• Moderator
    Aug. 14, 2019, 7:23 a.m.

    CONTRIBUTORS NEEDED!

    Have you ever found yourself day-dreaming about a better future for Humanity? Do you consider yourself well-versed in the STEM fields, Futurism and the posits of Science Fiction? If so - READ ON!

    The Terran Union World-building project is a futurism thought-experiment set on planet Earth (and later, within the solar-system at large). It follows the rise and establishment of a global superpower known as the Terran Union, which represents the societal maturity of humanity expressed as a perfect social order. Designing and describing this setting in a realistic way is a big task, and too much for one or two creators - we need help!

    THE PROJECT
    The focus of the project is largely concerned with the social and political dynamics of the progressive Terran Union: what the government is like, how technology is developed, and how it affects the policies and citizenry when used within that system. Due creative consideration must be directed toward envisioning the laws of the Terran Union, the economic models it operates on and the societal trends that result in order to breath in the desired sense of realism.
    With these creative directions in mind, we need contributors - specifically those who are well-informed in the sciences - including but not limited to physics, engineering, sociology, economics etc. A world-building project starts to grow stale and unoriginal if it becomes the exclusive mental playground of one or two people. The more minds that are involved, the fresher and more diverse the setting becomes - leading to a lasting impression of realism and authenticity.

    THE SETTING
    The Terran Union is a technocratic meritocracy originally established via joint effort by all the developed nations of the planet. It is fundamentally utopian and “post-scarcity” - having marvellous advanced technologies that maintain a flawless infrastructure which supplies its citizens with all the basic rights that any sentient beings are entitled to: food, water, a home, free education and healthcare. Its structure, although ultimately authoritarian in jurisdiction, emphasizes decentralization and democratic operation via the use of various ministries that each oversee a particular vital function in a society. Legal matters are handled by a hierarchy of Courts, from a Local District all the way to a Supreme Court handling global issues. High government is comprised of a advisory Cabinet, a legislative Parliament and a Supreme Council of Ministers and experts in various fields. Ultimately, major decisions that require high governmental oversight are processed through these parties until they are either approved or otherwise solved. Those that aren’t are presented to the elected leader of the entire Terran Union - the Head of State.

    So, if you are well versed in science (political, economic, physical, environmental, etc) and want to be part of The Terran Union, then we would love to have you. It is obviously a work in progress and requires fresh, informed perspectives to help build it into something greater.

    Assistant Head of State & Editor-in-Chief
    -Stellarator.

  • Aug. 17, 2019, 1:10 a.m.

    I would like to contribute and be involved in this thought experiment. I have some ideas on the matter, mainly that the question of what a person is and what they are fundamentally worth, would have been answered. And hopefully in a way that respects and keeps room for the dignity of a person.

  • Moderator
    Aug. 19, 2019, 6:38 a.m.

    We would love to have you. To what capacity would you like to contribute?

  • Sept. 8, 2019, 2:24 p.m.

    I'm interested in this, if it's still open! Made an account so I can help contribute after being a fan of SFIA for a couple years. I have an nonlethal passion for sociology and political sociology. As a writer at heart, I like making sure the world-building is believable and realistic. With governments, creating the "perfect" one is something that is only in fiction, and even there, the words "perfect social order" often describe a government in a dystopia, which is also a utopia but only for some people who succeeded the most in the system. While I agree that if you're applying to be a minister of health, you better know a thing or two about healthcare and the struggles of working in a hospital, so a technocracy could work, but it's the other elements that are interesting.

    • Once thing that confused me is the idea of a decentralized authoritarian parliament. Authoritarianism is defined as a small elite or single leader controlling everything and individuals not having much if any freedom, a very centralized government that requires blind obedience with no criticism. Stories like 1984 or modern-day China come to mind with this, as they launched a credit system based on everything a person does. An individual can be punished harshly (no-fly list or unemployment) for as much as criticizing an official. Better yet, what type of authoritative government are we going for here? Jurisdiction makes me think on it's a local level; citizens are loyal to their ministry's leadership, ministry loyal to the district/parliament, etc. What laws are in place to keep the people happy while keeping the peace, while not allowing sneaky candidates smooth-talk their way to these powerful positions just because they have high merit? If someone travels between ministry jurisdictions, if possible, are they still subject to the same laws as their home ministry when they return?

    • Another is about the merit itself. Would it apply to everything in a person's life (college applications, jobs, clubs, etc), or does it really only matter if someone is dealing with governmental matters? How will contributions be measured, and is there a quota each person/household should reach? What happens if they don't reach it? This type of government is also flawed since what is considered "desirable" traits differ from person to person; some prefer a more aggressive/assertive persona, others want a more civil and diplomatic personality. Depending on how public these merit statistics are on individuals, it can create class rifts. People with low merit have less chances to gain merit and are seen as low-class, while high-merit citizens are given more opportunities simply because of their merit, especially if parents pass down their merit to their children or friends influence each other's merit by simply being around them. What happens if a low-merit person is best friends with a high-merit person?

    • What would it be merit based off of? Academic grades? Talent in science or STEM fields? Career track record? School of thought? What is in place so it doesn't turn into a like-minded groupthink among high-merit candidates, which would limit new perspectives and ideas into government and slow progress? It would also limit people who are interested in non-science fields, like fine arts or literature or entertainment, if we go by what a person can contribute to a technologically based government. How would right brained (creative and imaginative) people gain as high merit as left brained people (logical and analytical, essential for most sciences)? Current USA education requires a lot of utilization of the left side of the brain, putting creativity as optional electives that only boost your grade a little bit if you can juggle other classes that hold little to no interest to you or are difficult to effectively grasp.

    I'm writing a document that goes into more questions I have about this if you want, and most I'm going to try to help answer as well. Just throwing these out there because these concern the basic structure of society itself, and I wonder if these have answers already.Technocracies and meritocracies have been shunned in general because of the power ranking and how it can easily spiral into a dystopia for the public while it's a utopia for those who climb high enough on the ladder.

    I like picking things apart to make sure what's pictured in my head is what was intended. No government style is flawlessly perfect, but it can be refined so everyone is happy without being forced into being happy. That's enough for my essay.... what do you think?

  • Moderator
    Sept. 13, 2019, 8:04 a.m.

    This project is still very much ongoing, and the call for contributors is still very much active! Further, we welcome questions about the setting as interested individuals introduce themselves. This allows us to refine the image of our project by addressing those questions which concern the details not readily apparent in our proposal as so far as it has been prepared.

    Your thoughts about the citizens loyalty to their representatives is indeed correct. The Terran Union operates on a form of delegative democracy wherein the wishes of the people are carried up the political ranks by elected members of the state whom the people find to best represent their values. These representative's votes carry more political sway, and thus the will of the people is expressed before high government, at least as far as policy-making goes. A more decentralized approach to basic rights and local affairs is maintained at the lower levels, where each region on Earth (or beyond) can govern themselves as city-states, after a fashion. No system is totally immune against corruption, but it is thought that this "liquid democracy", together with technological monitoring aids of the like we cannot deploy in our modern era, can stave off the worst of political vice.

    As far as personal matters go, education is free for all and entertainment (like media, and what you do during your free time) is unfettered. As for the systematic operation of the Terran Union's meritocracy - that is still under development, and thus the details thereof are conceptual for now. It is something that deserves a lot of attention in the future - but so does a lot of other stuff!

    This is great! Your enthusiasm is certainly appreciated, as we are in the beginning phase of roughing out an outline of creative objectives for our contributors in relation to designing the system. Your input and thoughts would be most welcome on our Discord server: discord.gg/AWw5n9 . I should add that we are as of yet still a small group with big dreams - so if being one of the first to blaze the creative trail for our project is something that interests you, then we look forward to having you.