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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats SD. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to have taken so long. Y'all know I hesitate to answer because I will have to ask another question. That Cord Hurn has upped the game by asking such good questions makes it even harder, as I can't get away with a throw-away question...gotta raise the bar.

Guttergangs were a major force in Earth's culture in the time leading up to the Gap story arc. This underclass of have-nots was both a huge suck on the resources of the existing order's economic infrastructure and a growing movement skewed away from the existing social order.

Milos and Angus were each largely a product of the influence guttergangs had on their early years. Milos became who he was by trading guttergang secrets and becoming a serial betrayer as a "bugger." Angus was trapped from infancy by the results of his mother's experience as sexual libertine in "freefall" with the guttergangs.

Within the confines of the Gap story arc, guttergangs are no longer a current issue for human society on Earth or in space. What changed and why are they no longer a significant factor?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, good question.

Uh, the development of FTL travel?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great question, Savor Dam! You have indeed raised the bar!

My first guess: because Holt let the Amnion mutate the guttergangs?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, gents. Neither is correct...although you do leave some threads worth pulling on.

Cord Hurn: What an intriguing concept. If Holt were to allow the Aminon access to Earth to mutate the guttergangs or were to round the gangmembers up and ship them to forbidden space for that purpose, I suspect he'd probably really weaken his power base. Even if the GCES averted their eyes, I can't imagine... It would be as if some current national leader were to adopt policies (like abolishing healthcare, enacting skewed tax policies, or undercutting environmental regulations) that primarily hurt his nominal popular base. Such a thing could never happen, nu?
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...the guttergangs were too entrenched to be rooted out by anything short of complete cataclysm or absolute tyranny. And the development of the Gap drive made their existence more secure rather than less.

[Explanation of how access to other distant planetary systems gave humanity more resources to play with and extended both the life of the parasitic guttergangs and the human society hosting them.]

It was easy to believe that guttergangs would eventually rule the Earth.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
Sorry, gents. Neither is correct...although you do leave some threads worth pulling on.

Cord Hurn: What an intriguing concept. If Holt were to allow the Aminon access to Earth to mutate the guttergangs or were to round the gangmembers up and ship them to forbidden space for that purpose, I suspect he'd probably really weaken his power base. Even if the GCES averted their eyes, I can't imagine... It would be as if some current national leader were to adopt policies (like abolishing healthcare, enacting skewed tax policies, or undercutting environmental regulations) that primarily hurt his nominal popular base. Such a thing could never happen, nu?
Wink


Heh-heh, not in any fictional story that aimed to make sense. But the real world doesn't have to make sense, does it? It just is. Razz

Okay, another guess: the guttergangs lost power because Min's Enforcement Division got very efficient at rooting them out.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, guess I had that backwards. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Less warm. First round of responses was closer to the mark. As I said, those answers left threads worth pulling on.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, got nothing...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting! Holt letting the Amnion mutate the guttergangs is closer to the answer than Min's Enforcement Division rooting them out! I'll have to consider what this means, and make another guess shortly. Again, good question, Savor Dam! I'll work on this.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The UMCP stepped up their recruitment after first contact with the Amnion. People who might not have previously considered joining the military (including kids in the guttergangs or kids who would have ended up there) became more patriotic in the face of potential alien invasion.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old "unite people with an external enemy" trick huh? Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorus wrote:
The UMCP stepped up their recruitment after first contact with the Amnion. People who might not have previously considered joining the military (including kids in the guttergangs or kids who would have ended up there) became more patriotic in the face of potential alien invasion.



I'm not sure, but this sounds like the most promising answer so far!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
The old "unite people with an external enemy" trick huh? Very Happy

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Even though it's the flip side of the "divide-and-conquer" approach, it can be every bit as sneaky! Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorus has struck close enough to the answer and the thread is now hers.

In the ADAHGA chapter Ancillary Documentation - Guttergangs, SRD wrote:
It was easy to believe that guttergangs would eventually rule the Earth.

This entire societal equation was altered, however, by contact with the Amnion. The discovery of a fundamental, insidious, and above all external threat to humankind's existence turned the tide of history against the guttergangs.

The effects of this discovery were not simple. Obviously, the struggle for the survival of the race would take place hundreds or thousands of light-years away and would be carried on by the forces of the infrastructure. The fate of humankind would be decided elsewhere: the guttergangs would live or die with their host. By the ordinary laws of parasitism, therefore, neither society nor the guttergangs had any reason to change. Yet the knowledge of an enemy they could not see and would never have to fight changed the guttergangs profoundly.

They did not suddenly discover patriotism, of course. They did not put aside their clenched internecine attack on all social structures outside their own for the sake of humankind's greater good. Nevertheless, they were human beings - genophobic to the core. [snip]

By degrees too small to be measured, too small even to be noticed in the short term, the guttergangs began to erode.

This process took any number of forms. As one crude example, thanks to the Amnion, the appetite of the UMCP for young bodies was as intense as, and inherently more comfortable than, the guttergangs'. Active recruitment by the police gave the hungry youth of Earth a choice distinct from the more passive, as well as more brutal, accretion of the guttergangs.

Or a more subtle instance: hating and fearing the Amnion, the ordinary people of Earth - the natural prey of the guttergangs - had less hatred and fear to spare for those gangs. Therefore in complex, almost undefinable ways, the guttergangs began to lose their mystique, their attraction for the lost and disenfranchised of the planet. In comparison to the Amnion, the gangs were perceived as more bearable, more manageable, more normal; therefore less threatenting to humankind - and less appealing to humankind's downtrodden. Over time no human enterprise could oppose - or remain unchanged by - this kind of perceptual shift.

Slowly, across the decades, genophopia united humankind against its common foe.

Cynics saw this turning of the tide as a demonstration that prejudice was the only true survival instinct humanity had left. Less cynical observers had trouble deciding whether to be grateful or terrified.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This process took any number of forms. As one crude example, thanks to the Amnion, the appetite of the UMCP for young bodies was as intense as, and inherently more comfortable than, the guttergangs'. Active recruitment by the police gave the hungry youth of Earth a choice distinct from the more passive, as well as more brutal, accretion of the guttergangs.


Makes sense, and maybe even seems predictable.


Quote:
Or a more subtle instance: hating and fearing the Amnion, the ordinary people of Earth - the natural prey of the guttergangs - had less hatred and fear to spare for those gangs. Therefore in complex, almost undefinable ways, the guttergangs began to lose their mystique, their attraction for the lost and disenfranchised of the planet. In comparison to the Amnion, the gangs were perceived as more bearable, more manageable, more normal; therefore less threatenting to humankind - and less appealing to humankind's downtrodden. Over time no human enterprise could oppose - or remain unchanged by - this kind of perceptual shift.


I wouldn't have expected that development. Obviously, my mind's none too subtle. Razz


Congratulations, Sorus! Nana Party
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Precisely. Sorus' answer was very close to the first of CH's quoted paragraphs, but the second was the real societal tipping point.

SRD claims he only invents what he needs, but the intricacies of what he came up with in the Gap astounds me still...and I first read these books when they came out - a heck of a long time ago.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I've mentioned once or twice before, I'm a cynic, and I've always been skeptical about the idea of contact with a potentially dangerous alien race being enough to inspire global unity. Especially with an advanced race that's willing to trade with us. Would say, North Korea trade their enemies (or even their own citizens) to the Amnion in exchange for weapons and technology, or would they side with the UN or equivalent against the scary aliens? Where would the Middle East fit in? Humans have been fighting humans for as long as there have been humans. We like it too much to give it up. (And that's exactly why any intelligent life out there is probably avoiding us.)

Anyway, none of that is my real trivia question here, and I don't have one of those assembled yet. Will work on that.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorus wrote:
Would say, North Korea trade their enemies (or even their own citizens) to the Amnion in exchange for weapons and technology...


Yeah, good point. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't forgotten that it's my turn. Tried to come up with a question over the weekend, but nothing came to me. If someone wants to take over to keep the thread moving, that's fine by me. Either way, I will keep thinking.
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