Kinkajou interviews Bran Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex
(Alan Dean Foster: Commonwealth Series- Dirge:
Kinkajou: Thank you for agreeing to discuss these issues with me. I would like to welcome you: ex-Chancellor second sociologist Bran Tse-Mallory and First Philosoph Truzenzuzex: I would converse with you about a number of issues including climate control, dark cities, farming, health records, helping the hopeless, and orbital engines, if you are so disposed.
I understand you are true champions of those who cannot help themselves. After your combat experience near the planet GoodHunting, I have heard that “all” the citizens presented you with a scroll inscribed with their names and thanks – all 295,000 of them. Your timely intervention in the combat with the Aann saved the lives of all these people.
Your relationship with each other I find remarkable. Between Shipmates on a sting ship, the interface that develops between the Thranx operator and the human operator is an intimate one. A man’s partner is his ship brother. Sirs, it strikes me as odd that a time when many folk have so much trouble getting along with one another, you two of utterly different races managed to get along so well.
The magic between Human and Thranx is certainly doubly unexpected. The two races have taken to each other pair of long separated twins. The Thranx traits of calmness, cool decision-making ability, politeness, and dry humour have been admired tremendously by humans who have sought such qualities in themselves. By the same token there has been a recklessness combined with brains, impossible self-confidence, and sensitivity to surroundings that Thranx have found to be appealing in humans.Bran Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex: We see you have been doing your homework. Thank you for seeking to speak to us, Seeker Kinkajou:
Thranx Underground Habitat Entry
Kinkajou: Perhaps we can start with the technology of orbital engines. How has this made the Humanx civilisation possible?
Bran Tse-Mallory: The ability to access orbit around planetary bodies is the technological basis of our civilisation. Without this capacity, economics would make our civilisation and society a very different place indeed. Trade would wither and die. Isolation would encourage the different planets to diverge in their social rules and mores substantially.
Certainly in the early days of human access to space, the cost of launching single use rockets was prohibitive. By being able to reuse orbital access shuttles, the cost of attaining orbit is substantially reduced. If we could develop a method by which KK drives could operate within a gravity well, the cost of attaining orbit could be again substantially reduced. I remember reading about the Jarnell Intersplit in a series of novels called the Demon Princes (by Jack Vance).
Cheap orbital access has allowed many essentially ordinary people in this series to launch themselves into space, to find and colonise many planets throughout the galaxy. The wholesale transhipment of biota had allowed the terraforming of many planets as well.If we could develop this orbital access within a gravity well using the KK Drive itself, again the Humanx civilisation would be very different indeed. Individuals would once again matter. Simple economics affecting access to the environment of space, would encourage wholesale and uninhibited development of the galaxy.
Truzenzuzex: Yes to date, this is a facet of technology which we have been unable to solve. I think without the orbital engines of shuttles, Humanx civilisation would not even be possible.
Bran Tse-Mallory: My friend as is usual with you, understatement builds anticipation.
Truzenzuzex: True! (Engaging in the whistling laughter of the Thranx). To understand the importance of orbital engines requires a modicum of imagination, a commodity that I’m sad to say, in which many of our citizens are sadly deficient.Kinkajou: Tell us about climate control and the dark cities of the Thranx.
Truzenzuzex: We Thranx live underground ,so we have little access to the atmosphere to which to vent our waste: heat, exhaled exhaust gases, airborne pollution by-products, water and even sewerage. This means we have had to develop substantial recycling technologies. One of the key principles of recycling is not generating the waste in the first instance. Conscious and thoughtful planning combined with our ability to make correct decisions with a lack of emotional distraction and a high level of practicality form the basis of the civil technologies underpinning our cities.
Bran Tse-Mallory: I would comment that the interests of humans and Thranx have to this extent converged independently as our populations have grown requiring thoughtful implementation of recycling technologies to reduce our footprint on the planet, and to enable a better life and the availability of more resources for our citizens. The Thranx have helped us considerably in these matters since we have first met, an arrangement which neither of our species have had cause to regret.
Kinkajou: How substantial do Thranx cities grow?
Truzenzuzex: On our home planet of Hivehom, we have billions more citizens than typical human planets. If you were however to walk on the surface of our world, all you would discover is almost pristine jungle as far as the eye can see. However the population beneath your feet exceeds even that of the densest parts of many human cities. A full understanding of technology involved in recycling has enabled us to create a healthy environment supporting many citizens.
Bran Tse-Mallory: Yes our friends were shocked to discover how polluted many human cities had become. There are many places on the planet Earth where within a few hundred metres the pollution haze had made buildings disappear. A healthy home is a happy home, and this our friends at the Thranx have taught us.
Truzenzuzex: We have also become expert planetary engineers in aspects of terraforming. In the early days the atmosphere of our home world could be very variable indeed. By working to control nature and the climate, we are able to support many more people. We regard the growing of plants not as a simple agricultural scientific activity, but as the expression of a true art form. This has allowed us to improve yields and to develop many types of crops suitable to the environment and capable of tolerating different environments occurring across our home planet.
Bran Tse-Mallory: I will not trade maxims with you Seeker Kinkajou: Without hesitation, I concur with my brother’s evaluation. Providing foodstuffs for civilisation is a highly competitive business and demands close attention.
The Thranx have helped us to develop climate control areas such as the arid lands of Australia. Improved crop yields have allowed us to support many more people with more safety than has ever occurred in humanity’s history.I think we have also developed substantially more due to our different ways of assessing the same situation. The Thranx have acted as a check on human and humans have acted as a goad to Thranx. The development of new technologies has become efficient and ruthless to the benefit of both our species.
Kinkajou: Yes, I remember reading about the first environmental commissions that the Church convened on earth. The presiding officer of the commission addressing pollution and controlling waste was an elderly Thranx hive officer from the Hive world itself. His ramrod stiffness combined with a fading exoskeleton and acid voice made him a formidable proponent for change to many wasteful human practices.
Humans were forced to confront in a very un-evadable way the reality of resource constraints impacting on the lives of many people on the planet. Many humans enjoy the fruits of technical civilisation. However the poor as they have for centuries and doubtless may have needed to for centuries to come, walk along the banks of the technological highway.
Truzenzuzex: Yes. Recycling increases the availability of resources to all, and enhances everyone’s life. If everyone is able to access more resources, they become better able to work for others and for the good of all.
Kinkajou: This brings us to the issue of helping the hopeless upon our respective worlds.
Bran Tse-Mallory: I think the recognition of Paill is one of the most important factors enabling all people to rise from misery and poverty. Conquering this disease is one of the greatest human achievements of the last few centuries.Our friends the Thranx, have been particularly affected by the plight of many women. In Thranx culture, the female is considered an object of veneration and of helplessness, more so than any human world. For the female potential to be so devastated by disease and illness , was a point of horror to many of the cultured Thranx people. The Thranx have helped us in the development of bio tools which have been invaluable to us, in conquering this disease. In secret enclosed bio- laboratories in the Boggo Rd Gaol, ( near the Princess Alexandra Hospital District) and Petrie Terrace Gaol ,near the extant Petrie Terrace Military base, much of the basic genomics research was undertaken.
Truzenzuzex: I think the development of the United Church has also impacted on the care societies bestow upon our less fortunate members, especially in human cities and villages. The church has always emphasised that Human Nations and Thranx Hives are all responsible in both species for the fates of many less fortunate. The emphasis has always been however on assisting each individual to reach their full potential.Kinkajou: Yes the issue is about providing incentive. I think the church’s realisation that not all people choose to engage fully with hive or society, is important in understanding inequity. It is not possible to solve inequity by simply redistributing resources. Incentive and motivation are the key factors that drive the individual to work, to achieve and to succeed.
Bran Tse-Mallory : Yes. In the early days humanity made laughable and foolhardy attempts to solve the issue of an equity and hopelessness of many people. The advent of Thranx philosophs enabled humanity to at last confront the issue of choice with engagement with civilisation.
The Human Politic has emphasised the needs of the hopeless, but the Thranx emphasised the individual’s responsibility to society and their role within it. To take without giving back is not an option. Individuals who did not acknowledge their responsibility to society and at least undertake to fulfil some of these responsibilities, became recognised as being a disgrace to the people.
As a people I fear we have become much more intolerant of folk who will not cooperate with society.In turn, society has accepted a much larger role and responsibility for the individual through the realisation that not everyone is able to choose to partake fully of the fruits of civilisation. To force people to beg for help, removes much dignity. It forces them to crumble mentally as they must plead for others for help and understanding. This hiatus of understanding evolved from the interests of both human and Thranx converging independently until both peoples became immersed in study of the building of civilisation and empire.
Truzenzuzex: The development of the Paill concept has substantially been facilitated through the development of health records for the individual. Probably design records have enabled medical staff to map the progress or deterioration of an individual’s health and its effect on his or her brain function.
Health records are critical to managing illness and mental deterioration. By understanding why an individual may become ill and impaired, and realising that this progress is not inevitable, society has learned to embrace all of its' people with the fondness of a proud father caressing his helpless newborn.All entities are valuable. All entities deserve care and assistance from the society. But the same time or entities have a responsibility to the society which underpins their life.
Interview with Bran Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex continued:
Kinkajou: Do you think there are any other technical developments which have been important in the development of Humanx civilisation?
Bran Tse-Mallory . Our development of quantum radio communications has been important indeed. Through our use of deep space communications technology, we are able to bypass the speed of light in communications. To date we have been unable to use this technology for anything except communication.
Communication is perhaps one of the most critical facets of the development of empire. Historically, many human civilisations have collapsed due to communications issues. If the peripheries are unable to call upon central authority and power for assistance, they are essentially on their own in dealing with threats. This makes an empire essentially a collection of very small powers, unable to deal with large-scale threats and unable to deal with rapid situational changes.
It is also of interest the solutions that ancient human societies have developed to deal with this problem. For example, the Mongols in their empire used a series of horse riders to rapidly traverse the thousands of kilometres of their empire. They were able to send messages across the Empire within days as riders travelled day and perhaps night. This coalesced the power of their empire.
Kinkajou: Do you see any threats to the Humanx Commonwealth?
Truzenzuzex: There are always threats. One difficulty I can see is that perhaps we may need to confront intelligences with thought processes much dissimilar to our own. There is the example of Midworld, where the controlling plant intelligences have co-opted many of the abilities of animals and even of human beings. It remains to be seen what extent they seek to escape from their planetary abode. Their expectations and desires may well be at odds with our own.Of course, there is always the Aann, hovering at the periphery of our civilisation. They are very intolerant of the weaknesses of others and always seek to exploit any perceived weakness. Communication is critical to maintaining our common ability to respond to these threats.
Aaan Soldier Historical
Aaan Soldier Historical
Kinkajou: A new topic. Have you seen any evidence of the paradise game?
Bran Tse-Mallory: There has been some concern with regards to these developments. The world of Midworld being one such example. I believe however that it does not really offer a viable paradise for many of us.
There is also the example of the uninhabited planets existing within “ The blight”. Many of the entities in this region of space have been destroyed by bio-warfare created by the enemies of the Tar-Aiym. The Tar-Aiym are not known for their sympathy or their empathy with the species they dominated or even sought to dominate. I would not doubt for an instant that they may well have planted technologies that would seek to destroy other species attempting to colonise the seemingly Paradise worlds.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the reasons that this sector of space has remained uninhabited for so long in spite of the attractiveness of the worlds that lie within. Paradise may well be a method of luring other species to their doom on planets within “the blight”.
Kinkajou: I would like to thank you both Bran Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex, talking to me on aspects of your civilisation and your societies. I think such discussions serve as a bridge between the rich and the poor, the hopeful and the hopeless.
Bran Tse-Mallory: I feel you have been having all too much fun Seeker Kinkajou. We have all seen too much death already. Time to move forward.
In secret enclosed bio- laboratories in the Boggo Rd Gaol, ( near the Princess Alexandra Hospital District) and Petrie Terrace Gaol ,near the extant Petrie Terrace Military base)
Kinkajou interviews the City Fathers of New York City
(James Blish: Cities in Flight: Earth Man Come Home)
Kinkajou: City fathers, tell us about the challenges you have faced in taking Brisbane into space.
City Fathers: thank you Kinkajou for allowing us to educate you about the importance of good planning and meticulous procedures to prepare a city for space. Too often people focus on the big issues. However, it is the little things that in the long run combine to become the most crucial.
Brisbane is one of the largest cities in the world, at least in terms of area. The Brisbane conurbation spans the coastline from the Gold Coast to Noosa Heads. In spite of this huge land area, nothing can be taken for granted.The key concept underpinning successfully taking Brisbane into the galaxy has been the concept of “dark cities”. “Dark cities” is a concept whereby waste is absolutely managed at every level. We attempt to prevent the generation of waste before it is even produced. We reuse components and technology. We recycle spent technology. Nothing can ever be allowed to be wasted. This concept covers many different aspects.
Brisbane City In Flight
We are careful to limit heat production, to insulate the buildings within our city, and to minimise the usage and waste of energy. All materials are recycled. Plastics, metals, oils, water and organic waste must all be optimally managed. One critically difficult and essential material is wood.
Our huge land expanse must maintain adequate solar input while travelling between suns to keep vegetation alive and functioning. Maintenance of vegetation and growth of timber is important in underpinning the operation of our biosphere and ecosphere. Plant life underpins many ecological cycles and supports a pyramid of animal life, all essential to the maintenance of the human condition.
One of the unusual concepts not understood before space travel was the concept of recycling time. If a quantity of waste say “X” is generated, and it takes a time say “Y” to be recycled, then the process of recycling holds a quantity of materials equal to X.Y within the recycling process. Our bio systems must be able to tolerate the loss of X.Y recyclable mass. And we must have a quantity of at least five times this amount of material in reserve to allow for dissemination loss and for crisis event losses. Only then can the ecological processes sustaining the people and city be maintained.
Brisbane has been successful in its production of Ascomycin, one of the most basic and general of our anti-agathic therapies, unlike many other of our competitor Okie cities. A robust and diverse interactive biosphere has been essential in allowing us to successfully culture natural sources of this pharmaceutical.
The gift of long life that it bequeaths allows us to travel across the immensity of the galaxy, to maintain our technological supremacy and to compete with many other cities in the delivery of services to the planet bound.
The need to underpin such a large city area with a stable keel has demanded that we co-opt a substantial depth of bedrock to allow a city to be stable. But this also gives us the ability to maintain some mining operations within focused areas of the Rock underlying the city. We one of the few cities able to extract germanium and Uranics / Thorium from the granite and basalt underpinning the city.
This is substantially reduced our dependence on stealing mineral resources from the planet bound. I think this was the key factors giving our city an edge in enabling us to maintain our independence.
Compared to a planet however, our entire city area is small. This is why the conservation and re-utilisation and recycling of resources is so important. Nothing can be wasted because we cannot afford the extravagance of waste. It is we, the City Fathers who supervise and guide all the operations involved in reducing pollution and reducing waste. Brisbane could not be the Brisbane of the galaxy, without us.
Kinkajou: Wow! I can see you are right though. Tell us about the incredible technology represented by the spin dizzy drive.
City fathers: The Dillon Waggoner graviton polarity generator is what we recognise as the spindizzy drive. It arose from humans appreciating the close relationship between magnetism, gravitation and the rate of spin of elemental particles. The critical formula was G= 2(P.c/BU) squared.
This technology was first developed in the West and used to seed many close by planets with colonists. However this loss of people and technological know-how drained the West of its human resources, leading to the collapse of the West and leading to communism overpowering the remnants of the West.
It seems strange to us that scientists at the time did not appreciate the true value of the technology they had within their grasp. The spin dizzy can lift. The spin dizzy can protect. The spin dizzy can allow travel at faster than light speeds. It can do all these things. For example, a 0.2% spin dizzy screen can maintain protection from excess solar radiation for the city and stop the diffusion of air and water through the spin dizzy barrier. This enables us to maintain air and water within the environment of the city.
A slightly tighter screen can stop meteorites. By maintaining the spin dizzy screen at a minimum level, we can allow the merest of bonds between the planetary gravity and the city. This effectively ties the city to the surface of the planet.
Accelerating the action of the spin dizzy generators severs the gravity link, allowing the city to burst forth into space.
The spin dizzy has allowed us to conquer the galaxy. But it is the small technologies such as recycling which have enabled us to sustain life as we voyage through space, independent of planetary bodies.
Kinkajou: Do you have any final words for us, City Fathers?
City fathers: Although we are only machines, it is we who are responsible for so much of the success of Brisbane in its voyage through the greater galaxy. Attention to detail, respect for the law, avoidance of waste inherent in our “dark cities” structure and meticulous recycling are the strengths which we deliver to enable human survival.
We follow In the footsteps of one of our great city fathers, Mr Clem, who sewered our city. By using existing infrastructure for multiple purposes, we have extracted incredible efficiency benefits so essential to enable the city to compete and to succeed.Too often humans find themselves inveigled and suborned into crafting special-purpose constructs, buildings and even cities.
The true frontier of technology in adapting the situation you have, to the needs of the present and the vision of the future. Brisbane was never built as a space city but it has grown into one. While humanity is often blinded by its own cleverness, is the ability to adapt and to design and construct modular solutions to problems past present and future that is the true measure of technological prowess.
All too often, the clever solutions of today become the problems of tomorrow. New technologies force us to completely rethink how we design cities.A historical example is the advent of first plumbing, then electricity, then sewerage and finally telephone and Internet communications technology, in forcing us to redesign and redesign and redesign our cities.
When Brisbane began, the concept of sustainability was that each person would have a little block of land in which to grow their own vegetables to enable them to feed themselves. However, impact with reality in discovering that nature rarely provides good soil and timely water to enable the healthy growth of crops, forced us to rethink this concept from the early days of Brisbane.
Our newest technology is molar valence. This promises to revolutionise our usage of lubricants. Firstly, we can increase the diversion of chlorella crops yielding approximately 5500 kg per hectare to production to luxuries as opposed to high density hydrocarbon oil essentials. Usage of this technology will force us to rethink the design that many of our machines and systems. This promises a better life to our citizens. Also we can re-divert more resources to the development of more complex anti-agathics, further extending the lives of our citizens.
Our resources can extend only so far, so many many things are rationed by circumstances, resources deprivation, human and time resources scarcity and technology. Technology enriches us all by allowing us to choose which path we can take to the future.
Kinkajou interviews Chrys: about the Eleutherian civilisations.
(Brain Plague: Joan Slonczewski).
Kinkajou: I have learned that in your world, microbes can build cities.
Chrys: Yes, I acquired my citizens when their own world died. They were stored in a temporary body. But they longed for their own God, their own homes and cities and a brain to be their new world. Micros are not contagious. They require artificial transfer.
Kinkajou: Why would you take these things on board?
Chrys: Micros are the most addictive thing known to medical science. They tell you that when you’re implanted. They require human hosts. They cannot live anywhere else. There are extremely intelligent and extremely dangerous. The micros causing the brain plague and the micros acting as brain enhancers, are genetically the same. They live inside the Human Brain: They build their homes just beneath the space in the arachnoid, a web of tissue between the linings of the brain. Micros live 10,000 times faster than we do. For them one minute feels like a week, and an hour is a year and a day is a generation. Full awareness occurs in sentients with about a trillion logic gates. A micro contains 10 times that many molecular gates.
They stay within the arachnoid layer, just outside the cortex. We command them never to touch your neurones. And there are only allowed a population of about 1 million.
Kinkajou: What do they do in the arachnoid and perhaps even the ventricles of the brain?
Chrys: They build the schools, raise the children and help your work. In my case they built their first city in the Cisterna Magna of my Brain: They established a civilisation. They reassembled the Council of 30, the ancient governing body of Eleutheria. They organised trade in arsenic and palladium, and regulated the mining of items from the blood. The danger of micros is that while they are sentient and significantly enhance the brain function of the carriers, they can escape from their niche.
Micros can make their own dopamine and put it right into the synapses, and make the synapses full. They can do this intelligently. When the synapses overloads repeatedly, the body gradually steps down its own dopamine production. You don’t notice it right away. Eventually your brain tells you that every time you obey the Masters, you feel good. It continues to progress. In the long run you can no longer feel good at all – except from the action of micros. Your will is replaced by their own.
Kinkajou: I see the micros form essentially a “dark” civilisation. There is full recycling of all organic products and wastes. There is no waste heat. They truly do integrate into a self-sustaining city/civilisation.
I imagine you would need to monitor the health of individuals who carry micros?Chrys: Yes. Medical science has progressed substantially in my era. The interfaces to allow the monitoring of health have become substantially simplified. The GUI representation of processes allows for the initiation and maintenance of complex activities, with simple actions. I do not think there is any other way to interface with the human body, and the complex processes required to sustain and maintain its health.
The micros were undoubtedly instrumental in the development of these first interfaces. A good healthy home is a happy home. And what is good for the host, is good for the micros. They are good citizens, properly ruled. And they have an enlightened self-interest in maintaining the health of the host.
Kinkajou: Thank you Chrys, for your enlightening insights into your world.
Chrys, The Eleutherians
Chrys, The Eleutherians