Saturday, November 30, 2013

First Contact With Human Cultures

First Contact with other human cultures is a mainstay of science-fiction. I started reading a Battlestar Galactica / Star Trek crossover when I realized something rather important.

Spock raised his eyebrow further. "This is your method of defusing, Captain?"

I agree with Spock, that Kirk's methodology is completely frakking lame. Especially since it's rather obvious from the Enterprise's first scans that they're dealing with refugees. The Galactica's fleet is battle-scarred and they have too high a population for mercenaries.

Do you know how you greet a fleet of wartorn human refugees? You send them a hail consisting of music. Specifically, Sol Invictus by audiomachine looping a couple times till everyone's listening to it. Then you greet them with,

"Welcome to your new home, if you wish it. Your epic journey is over. You are safe now, fellow humans."

over and over and over for an hour or until they finally get the message. Soothe their pride and their anger at the same time as you IGNORE it. Ignore all hails, all demands for introduction, all personal introductions, all posturing, all speechifying, all politicking. Until one of the magic words are spoken, "we need medical supplies / food" or "where do we go?" Then IMPERSONALLY offer them coordinates like you're offering them the steak or the salmon for dinner.

CONFUSION TO THE ENEMY. The very first principle of war. Can you think of any pompous warmongering asshole that would have the first clue how to respond to a message like this? I can't, therefore this strategy can't possibly lose. But it can win big.

When you want to express EMOTIONS, words are insufficient and they positively get in the way. Words suck. But music is awesome. So why not use it? And both 'reassurance' and 'belligerance' are emotions, therefore they can (and HAVE) been expressed by music.

People prefer face to face communications precisely because they can see someone's FACIAL EXPRESSIONS. What are the facial expressions of a starship? That convey emotions to those watching it? There are none. But music creates a fantastic substitute so long as you build up a library of emotional songs.

Emotions, and music, are both a tool and a weapon. And it's pathetic how they aren't used. How instead you have political speechifying by narcissistic assholes propping themselves up, claiming to "represent" this or that political unity. As if the self-description of the political entity could ever mean anything to a complete stranger who's never heard of it before!

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