like god himself, and replaces Zeus as the king of the gods. When ‘The Birds’ was performed in 414 BC, Athenians were still optimistic about the future of the Sicilian expedition, which had set out the year before under the joint command of Alcibiades, who had promoted it enthusiastically, and Athens’ most experienced general, Nicias, who had opposed the venture. In spite of this public optimism, there was an ongoing controversy in Athens over the mutilation of the Hermai, an act of impious vandalism that had cast ominous doubts over the Sicilian Expedition even before the fleet had left port. The vandalism had resulted in a ‘witch-hunt’ led by religious extremists and endorsed by priests of the Eleusinian Mysteries… Alcibiades himself was suspected of involvement in anti-religious activities and a state ship ‘Salaminia’ was sent to Sicily to bring him back to trial. However, he managed to escape from custody… Alcibiades had already been a controversial figure in Athenian politics for some years before then…”
In ‘The Frogs’ Aristophanes performed his play for a festival of Dionysus in Athens, in 405 BC, and received first prize… the underlying political theme of ‘The Frogs’ is essentially “old ways good, new ways bad”… the last lines of the play suggest Athens ought to look for a less stubborn end to the war… Also, ‘The Frogs’ contains solid, serious messages which represent significant differences from general critiques of policy and idealistic thoughts of good peace terms. During the parabasis Aristophanes presents advice to give the rights of citizens back to people who had participated in the oligarchic revolution in 411 BC”… arguing they were misled by… the ‘tricks’ (literally ‘wrestlings’)… of the exiled general Alcibiades is a main focus of ‘The Frogs.’ At the time the play was written and produced, Athens was in dire straits in the war with the Peloponnesian League… the structure of ‘The Frogs’ is as follows: In the first section Dionysus’ has the goal of gaining admission to Pluto’s palace, and he does so… in the dialogue between the slaves a power struggle between Euripides [famous playwrite of another generation] and Aeschylus [famous playwrite of Tragedy] is revealed. Euripides is jealous of the other’s place as the greatest tragic poet. Dionysus is asked by Pluto to mediate the contest. ‘The Frogs’ is unique in its structure because it combines two forms of comic motifs, a journey motif and contest… motif. ‘The Frogs’ tells the story of the god Dionysus, who, despairing of the state of Athen’s tragedians, travels to Hades (the underworld) to bring the playwright Euripides back from the dead. He brings along his slave Xanthias, who is smarter and braver than Dionysus. As the play opens, Xanthias and Dionysus argue over what kind of jokes Xanthias can use to open the play. For the first half of the play, Dionysus routinely makes critical errors, forcing Xanthias to improvise in order to protect his master and prevent Dionysus from looking incompetent—but this only allows Dionysus to continue to make mistakes with no consequence. To find a reliable path to Hades, Dionysus seeks advice from his half-brother Heracles, who had been there before in order to retrieve the hell bound Cerberus. Dionysus shows up at his doorstep dressed in a lion-hide and carrying a club. Heracles, upon seeing the effeminate Dionysus dressed up like himself, can’t help laughing. When Dionysus asks which road is the quickest to get to Hades, Heracles tells him that he can hang himself, drink poison, or jump off a tower. Dionysus opts for the longer journey, which Heracles himself had taken, across a lake (possibly Lake Acheron). When Dionysus arrives at the lake, Charon ferries him across. Xanthias, being a slave, is not allowed in the boat, and has to walk around it, while Dionysus is made to help row the boat. This is the point of the first choral interlude (‘parodos’), sung by the eponymous chorus of frogs (the only song in which frogs feature in the play). Their croaking refrain—‘Brekekekèx-koàx-koáx’—greatly annoys Dionysus, who engages in a mocking debate (‘agon’) with the frogs.”
“The next encounter is with Aeacus, who mistakes Dionysus or Heracles due to his attire. Still angry over Heracles’ theft of Cerberus, Aeacus threatens to unleash several monsters on him in revenge. Frightened, Dionysus trades clothes with Xanthias. A maid then arrives and is happy to see Heracles. She invites him to a feast with virgin dancing girls, and Xanthias is more than happy to oblige. But Dionysus quickly wants to trade back the clothes. Dionysus, back in the Heracles lion-skin, encounters more people angry at Heracles, and so makes Xanthias trade for a third time. When Aeacus returns to confront the alleged Heracles (i.e. Xanthias). Xanthias offers him his “slave” (Dionysus) for torturing, to obtain the truth as to whether or not he is really a thief. The terrified Dionysus tells the truth that he is a god. After each is whipped, Dionysus is brought before Aeascus’ masters, and the truth is verified… Euripides, who had only just died, is challenging the great Aeschylus for the seat of “Best Tragic Poet” at the dinner table of Pluto, the ruler of the Underworld. A contest is held with Dionysus as judge. The two playwrights take turns quoting verses from their plays and making fun of the other. Euripides argues the characters in his plays are better because they are more true to life and logical, whereas Aeschylus believes his idealized characters are, as they are heroic and models for virtue. Aeschylus mocks Euripides’ verse as predictable and formulaic by having Euripides quote lines from many of his ‘prologues,’ each time interrupting the declamation with the same phrase (“…lost his little flask of oil”). Euripides counters by demonstrating the alleged monotony of Aeschylus’ choral songs, parodying excerpts from his works and having each citation end in the same refrain… (“oh, what a stroke, won’t you come to the rescue?”, from Aeschylus’ lost play ‘Myrmidons’). Aeschylus retorts to this by mocking Euripides’ choral meters and lyric monodies with ‘castanets.’ During the contest, Dionysus redeems himself for his earlier role as the butt of every joke. He now rules the stage, adjudicating the contestants’ squabbles fairly, breaking up their prolonged rants, and applying a deep understanding of Greek tragedy. To end the debate, a balance is brought in and each are told to tell a few lines into it. Whoever’s lines have the most “weight” will cause the balance to tip in their favor. Euripides produces verses of his that mention, in turn, the ship ‘Argo’, Persuasion and a mace. Aeschylus responds with the river Spercheios, Death and two crashed chariots and two dead charioteers. Since the latter verses [merely] refer to “heavier” objects, Aeschylus wins, but Dionysus is still unable to decide whom he will revive. He finally decides to take the poet who gives the best advice about how to save the city. Euripides gives clearly worded but essentially meaningless answers while Aeschylus provides more practical advice, and Dionysus decides to take Aeschylus back instead of Euripides. Pluto allows Aeschylus to return to life so that Athens may be succoured in her hour and need and invites everyone to a round of farewell drinks. Before leaving, Aeschylus proclaims that Sophocles should have his chair while he is gone, not Euripides.”
By Aristophanes, ‘The Birds’:
Wiki: “… a Comedy performed 414 BC at the city Dionysia festival… Unlike the author’s other early plays, it includes no direct mention of the Peloponnesian War and there are few references to Athenian politics, and yet it was staged not long after the commencement of the Sicilian Expedition, an ambitious military campaign that greatly increased Athenian commitment to the war effort. In spite of that, the play has many indirect references to Athenian political and social life. It is the longest of Aristophanes’ surviving plays and yet it is a fairly conventional example of Old Comedy.”
“The plot of the play revolves around Pisthetaerus, an Athenian who convinces the birds to create a great city in the sky, and thus regain their status as the original gods. Pisthetaerus eventually transforms into a bird-like god himself, and replaces Zeus as the king of the gods.
The play begins with two middle-aged men stumbling across a hillside wilderness, guided by a pet crow and a pet jackdaw. One of them advises the audience that they are fed up with life in Athens, where people do nothing all day but argue over laws…
Just then, a very large and fearsome bird emerges from a camouflaged bower, demanding to know what they are up to and accusing them of being bird-catchers.
Moments later the Hoopoe himself appears—a not very convincing bird who attributes his lack of feathers to a severe case of moulting. He is happy to discuss their plight with them, and meanwhile one of them has a brilliant idea: the birds, he says, should stop flying about like idiots and instead should build themselves a great city in the sky, since this would both allow them to lord it over men and enable them to blockade the Olympian gods in the same way that the Athenians had recently starved the island of Melos into submission.
The Hoopoe likes the idea, and he agrees to help implement it, provided, of course, that the two Athenians can first convince all the other birds. He calls to his wife, the Nightingale, and bids her to begin her celestial music… The notes of an unseen flute swell through the theatre, and meanwhile the Hoopoe provides the lyrics, summoning the birds of the world from their different habitats—birds of the fields, mountain birds and birds of the trees, birds of the waterways, marshes and seas. These soon begin to appear, and each of them is identified by name on arrival. Four of them dance together while the rest form into a Chorus.
On discovering the presence of men, the newly arrived birds fly into a fit of alarm and outrage, for mankind has long been their enemy. A skirmish follows, during which the Athenians defend themselves with kitchen utensils that they find outside the Hoopoe’s bower, until the Hoopoe at last manages to persuade the Chorus to give his human guests a fair hearing. The cleverer of the two Athenians, the author of the brilliant idea, then delivers a formal speech, advising the birds that they were the original gods and urging them to regain their lost powers and privileges from the johnny-come-lately Olympians. The birds are completely won over and urge the Athenians to lead them in their war against the usurping gods.
The clever one then introduces himself as Pisthetaerus (Trustyfriend), and his companion is introduced as Euelpides (Goodhope). They retire to the Hoopoe’s bower to chew on a magical root that will transform them into birds. Meanwhile, the Nightingale emerges from her hiding place and reveals herself as an enchantingly feminine figure. She presides over the Chorus of birds while they address the audience…
Hear us, you who are no more than leaves always falling, you mortals benighted by nature,
You enfeebled and powerless creatures of earth always haunting a world of mere shadows,
Entities without wings, insubstantial as dreams, you ephemeral things, you human beings:
Turn your minds to our words, our etherial words, for the words of the birds last forever!
The Chorus delivers a brief account of the genealogy of the gods, claiming that the birds are children of Eros… thus establishing their claim to divinity ahead of the Olympians.
It cites some of the benefits the audience derives from birds (such as early warnings of a change in seasons), and it invites the audience to join them since birds easily manage to do things that mere men are afraid to do (such as beating up their fathers and committing adultery).
Pisthetaerus and Euelpides emerge from the Hoopoe’s bower laughing at each other’s unconvincing resemblance to a bird. After discussion, they name the city-in-the-sky Nephelokokkygia, or literally “cloud-cuckoo-land” … and then Pisthetaerus begins to take charge of things, ordering his friend to oversee the building of the city walls while he organizes and leads a religious service in honour of birds as the new gods. During this service, he is pestered by a variety of unwelcome visitors, including a young versifier out to hire himself to the new city as its official poet, an oracle-monger with prophecies for sale, a famous geometer, Meteon, offering a set of town-plans, an imperial inspector from Athens with an eye for a quick profit, and a statute-seller trying to peddle a set of laws originally written for a remote, barely-heard-of town called Olophyx. Pisthetaerus chases off all these intruders and then retires indoors to finish the religious service.
The birds of the Chorus step forward for another parabasis. They promulgate laws forbidding crimes against their kind (such as catching, caging, stuffing, or eating them), and they end by advising the festival judges to award them first place or risk getting defecated on.
… a messenger arrives with a report on the construction of the new walls: they are already finished thanks to the collaborative effort of numerous kinds of birds.
A second messenger then arrives with news that one of the Olympian gods has snuck through the defenses. A hunt is organized. The goddess Iris is detected and cornered, and soon she wafts down under guard. After being interrogated and insulted by Pisthetaerus, she is allowed to fly off to her father Zeus to complain about her treatment. Hardly has she gone when a third messenger arrives, declaring that men in their multitudes are now flocking to join the new city-in-the-sky.
Prometheus arrives next… sheltering under a parasol because he is an enemy of Zeus and he is trying not to be seen from the heavens… the Olympians are starving because men’s offerings no longer reach them; they are desperate for a peace treaty, but Pisthetaerus shouldn’t negotiate with them until Zeus surrenders both his sceptre and his girlfriend, Sovereignty,—
—she is the real power in Zeus’s household. His mission accomplished, Prometheus departs just moments before a delegation from Zeus arrives. There are only three delegates: the brother of Zeus, Poseidon, the oafish Heracles, and some even more oafish god worshipped by barbarians called Triballians. Pisthetaerus easily outwits Heracles, who in turn bullies the barbarian god into submission, and Poseidon is thus outvoted – the delegation accepts Pisthetaerus’s terms. He is proclaimed king by a heavenly herald, and he is presented with Zeus’s sceptre by Sovereignty, a vision of loveliness. The festive gathering departs amid the strains of the wedding march: Hymen O Hymenai’O! Hymen O Hymenai’O!
Cloudcuckooland has been understood by some scholars as a comic representation of an ideal polis and it has also been understood as a cautionary example of a polis gone wrong; according to yet another view, however, the play is nothing more than escapist entertainment.
The friendship between Pisthetaerus and Euelpides is realistically portrayed in spite of the unreality of their adventure. The keynote of their friendship is good-humoured teasing of each other for one another’s failings…and the proof of their friendship is the ease with which they work together in difficult situations, largely due to Euelpides’ willingness to concede the initiative and leadership to Pisthetaerus.
The Maze (or The Paradox of Paradise)
Every seat of the Banquet Hall is filled. The Banquet Hall is conjoined to the newly built Amphitheater, which has recently been used for important announcements of many kinds as well as for the display of epic new holographic displays and musical dithyrambs. All the arrivals of the Ambassadorial procession will be seated in pairs. Clearly it was going to be a grand event. Twirling servers barely avoid collisions. The luxurious displays of wealth signify how everything said, or agreed upon, or coordinated to be done in the future today, tonight—may one day become the stuff of minor legend. Hopefully there wouldn’t be any uncomfortable disputes at any of the tables, but realistically there would be.
Much of what gets done upon the Asteroid gets done because of the Emerald society.
Those of the four primary gem societies are in attendance. The four socities of the Asteroid civilization have been demarcated by the names Emerald, Sapphire, and Ruby since the beginning, and they have kept these names for simplicity’s sake. Emerald’s most prominent members are here, now, gathered together at the entrance to the Banquet Hall, and the most famous Emeralds can be effortlessly picked out among the first to arrive. There is an almost visible star-power to these heads of industry—the palpable aura of celebrity, and as these leaders of society come together to celebrate the newly constructed theater the marvel of true culture has finally dazzled the citizens across the face of the asteroid.
Pragmatism is respected by all people, to be sure, but the necessities of the recent past have now given way to the indulgence of the arts, and the finer things of life. One people have particularly made an effort towards the enjoyment of life. The Ruby society members, here, are the most prominent land-owners. Their society’s population is numbered highest, and as the most numerous they therefore have the most say in the course of state. In the crowd there are almost entirely Ruby ambassadors and dignitaries at this occasion and only a handful of Emerald and Sapphire Gentleman, as is the case in almost every cross-cultural gathering.
You can call me AL
The boy hiding between his father’s pant legs looked like someone you might imagine to be raised in outer space. He was bone-pale, quite small, and had curly black hair. His wandering gaze besoke of an unquenchable imagination. He wore a similar outfit to his father’s, nearly military or specifically naval uniform, and dark green with a yellow-gold lining. The family always dressed in formal attire while in public. The Emerald-Reserved seating is set up with dining tables somewhat close together. There is a white tile floor uniform throughout, much the standard for the marketplace areas known as ‘The Agora.’ The boy from Emerald and his sister, who was born and raised in Ruby, know exactly where their parents and family usually liked to sit. They always sat in the area with smaller tables set in between, designated for children to congregate. They supported the old customs of family, and encouraged others through example. There is a small stage nearby with a couple of hologram modules, usually displaying the chorus for theatrical musical performances which the children particularly enjoy.
From where they are currently standing, the boy from Emerald, his sister from Ruby, and their mutual best friend from Sapphire, Raeff, it was just a matter of finding the closest way of exiting the Banquet Hall… passing by unnoticed the newly constructed Amphitheater, and entering into the surrounding marketplace where they could escape to play somewhere in the nearby uniquitous Ruby districts. Their destination would be to a zone dedicated to the glittering lights, and the engaging and joyful interactivity of Ruby’s culture. The games, the unending content, and the night-life–the sensory engagements: it’s ‘all’ happening at the glimmering streets of Ruby territory. What they were looking for, however, is… something new. It is only a rumor, perhaps a marketing scheme, but whatever the reason, they are enthralled by the potential new adventure.
The Ruby society rarely concedes any ownership of their vast swaths of territories to the Emerald tycoons any longer—not since the very beginning of the gem societies—for fear that the wealthy Emeralds will quickly ‘buy it all’ up. The Ruby government argues that that would just be too disruptive to the Democratic process.
It was a toilsome business, management, and I think it was more to keep Emerald from getting ahead of them all, to monopolize every aspect of life on the asteroid, since they seemed to love toilsome businesses–and to “manage.” So, to live in Emerald, and amongst the hard-working and most disciplined among the total populace, would be to many of the Ruby citizenry an unimaginable bore.
The Emerald people, whose sheer physical industriousness could have been said to only have been rivaled by the Tribesman of the Sapphire people, the smallest of the populations who are known to do nearly everything by hand, are in many ways the workhorse of the total civilization. Though between the Emerald and the Sapphire one was certainly categorized in the domain of macro-economics, and the other within micro. Profits and innovation were not the target of the Sapphire people, but nobody would consider them lazy, or gluttonous, by any stretch of the imagination.
Most people wouldn’t even think to adorn a life anywhere outside of Ruby, the undisputed masters of the realm of the passions. “What could be the fun in that?” A favorite saying of the Ruby society. Fun was almost their raison d’etre, and most of the population was unaware of the political machinations going on around them. They didnt care how the asteroid ran, so long as it ran. In Ruby territory the spectacles are behind nearly every corner… and new joys to behold around your every turn… throughout any area with that glowing holographic red, or sometimes neon-orange, or even hot-pink, but everyone knows that territory-designated lighting: that quintessential and extravagant Ruby-demarcated flooring glow.
An escape hatch
It had mostly all been worked out, …they would escape. The trio would leave the politics and diplomacy behind. They would escape the formalities. They would go to the place they had always gone, lately, a way to escape this Banquet Hall, and the adults.
They will probably go to the nearest edge of the “Ruby Empire” from where they currently are, because that is where all the action happens. That is where it all is, as we’ve mentioned: where all the lights and sounds are—Ruby: that is where all the games are played, and games mean fun. The one they found first, which was closest to this Emerald banquet hall and Agora, after the garage-parking area, and so naturally the one they would be escaping to the most often, because it stuck out like a sore thumb. There are plenty of arcades, rides, and games for people their age to enjoy—like an endless network of fun-zones, walkways and alleyways connecting them all together, fun is utterly dispersed throughout any Ruby-designated area, for young and old: the adults had their zones for play on the main streets, adult play, which kids are kept away from, as well as the teenage areas, who are sort of self-policing on that front, and then the harmless play areas for the children of their age.
The “nightlife” was not something they were concerned with seeking out. They were obviously too young for that sort of thing, but it was always right around the corner. So, the closest place they could find that connects Ruby to their current location, now within the surrounding ‘Agora,’ is a pathway they are very familiar with, but to get there unseen is the issue. Every Emerald and Sapphire platform connects to a Ruby-Territory. Most of the vast swaths of territory across the asteroid are designated Ruby territories, mainly because their charge is storage and housing… Sapphire occupies the least amount of platforms, or territory space, … although their oceanic territories require quite a bit of space as well as they are large isolated structures. It took a long time of development before these havens for the Sapphires could even be produced.
Their destination, their mission—was a parking structure—an empty, and remote, coral-concrete structure, with minimal adult supervision—which is a kind of maze, used obviously for vehicle storage primarily, but for the children it’s an escape hatch. There was something at a particular area that was new, and the rumors among the children were that it housed what was called a ‘Hub,’ and people were referring to it as the Topaz society because it was that innovatively massive. The games there were a new kind of game altogether, and speculation about what that meant were running wild. Most had been saying it was virtual reality, but not like the virtual reality they could play at any old Ruby arcade. This was “full immersion” the teenagers said, whatever that means.
More details about Utopiaoid
The natural crystalline substances are scattered amongst the people’s structures, jutting out from the rocky surface they’re rooted to, directly representing these four colors… the crystal garden is a scene of fragility upon the face of the continentally-sized asteroid…
Anyways, the Emerald Banquet Hall, and the adjacent ‘Hotel-Towers,’ are glowing green with their holographic green lighting, a designation of Emerald ownership. The enormous buildings themselves are usually situated on top of massive platforms. These platforms are territories owned primarily by the Ruby society citizens. Ruby land-owners control the massive sprawling complexes which are the majority of the total landscape and surface-area of the entire civilization. Emerald is a very inventive culture. The Emerald people enjoy design, and the act of designing, of many varieties, forms, and functions… Their people excel in engineering, in mechanical understanding, … and the scientific methodology…
The individual Emerald-Hotel doesn’t really matter, because any tenant’s room can be 3d-printed, so to speak, for them by request at the front desk, based on their preference, which is saved and archived at the Hotel-Tower’s central database—and which is also why they are typically such expensive memberships to be involved in, particularly depending on the franchise.
Ruby territory pertains to… as well as all of the roads and storage and dispatch areas. … the extra-large platforms serve as the primary domain for nearly all storage, utilizing the roads of Ruby which are connecting virtually every sector… as well as the required construction areas, or the areas designated for mining and raw material processing, recycling, etc.
… anywhere they might need room to experiment or produce… exists upon the rock face of the asteroid on top of a Ruby-platform.
In the Emerald-Agora, the surrounding marketplaces, there are people selling animatronic parts, gears, treats,
toys, gadgets, advanced circuitry, fortress-parts for the… where they build… to use in their builds, … and all sorts of food and concessions, involved gaming contraptions on gyroscopes, …catered for all financial income brackets alike…
The Emeralds, skeptical that…
…anything deemed ‘intellectual’ could rival their own Empire’s achievements, scoffed at the buffoon…
The Ruby culture is a seeming society entirely bent on enjoying the moment. The populace are less obsessed with accountability. Ruby: Red. A gem representing thrills, chills, and palpitations of the heart, or bursts of adrenaline… and playfulness… an endless exploration into play… into the passions… more focused on comedy than seriousness… the varied enjoyments of the present moment… in a way that is non-resistant to passionate indulgences, but yet, in an artful way when done properly.
However, the Emerald socialites did… consider it possible that they were missing something important from their society—something undefined which was left out, neglected totally—not properly categorized, not methodically accounted for, perhaps left out, entirely, from all of their meticulous architectures and exhaustive designs… and so they kept an inquisitive ear open to the alleged buffoon, just in case he had some revolutionary diamond in his rough… If, in fact, there ‘was’ something that they missed… in their equations… someone in the planning stages who had been negligent, perhaps… there would even be a report accounting for the cause of all this, one day, with someone that they could blame for it all, hopefully…
AL in Emerald
I am perpetually designing new robotics, and instruments of many kinds, in order to play with, or for use in research… I start many projects of various kinds, but currently I am not working; I’m not thinking, … of challenges. The premiere challenge of probably my early chilhdhood life is crafting of the personality itself… of the characters: their personas, their transformations and story arcs, from the laboratory to the stage—and that total staged-performance… how to capture that, within their programming…? They are more than the sum total of their part… automaton parts, that can… well, they’re at the point now where they’re more of a reflection of their environment, and a robot second. It was all for maximal play. “What higher end?” he thought. It was unanswerable.
Raeff in Sapphire
The boy from Sapphire’s world has been centered around learning to use the body; his philosophy is of usefulness within his environment. The restrictions upon his imagination are not only self-imposed, they are also an imposition of his society. He is, as are all Sapphire tribesman, an analog imprint of his environment. We all are.
Any man who has spent time meditating will be rewarded, eventually, with powers of the mind. One day they may find themselves floating, in a manner of speaking, observing himself, ‘he’ observing himself, from afar, or at least from some distance; at another moment they are engaging themselves in content, any way in which they need to navigate… upon the seas upon a craft, or for work within a career—still floating—even when the anchor sets down they are never pulled down by them. They will find that their physical body has new plateaus which can be achieved as well, so long as they can still their mind on command. Stillness of the mind aids athleticism as it does aid with everything else one does. An adept will be able to stave off freezing, or survive a gunshot wound, shatter rock with a bare hand, kick into a tree breaking wood and not bone. The Ruby culture, by contrast, sees little value in this kind of worldview. They prefer ‘mere games.’ Games can be a benefit, for one to momentarily dive into, like the Sapphire with their artificial ocean. The sea and the stimulation between Sapphire and Ruby, respectively, have many similar components. The Ruby see little need for “floating,” unless they’re in a hanglider simulation, playing, while they too often see a reason for diving. Powerful visuals, excitable sounds, and intense emotional resonances are preferred, or pleasant company—or outright chemical debauchery. These are not the anchors that satisfy the Sapphire philosophy.
The Ruby people will turn into Superhumans–in their little games. A Sapphire Tribesman seeks to make themselves Superhuman. The Ruby wants… they’re petulant… make demands… this transformation and that transformation, instantly. The Sapphire sees this transformation not worth having without time-spent, something chizzled or sharpened, effort borne in on harnessing some aspect of …
They don’t know it, because they don’t really reflect much upon themselves… but the Ruby people find themselves bored much too quickly.
Like I said, they are often petulant… if they don’t get something which they’re accustomed to, they can’t handle their perturberance. They know it’s an over-reaction–but they can’t help themselves. In a crisis they would all be liabilities. With these amazing simulation-games they have done next to nothing to achieve the states they seek, artificially, to transiently experience synthetically, never to know the glory offered to them by living within the philosophy of the arrow. Just a simple arrowhead. It can be a lifesaver, any diver knows. It can help build a shelter, and then when it came time to fashion a bow and arrow it could be used, your one good arrow, over and over again. The people who live in Ruby society achieve no understanding of the power of man. In Sapphire we have an enormous artificial sea… a culture which surrounds the rigorous demands of the oceanic environs. It is not an ordeal like the Ruby like to try and exaggerate it as being… On the coral islands of Sapphire the aim is… to master spear fishing… and to become expert divers… fire-makers… and survivalists… or spend a lot of time in isolation, in contemplation or retrospective. A community of tribesman will be waiting for you when you’re return to return to society. Off alone, or with others… to build shelters… to live minimalistically… and to live without the use of the grand technology of the age as the central focus of a lifetime—the closest thing to a luxuriant technology allowed by them is a book. It’s hard to keep pages from getting wet or sandy. The underwater caverns are good for storing them, or if you’ve built up a stable shelter or township, usually their communities are the size of a village, and you have safe places for storing them–but most people live a life of action here, in reality. They are diving, fishing, spear-fishing, and there are always chores like gathering building materials, fires, cloth and fabric materials.
Some of the biggest Sapphire territories make use of natural craters upon the asteroid, and are massively large. They are large enough lakes to have small wooded islands, and hunting is a possibility, of land creatures, but this is all far more artificial than the real thing.
Within the plots of coral dry-land, usually housing the dry texts and candle waxes and wicks… hammocks of fibers… in underwater caves. Sapphire is home to many hermits, but their community is generally close-knit and tribal in nature.
Meanwhile, the young Sapphire star-gazer beside us looks up to the cosmos above him with a kind of… gentleness, but also a kind of impartiality. Neither enjoying the scenario particularly, nor bothered by it in any way; he was strange at first from our perspective, but he was funny, and had a really high energy, and it seems like the young man from Sapphire is…
The boy’s attire…he’s got ropes and toughly fashioned clothes, leather straps and mech cloth, like the Sapphires wear, they relinquish diplomatically their own customs, in order to accommodate … and so he is dressed in a simple dark-blue suit for the moment.
When they finally found what they were looking for, a tiny, rusted old shack, you could say they were a little disappointed. They were told there would be anomalies creeping around the Ruby area, but they weren’t told what form these would take. It was made to look mundane, as if nothing particularly of interest, unassuming, and not impressive enough to attact any undue attention. It looked like junk, plainly, but you could just tell there was something more sophisticated to this little structure going on than it was made to appear. It was clear, to children, that the materials were something a toy-making corporation would have had expended quite a great deal to manufacture, and they didn’t like to spend money they didnt have to to turn a maximal profit as much as any other realistic enterprise would–
–though appearing as “a crappy old rusted shack,” as one of our crew put it.
The structure was like a heavy, well-colored assemblage of thick plastics, and though it was made to appear as an assortment of ersatz materials, used tin and alumninum, pieces recycled and thrown together rather than throw away as the old used-up materials they were made out of, or so it seemed, which upon further inspection was actually a high-quality material, extremely high-quality, and also it was as if the thick advanced plastic for the entire structure came from a single mould.
The industrial-sized mould to print this proportioned-structure would have had to be enormous. It also suggests, perhaps, an intention for mass production.
Were these things popping up all over the place for curious children to investigate, and advertised across the VR gaming world as well as an assortment of other entertainment mediums, something more than it appeared? What would be the cause for the obfuscation? Something really important, rolled out in the form of something that looks really mundane? There was a certain brillaince to it, perhaps. Also surrounding the shack were small yellow crystals shooting up around the foundation like grasses and weeds. There was also a faint yellow lightness on the ground along the perimeter, as if to imply this ground wasn’t of demarcation to Ruby, or Sapphire, or even Emerald societies. It was a new, yellow society; maybe Topaz, if it were to be a gem.
There was a teenage-sized kid standing in front of the shack.
He had a metallic knight’s helmet on his head, but wore a regular, light blue shirt, with a super hero’s logo on it (I don’t want to disclose the identity due to copyright descriptions and unknowable intellectual property laws, but you know the one). They had spent some time in reconnaissance, spying on the guard at the door, wondering if this were all actually some elaborate trap by the teenagers, maybe to perform some weird ritual, or bizzare teenage right of passage which they didn’t even know about. They had had no real data. After some cursory examinations, they made their approach.
“Oh, good. We’ve been waiting for you three to show up.” They could hear the words muffled coming from inside the insulated helmet.
“Okay… so why should I let you people in, anyway?”
“Well, what do you have in there, ‘anyway’? Why should we even want to be a part of it, anyway? What is it? Is there something in there–or should I suspect, ‘under there.’”
“Yeah, we’ve got something here. Something really cool, actually..”
“Okay, well then, what is it?”
“We’ve got a new product.”
“What kind of product?”
“Our product,” he relaxed into a kind of rehearsed sales-pitch tone of communication “is a neurochemical interface experience, a chemical/electrical-comm system, which can transmit a virtual-reality scenario into the brain directly–as if in a kind of computer-game, with the brain as the hardware. It could also be described as a kind of lucid dream–but one that’s guided. By us. It mainly relies on the brain itself to produce the environment, and we just kind of direct the content.”
He went up to the door and peered through a looking glass. He seemed to have made contact with somebody inside and nodded, then resumed his post.
“I have been permitted by my superiors to give you a little more information.”
The teenager was, up close, and after seeing some of his movement, clearly an animatronic puppet.
He wasn’t a human at all.
We could see that now that we had observed him performing some complex movements with his body. He was a robotic parody of a teen, but a totally next-level animatronic, barely distinguishable until that minute from being an actual human. “I have to keep the helmet on for the whole shift.”
“What exactly do you guard?”
“Well… that’s a bit too heady of a question for me to answer… I dont know ‘WHY,’ in a philosophical sense,” said the doorman. “Oh, you asked ‘WHAT’. What do I guard? Well, I can’t answer that either. Maybe it’s a ‘WHOM; …”
As you can probably guess these answers did not satisfy. Was the doorman a moron? “You’re disappointed. But no,” he sternly said, “I cannot grant entry at the moment.”
“What is the purpose for all of this?”
“Look, the best I can do for you, for now, is offer you a stool…” He pulled the stool out he had behind him and set it down in front of him, “you can sit here, and maybe with enough time you will be able to figure out this little puzzle, and find your way into the ‘Hub.’ But if you can’t figure out how to get in here, there’s nothing I can do for ya’.”
“Well, why don’t you let us in?”
“You haven’t told me what ‘I’ want to know yet.”
“Okay, let’s start with small steps.” The children had decided a new tact. “How did you make the decision to become a doorman? What thought-process brought you here?” They would try to box the robot in, and reveal himself to a robot, to himself, through logical inference. This would show that he could have no real aims, in terms of selfish need, wishes, or desires… so he can only linearly be concerned with the objectives for which he had been planted here.
“Well, I like to speak with people, that’s for one…” …. “and I also can’t write anything down because there isn’t anything to write on… um, other than that, I’m not really sure at the moment why I originally wanted to become a doorman. I suppose it just came naturally to me.”
“No, wait a second, let me try something else…” I suggested, “if we cannot be allowed in, now, will we be able to come back and try later on?”
“It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not right now.”
“Well, why does that help us. Should we just leave, then?”
The Doorman laughs at their attempts to see inside, humanizing him more, further throwing off their theories and jeering at their frustrations.
“You can try and force your way inside,” the helmeted guardsman stated, “but just know that I am pretty strong for my size.” The boy was animatronic, not flesh-and-blood or otherwise, so it seemed it could potentially be brutally strong, or either way to be a scrappy young fellow, and one that they did not want to engage in a physical contest with. It would of course be better to be diplomatic, and first get permission to enter to the mysterious facility. But first they had to figure out what this robot might want…
“Can you please be a little more specific?”
“No,” the guardsman responded.
“But we haven’t even told you our names!” Maybe if they explained who they were, somehow maybe they had won some lottery, some golden-ticket, to see inside, “what if we are the ones you’re looking for?”
“Oh, we ‘ALL’ know who you three are.”
‘The Once and Future King,’
by T.H. White:
“The whole world knows and loves this book. It is the magical epic of King Arthur and his shining Camelot; of Merlyn and Owl and Guinevere; of beasts who talk and men who fly, of wizardry and war. It is the book of all things lost and wonderful and sad. It is the fantasy masterpiece by which all others are judged.”
<“Kay put on one of the left-hand gauntlets and called Cully from the perch—but Cully, with all his feathers close-set and malevolent, glared at him with a mad marigold eye and refused to come. So Kay took him up. “Do you think we ought to fly him?” asked the Wart doubtfully. “Deep in the moult like this?” “Of course we can fly him, you ninny,” said Kay. “He only wants to be carried a bit, that’s all.” “>
<“Right down the length of the room, with the afternoon sun shining full on them, there ran the screen perches to which the birds were tied. There were two little merlins which had only just been taking up from hacking, an old peregrine who was not much use in this wooded country but who was kept for appearances, a kestrel on which the boys had learned the rudiments of falconry, a spar-hawk which Sir Ector was kind enough to keep for the parish priest, and, caged off in a special apartment of his own at the far end, there was the tiercel goshawk Cully.”>
<“In the afternoons the programme was: Mondays and Fridays, tilting and horsemanship; Tuesdays, hawking; Wednesdays, fencing; Thursdays, archery; Saturdays, the theory of chivalry… terminology of the chase and hunting etiquette. “I vote we take Cully and see if we can get some rabbits in the chase,” cried the Wart. “The rabbits will not be out in this wet,” said Kay sarcastically, delighted to have caught him over natural history. “Oh come on. It will soon be dry.” “> <“ “Come on, then,” cried the Wart, and they scampered off toward the Mews, turning a few cartwheels along the way. The governess was always getting muddled with her astrolabe, and when she got specially muddled she would take it out of the Wart by tapping his knuckles. She did not rap Kay’s knuckles, because when Kay grew older he would be Sir Kay, the master of the estate. The Wart was called the Wart because it more or less rhymed with Art, which was short for his real name. “A weapon. Where could I steal one?” … “Could I just waylay some knight?” He turned his mount and cantered off along the street. There was a quiet churchyard at the end of it, with a kind of square in front of the church door. In the middle of the square there was a heavy stone with an anvil on it, and a fine new sword was stuck through the anvil.”>
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