| Money | Genetic Segregation
| Cyborg Humans | Races and
Aliens | Religion
Society - What is it Like?
In general, human society is very recognisable. Human attitudes
are not much altered from the 21st Century - humankind still competes,
double deals, acts bravely and honourably, or for greedy and base
Most of the differences that have arisen over the last few hundred
years arise out of the factors described below. These apply
to human society in general throughout the Universe. Within
this, there are very wide local variations of attitude and practice
- especially in the outer colonies.
There are no concepts such as the fictional 'Prime Directive'
from the 20th century (old style date). All polities
will interfere with another culture or society so long as they think
there is some benefit from it, and that they can get away with it.
There is a body of interstellar law, based on bilateral and multilateral
treaties - and for the most part the main polities adhere to this
- at least in public (much as in the 21st century (OSD)).
There is a system of monetary exchange. The Interstellar
Monetary Unit (IMU - known colloquially as the 'credit') has been
around from several hundred years. In addition, some of the
minor colony worlds have operated their own currencies - where they
have not been able to trade sufficiently to attract banking services
from one of the Big Seven interstellar clearing banks.
Some nations do have internal currencies based on specific worlds
- usually for historical reasons. Most famous is Earth's unwillingness
to completely give up it's ancient currency, the Dollar, and fully
integrate with the IMU for domestic trading - arguing that such
an integration would be giving up an important area of soveriegnty.
Most monetary exchanges are electronic, though again, units of
exchange exist that are not linked to the PlanetNet or StarNet universal
banking systems do exist where technology is in short supply. Most
common of these are handy portable CashChips(TM)
- used widely in the outer colonies as verifiable monetary
exchange unit backed by IMUs.
One of the common technologies of the Universe is the ability
to genetically engineer the human form.
It is a matter of social fashion that these variations tend not
to be too grotesque - those that can choose, i.e. the richer parts
of society - choose offspring that are genetically perfect examples
of humankind. The 'Perfects' are healthy, strong, intelligent
and good-looking (within small variations). As a result, perfects
form virtually the totality of all the areas of responsibility and
leadership. All the military are perfects, all government,
industry and educationalists are perfects.
The remainder of the poorer part of the population tends to be
made up of those with more natural genetic material. The Naturals
are prone to the usual range of human abilities - the best can equal
the perfects, but might carry injurious recessive genes, but the
majority are just not up to the standards of perfection.
On new colonial worlds, there tends to be a higher proportion
of naturals, though perfects (or the natural descendants of perfects)
still tend to lead and take important jobs. The imperial or
colonial powers have very high proportions of perfects.
Discrimination on the grounds of genetic makup is not only legal,
it is required in some cases - for example naturals are not normally
allowed to serve in the military, police or on the judiciary. This
discrimination is regarded as normal - in fact it is seen as reasonable
- since unlike 'race' discrimination in ancient times on Earth
- the discrimated group is actually inferior (rather than
merely inferior by virtue of the dominant social power structures).
Arguements that suggest that discrimination should end on
the grounds that 'all humans are equal' fail in the light of verifiable
The acceptance of the genetic status quo is so widespread that
the subject is never even mentioned or considered by those in power
- the naturals being, in effect, an invisible part of all human
societies of the Universe.
There are small groups of natural activists, some resorting to
direct action at times - but they have so far failed to get widespread
support, even among the natural population. Most well known
of these groups is the feared Democracy And Freedom Today
group - which has been responsible for seemingly random acts
of terrorism and mayhem throughout human space for many years.
Cyborging - or the ability to graft technological enhancements
onto the human body has been around for some time. Humanity
as a whole tends to prefer to be perfect but human, rather than
a mixture of human and machine (most people would rather have perfect
eyesight than glasses). It tends only to be the psychotic
personality that chooses to, in effect, self-multiate by adding
cyborg components to their bodies.
That said - there are those who choose to cyborg - even though
it is more expensive and painful than gene-engineering - akin to
the 21st century fashion of body-piercing.
It is also done by some naturals who wish to make a political point
A drawback of the process is that the more cyborging that is done,
the less human the cyborg becomes - cyborging has been shown to
increase the incidence of psychotic behaviour.
Some worlds have made Cyborg operations illegal, due to the links
between cyborgs and criminal activity. Other worlds have embraced
cyborging as a political creed,
though generally one wonders about the political and social stability
of such a system.
Humanity has no 'races'. There are many and diverse ethnic
variations - some old some new. The majority of humanity in
the universe is from old earth mongolian-chinese stock, but
the physical differences are not as easily defined as they were
centuries ago due to various social upheavals and intercommunication.
There are minor physical differences that have arisen as a
result of inbreeding on long isolated subsistence colonies - but
on the whole the very concept of race is missing since it proved
too difficult to define in any rational way.
If humanity were to encounter any non-human sentient, they would,
of course, not be referred to as 'alien races' since that would
be a biolognically meaningless term. The proper designation
is alien species. Unless you can interbreed with them, in
which case they would be, by definition, human and not alien.
There are, of course, absolutely no sentient alien species in
the Universe. 100% totally not, none, not any. Honest.