Shapers keeping secrets

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AuthorTopic: Shapers keeping secrets
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #0
What do you think about the shaper's need to keep things secret?

In Geneforge 1 there was Sucia Island being barred and the reason for it being kept secret. There is the great secret in the Temple of Spirits about shaper origins.

In Geneforge 2 you learn about the coverup of the events of GF1 on Sucia Island. The Shapers cover back up the secrets of the geneforge and the canisters. Even the shapers involved in Drypeak keep from the council what they are doing with that secret information.

In Geneforge 3 on Dhonal's Island you meet the purity inspector that destroys information that shouldn't be released to the general population. There is also the Sholai visitor searching for news of the earlier expedition led by Trajkov. The shapers say that he never made it and they never heard of him.

Knowledge is power and the Shaper council wants to control the release of all knowledge. Only shaper trained mages are allowed to learn certain spells. No release of creation information to mages.

Is the secrecy hurting the shaper society or keeping it stable until the rebellion forces it out into the open?
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 7195
Profile #1
quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

Is the secrecy hurting the shaper society or keeping it stable until the rebellion forces it out into the open?
Well, I believe it's like with any other thing.
If you do something wrong or something you're ashamed of, it can bring shortlived stability, but sooner or later, no matter how the secret keeping methods are strict, something has to come out, and then, I believe, it hurts you far more than it would if you came out clean at the beginning.
And also, in my opinion at least, a person that admits the mistakes might get more confidence, but this is another topic ...

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I don't care what you say, I'm punk and Hardcore all the way!
Posts: 185 | Registered: Sunday, June 4 2006 07:00
Loyal Underling
Member # 13
Profile #2
If it's out in the open you get more people trying their hand at making geneforges and augmenting serviles and all that mess. Better to keep it with people who know what they're doing.

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[i]Great Potato[/i]
"Unless by the force of eloquence they mean the force of truth; for if such is their meaning, I admit that I am eloquent." -- Socrates
Posts: 126 | Registered: Thursday, September 27 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 7195
Profile #3
Yes, that's true, but if it's secret only a handful of people will know or find out by luck on their own. And if these mean harm, then the geneforge will be in the wrong hands only, assuming the shapers don't use it anymore or just forget about it, like they did, of course.
If a lot know about it, maybe someone could figure a way to counteract it, like make a generestore or something.

[ Friday, August 25, 2006 05:31: Message edited by: Anarhiztok ]

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I don't care what you say, I'm punk and Hardcore all the way!
Posts: 185 | Registered: Sunday, June 4 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #4
quote:
Originally written by the Great Potato:

If it's out in the open you get more people trying their hand at making geneforges and augmenting serviles and all that mess. Better to keep it with people who know what they're doing.
This is exactly why everything should be out in the open. Serviles are terrible the way that they are; they should be augmented more often. Or better yet, why use serviles at all when you can use drakons?

I would lose control, you say? Not if there were more geneforges! Just imagine, that kind of power open to all those willing to take it. The world would surely be a better place. No more of this rogue creations nonsense. We would put them in their place. Them, and the Sholai, too.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #5
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

I would lose control, you say? Not if there were more geneforges! Just imagine, that kind of power open to all those willing to take it. The world would surely be a better place. No more of this rogue creations nonsense. We would put them in their place. Them, and the Sholai, too.
Ever see the GF1 ending where you use the Geneforge and don't destroy it afterwards? It goes badly for pretty much everyone, including you. :P

[ Friday, August 25, 2006 15:32: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 7333
Profile #6
Think about nuclear technology or bioweapon programs in the real world. Would you want any random bum off the street to have access to such potentially dangerous information, and take it on blind faith that they'd have the intelligence not to attempt to use it, for better or worse?

Shapers seem oppressive because they hoard away all magical knowledge, but in reality it's better that way. Just like how there's information the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc. knows that they keep from being known from the public, which in the end is better for everybody. Say for instance everybody knew how to make homemade dynamite. All it would take is one person to abuse that knowledge to pose a highly dangerous threat to society at large. Even if the majority of the people knew how to make dynamite, they wouldn't waste their time with it. But the small handful of people that would would have a disproportionate tendency to use that knowledge to vandalous or malicious ends.

If certain information could allow somebody to release the equivalent destructive power of dynamite with nothing more than a thought and a wave of the hand, it would be wise to protect people from themselves by restricting who could gain that information, and rigorously testing them to ensure they wouldn't abuse the ability once they gain it.
Posts: 49 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 7195
Profile #7
OH, yeah!
Keep the secrets and if someone finds them, even by accident, just burn them all; and their families, especially little children,and everyone who's connected in any a small way with them.

COZ THAT'S JUSTICE AND FOR THE GOOD OF ALL!

I just don't see how it is good for the ashes of those who were butchered.

Well, don't get me wrong or anything, but if you keep the secrets, someone'll always find them out and then what'll you do?
If you leave them be, your secret is revealed and you've a lot of trouble.
If you don't want for your secret to come out you either kill them or destroy their life, along with the lives of the people they know, etc., in any other way. And thus you make it equally bad as if someone'd use your secret for malicios purposes.

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I don't care what you say, I'm punk and Hardcore all the way!
Posts: 185 | Registered: Sunday, June 4 2006 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #8
Shaping already makes people go crazy. It's not like it's a good thing. And people don't just stumble on Shaping. They work on it long and hard (serviles can give themselves magical powers through self-flagellation) and then go crazy.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
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You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 7333
Profile #9
quote:
Originally written by Anarhiztok:

OH, yeah!
Keep the secrets and if someone finds them, even by accident, just burn them all; and their families, especially little children,and everyone who's connected in any a small way with them.
I must've missed the part of the game where they explain Agents kill entire families for one person learning magic in secret. More importantly, Agents are only dispatched when someone begins actively using unauthorized magic techniques. If you stumlbed on a Shaper book by accident and immediately handed it over to the Shapers the first chance you got, especially if you went out of your way to do it, I don't see anything in-game that shows they would actually execute your whole family just to make a point.

Even if they did, it's a very simple rule with very clear consequences: Shaper magic and techniques are dangerous, and it's best not to tamper with it for one's on personal safety as well as the safety of their community. The people who ignore this are usually megalomaniacal, sociopathic, deranged, or some combination of the three. Even if you incarcerate somebody you can't make them "unlearn" magic. It's more the fault of those who knowingly and willingly violate very simple laws with very harsh consequences (and arguably justified ones, at that) if Agents WERE to hunt down and kill then and everyone they knew just to make a point then it is Shaper order's fault for being inherently cruel. You don't want to face the punishment, don't break the rules.

Another real world example: Say someone wanted to secretly do anthrax research or make nitroglycerin in their garage. The very nature of what they're doing is dangerous to both themselves and their neighbors. There's a very simple law that says it's dangerous and illegal to do either activity, especially in a civillian community, yet they chose to do so anyway. If the FBI kicks in their door, raids their home, and interrogates everyone close to them as suspected accomplices, it's more the individual's fault for breaking a very simple law and putting all of their loved ones through that than it is the fault of the FBI for being heavy handed.

The best thing to do is to leave everything on a need to know basis. First of all, even if the Shapers WANTED to educate and inform outsiders of all of their failed and dangerous experimenters, they simply wouldn't have any effective way of implementing it, since the world of Geneforge is a technologically primitive society. They know magic which allows them to create lifeforms to use to their whims, but they don't have any fast and efficient means of spreading information. They don't have internet, television, radio, or even the printing press. Important documents are still replicated by hiring scribes.

Second, you have to face facts. Most outsiders are poor, illiterate people who lead simple lives. The majority would be apathetic to news of disasters in distant areas, and the few who would care wouldn't be educated or informed enough to process the information. It's more likely to cause panic and be counterproductive to people going about their daily business without living in fear of things that aren't even a threat to them.
Posts: 49 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #10
I would never suggest that just anyone would have access to devices as powerful as the geneforge. After all, that would make the whole process less special, less craved by the masses. It should be a goal that is worked towards, not simply given up.
The geneforge would only be open to those worthy of its use. Who is the most worthy? Why, those with the power to take it, of course! I figure if just any old adventurer ( such as your character in the games) is powerful enough to simply reach a geneforge given their significant defenses, they have a right to use it. Or... destroy it if they should see fit. But that would be a foolish waste.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #11
I wish you had your karma visible because I would definitely rate you 5 stars right now.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
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You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 7333
Profile #12
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

I would never suggest that just anyone would have access to devices as powerful as the geneforge. After all, that would make the whole process less special, less craved by the masses. It should be a goal that is worked towards, not simply given up.
The geneforge would only be open to those worthy of its use. Who is the most worthy? Why, those with the power to take it, of course! I figure if just any old adventurer ( such as your character in the games) is powerful enough to simply reach a geneforge given their significant defenses, they have a right to use it. Or... destroy it if they should see fit. But that would be a foolish waste.

The only problem is, whether made out of noble intentions or not, using the Geneforge turns you into power hungry megalomaniac with a tendency to go into fits of rage and destroy anything moving in sight.

The power a Geneforge can offer may seem tempting, but no good will come of it no matter who uses it.
Posts: 49 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #13
quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

I wish you had your karma visible because I would definitely rate you 5 stars right now.
As an emperor, I know that allowing yourself to be evaluated by the public is a path to certain downfall. I am, however, much honored by your comment.

quote:
Originally written by Chairface Chippendale:

The only problem is, whether made out of noble intentions or not, using the Geneforge turns you into power hungry megalomaniac with a tendency to go into fits of rage and destroy anything moving in sight.

The power a Geneforge can offer may seem tempting, but no good will come of it no matter who uses it.

The geneforge has some bugs to be worked out, sure. But the only way to make progress is to make due with what you have. Perhaps one day the geneforge could be perfected, and then used to create a more enlightened kind of shaper. Until then, those not blessed by the geneforge will just have to learn not to anger those of us who are.

The alternative is to have the society and its technology stagnate, which seems to be the path the Shaper Council has chosen. This is a foolish path and will one day lead to them being overtaken by a force that is not afraid of progress. Oh, wait, that's what is happening right now! Rebellion! *shudders* An emperor's worst nightmare.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 7333
Profile #14
You clearly aren't being serious about this.
Posts: 49 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 2759
Profile Homepage #15
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a genius among us.

Way to state the obvious.

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"I can't read this thread with that image. But then, that's not a complaint." -Scorpius

Geneforge 4 stuff. Also, everything I know about Avernum | Avernum 2 | Avernum 3 | Avernum 4
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Monday, March 10 2003 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #16
Terribly sorry, but you misunderstand me. I am being quite serious. Scientific research and advancement always requires some kind of risks. Since you seem interested in real world examples, I shall name a few.

The Age of Enlightenment led to many ideas that were a great danger to society. New ideas that went against the dogma of the church were particularly threatening, such as the idea that the solar system was heliocentric. New ideas led to major wars and conflicts that exist even today. Never the less, these once 'dangerous' ideas are now vital for the way of life we all enjoy today. Would you prefer if doctor still bled you whenever you grow ill? Perhaps one day the shapers will regret throwing away the canisters and geneforge when they realize what a benefit they would have been. In the short run, yes, using the geneforge results in disaster. But what of the long run?

Sometimes, it depends on the circumstances. During World War 2, new advancements were made in all areas of science, most importantly the weapons. Atomic bomb tests happened on the United States’ own soil. As for the world of Geneforge: they are not so technically advanced, so they can not be expected to handle things as safely as the Americans, or even the Soviets, did.

Perhaps you do not approve of the use of a geneforge during a time of peace. But may I ask you this: would you approve of the use of one now that the world is entering a time of war? It does not matter which side you choose. The question is, would you use the geneforge to save the way of life you know from those that would destroy it?

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 2759
Profile Homepage #17
Now you're being serious, the Geneforge creates a great imbalance in the skills and abilities of the people who use it compared to everyone else. People will always seek to exploit that imbalance to give themselves greater power. Now maybe in the short term this could be the lesser of two evils, but in the long term you've still unleashed a monster, and there will be consequences. Not good ones.

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"I can't read this thread with that image. But then, that's not a complaint." -Scorpius

Geneforge 4 stuff. Also, everything I know about Avernum | Avernum 2 | Avernum 3 | Avernum 4
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Monday, March 10 2003 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #18
quote:
Originally written by Micawber:

the Geneforge creates a great imbalance in the skills and abilities of the people who use it compared to everyone else. People will always seek to exploit that imbalance to give themselves greater power.
Once again, what is the alternative? The world as we know it is based on the unequal distribution of power. If one person were to be supreme, it could be the end of war. If multiple people use the geneforge, hopefully, you would have a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) situation, similar to the cold war. Each side would strive to perfect themselves until, hopefully, they become enlightened, and throw aside their arms. For shapers have the ability to alter the mind as well as the body, they’ve just yet to perfect the former.

As for alternatives: communism? No, communism doesn't work. Killing off anyone who has more power than anyone else? Ever read Harrison Bergeron? That‘s not pretty either.

The strongest must rule, thus it has ever been.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 2759
Profile Homepage #19
I have a sentimental attachment to democracy, myself.

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"I can't read this thread with that image. But then, that's not a complaint." -Scorpius

Geneforge 4 stuff. Also, everything I know about Avernum | Avernum 2 | Avernum 3 | Avernum 4
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Monday, March 10 2003 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #20
quote:
Originally written by Micawber:

I have a sentimental attachment to democracy, myself.
Bwahahahaha! You would trust common people to govern themselves? Preposterous! However, I have seen arguments for democracy that have compelled me, and it does seem to work in the world we live in.

But these are realms of chitrach and vlish! The people need emperors and kings to keep them safe! Without us, they are a mindless rabble. I'm only doing what I believe is right.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 27
Profile #21
Of course the people could vote for their emperors and kings... and these emperors and kings could be held accountable for their own actions... I believe it's called presidentialism?

And democracy does not automatically mean a liberal and federal government...

You could say the Spiderweb Software forums are run by a Unitary form of control.
Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #22
These forums are definitely a monarchy.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #23
quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

These forums are definitely a monarchy.

I thought they were a theocracy since the high priests have the power of ban. That and the rooting out of all heresies like those of Avenforge.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 7333
Profile #24
Maybe you weren't paying attention to the game, but remember all those tiny little canisters you put your hand on that ended up slowly driving you nuts and feeling you up with a barely suppresed homicidal rage?

Well, those were only a small taste of the Geneforge. I hope you don't honestly believe there's any "upside" to using a Geneforge. All the Geneforge can do and all it ever will do is erase the user's humanity and leave them with insatiable hunger for more power that can never be satisfied. I fail to see the "benefit" or "scientific advancement" in turning one person into a "god" so they lord their power over everyone else with an iron fist. Power corrupts. Absolutely power corupts absolutely. That saying holds true enough for human tyrants when they don't have immortality and god-like abilities.

I say you can't possibly be serious because you selectively ignore the clues in the game that state that the Geneforge is inherently dangerous and there is no refining it. It either makes you crazy, or it kills you. Those are your options.

I also say you can't possibly be serious because you put WAAAAAAY too much effort into wording all of your posts "in character," unless you actually talk that way, which would be even more sad.
Posts: 49 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00

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