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Effects of Telepathy on Auron Culture
thewayback7
I'm mulling a Cally fanfiction story and wondering what the effects of telepathy might be on Auron culture:

- We had Avon say "The great passive majority psyched them into line. Telepathic communion is a wonderful thing" suggesting it creates a passive/conformist culture.

- And we have Cally's frequent pangs of loneliness, and warmth from the moon discs, suggesting telepathy creates closer/warmer/talkative relationships.

Did I miss anything else?

Auron's culture seems to be politically neutral, high-tech, egalitarian, and transhumanist (in the sense of early adoption of cloning etc). But would any of these cultural aspects be a product of telepathy? Not necessarily.

Perhaps telepathy sets them apart from humans, making them feel superior, and thus open to further transhumanist enhancements, and the pursuit of technology.

If we look at it logically, telepathy overcomes the distance problem, and allows easy communication over long distances. So this would increase the amount of communication, if you could just talk with anyone, anywhere, on a whim.

If there is more communication, this leaves less time for you own independent thoughts, and thus might explain a more conformist culture.

But on the flipside, you might get annoyed by the constant interruptions if there is no telepathic mute button in your brain.

Any ideas or stories out there that try to get deeper inside Auron psychology or culture?
 
JustBrad
In Children of Auron, you have a whole planet full of telepaths, yet there are only a few instances of anyone actually using telepathy. At first viewing I thought this odd.

Perhaps in Auron society, using telepathy for something other than very personal, or emergency situations is considered ill mannered, rather like whispering to a coworker in a crowded office. You might only be asking to borrow a staple remover, but anyone who sees you whispering might think you're up to something.

And if you don't have line of sight, you want to be careful. You don't want to start transmitting to someone you can't see, only to find out they are flying a speeder in heavy traffic, and you have now distracted them at a critical moment.

As an Auron you can transmit, but you can not read minds. Therefore even if you have line of sight, and the person you wish to contact is merely staring off into space, you never know if they are bored, deep in though, or in communication with another telepath. If you transmit to them without an invitation, you might be interrupting.
 
rojkerr1
as Douglas Adams put it, telepathy is the worst of all social diseases, unless the society had strict protocols as to permitted use, privacy and discretion would become a thing of the past. The Auronar are unusual in the fact that they communicate with non telepathic races, indeed in Killer, Cally picks up emanations from a mechanical cybernetic implant, possibly echoes of the long dead mind.
I did a story once where Blake was distracted by Callys final desperate scream of his name, and ended up with his scar.
 
Psychostrategist
Well, in Children of Auron I think we get a slightly different version of the history of telepathy on Auron than we received from Cally's conversation with her crewmates when me met the Thall, one of her people's exiled gods. Cally tells her crew that telepathy was one of the many gifts from their gods, that it was promised but came later. In Children of Auron though we see a bifurcated people, those born by natural birth versus those produced through cloning. It was my sense from Children of Auron that telepathy was a byproduct of the cloning procedure and one of the characters on Auron may have said as much, not sure. So in one version telepathy is a defining trait of the Aurons but in another episode it appears to be a side effect of a relatively new reproductive technology.

I would expect telepaths to have difficulty screening out the noise around them from other peoples' thoughts and would be likely to be considered assets to be exploited by others due to their innate gifts at intelligence gathering, gambling, etc.
 
thewayback7
JustBrad wrote:

In Children of Auron, you have a whole planet full of telepaths, yet there are only a few instances of anyone actually using telepathy. At first viewing I thought this odd.

Perhaps in Auron society, using telepathy for something other than very personal, or emergency situations is considered ill mannered...

Wow, you're right. We've already seen Auron, and there was hardly any telepathy going on. I like the idea of telepathy being reserved for special occasions. I think I'll run with that idea. It's consistent and easy to write for.

Cally's loneliness did suggest that Auron had a lot of chatter that she misses, but we'll have to assume this was mostly off-duty chatter, to be consistent with Children of Auron.

I wonder if the Auronar can telepathically sing together. This might be something Cally misses. The moon discs sang - although Jenna heard it, so it was audible.

JustBrad wrote:
And if you don't have line of sight, you want to be careful. You don't want to start transmitting to someone you can't see, only to find out they are flying a speeder in heavy traffic, and you have now distracted them at a critical moment.

Yeah, it's a can of worms, when you start to dig into telepathy. Although, a sophisticated telepathy might have the abilities to ring someone, answer/reject the call, and mute calls, much like a phone. Thanks.
 
thewayback7
rojkerr1 wrote:

The Auronar are unusual in the fact that they communicate with non telepathic races, indeed in Killer, Cally picks up emanations from a mechanical cybernetic implant, possibly echoes of the long dead mind.
I did a story once where Blake was distracted by Callys final desperate scream of his name, and ended up with his scar.

Yeah that's a bit weird, picking up emanations from a cybernetic implant. In Shadow, we learn that Orac's communication waves are in the same dimension as Cally's telepathy. That's fair enough, but it's harder to fathom the cybernetic emanations in Killer.

That's funny about Blake's scar. But you're right: telepathy with non-Auronar, in particular, could be dangerous if it suddenly interrupts you with a morbid scream. Douglas Adams has a point. Perhaps the Auronar have the means/protocols to avoid interruptions, but humans don't.
 
thewayback7
Psychostrategist wrote:

Well, in Children of Auron I think we get a slightly different version of the history of telepathy on Auron than we received from Cally's conversation with her crewmates when me met the Thall, one of her people's exiled gods. Cally tells her crew that telepathy was one of the many gifts from their gods, that it was promised but came later. In Children of Auron though we see a bifurcated people, those born by natural birth versus those produced through cloning. It was my sense from Children of Auron that telepathy was a byproduct of the cloning procedure and one of the characters on Auron may have said as much, not sure. So in one version telepathy is a defining trait of the Aurons but in another episode it appears to be a side effect of a relatively new reproductive technology.

Hmm, yeah in Dawn Of The Gods we do have telepathy being a gift from the gods and:

DAYNA: Do they all have your telepathic powers, Cally?

CALLY: Some, to a degree, but our powers are limited. I've never made any secret about --

And in Children of Auron we have:

ZELDA: Yes, Cally's my twin.

FRANTON: Identical brain scan.

ZELDA: Optimum telepathic affinity.

and ...

ORAC: Reproduction by Clinician Franton's method of group cloning has resulted in highly developed psychic faculties, telepathy being the most obvious example. These faculties are, of course, limited to the young since cloning was developed relatively recently.

The language is all so vague, you can interpret it any which way. Certainly telepathy has been enhanced during the cloning process. But I think telepathy is so complicated it would have taken a long time to develop through evolution (or was a gift from the gods). I don't think recent cloning could have developed it so soon (unless they've incorporated some donated alien telepathic dna into their genes). Hence I think that all Auronar have telepathic abilities, but some have been enhanced by the cloning. This ties both episodes together.

Psychostrategist wrote:
I would expect telepaths to have difficulty screening out the noise around them from other peoples' thoughts and would be likely to be considered assets to be exploited by others due to their innate gifts at intelligence gathering, gambling, etc.

That would depend on whether the Auronar can (1) randomly read each others minds and (2) communicate using private or public telepathic channels. But I don't think the Auronar can read human minds (not much anyway) and they are a passive people, so I don't think they will be assets for criminals to exploit.

EDIT: Also from Children of Auron

DERAL: The man may suspect. Don't forget, all Aurons are telepathic.

SERVALAN: Not, Deral, after being hit by an ionic beam.

That's the assumption I would take, that all Aurons are telepathic.
..
Edited by thewayback7 on 10 January 2019 12:52:48
 
thewayback7
Speaking of the Thaarn, here's a nice photo.

2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y6284icV-E4/XDc02MDNJlI/AAAAAAAADE0/cJQlVhvtWb0ZQFf7Xd07SrsSdk5uGDXOgCLcBGAs/s1600/thaarn.jpg
 
JustBrad
I suspect that "Telepathy is a gift from the gods," is simply another Auron legend, while based in real events like The Lost and The Thaarn, is not as simple as it sounds.

I also suspect it's where JMS got his idea for telepaths in Babylon 5: Humans manipulated by the Vorlons to evolve telepaths that the Vorlons would need for their inevitable war against the Shadows.
 
dissentliveson
Generation gap between older non telepaths and younger telepaths? Cally's rebellion might be a result of such.

My theory about Auron was they were humans but they were a Scientology or Raelians style UFO cult who believed in ancient astronauts and had enough connections to found an interstellar colony.

When the Atomic Wars happened, they got cut off, and convinced themselves over time they were alien descended. They started genetic experiments to induce telepathy, which Thaarn with his big cranium and Saymon and the Lost with the gestalt are both botched attempts at and cast out, they left Auron on slower than light ships until they ended up where the Seven find them.

A few generations later, the geneticists get telepathy without turning into monsters around when the Federation shows up. The Auron gather the Federation are dictatorial and the Federation dismiss the Auron as no longer human by Earth standards but there's enough trade and diplomatic contact Auron becomes a more conventional human society to modernize and the Federation is suspicious of Auron. Some of the younger generation of telepaths develops pro-dissident anti-Federation ideals leading to the telepathic majority psyching them into line to avoid war and those with strong enough will like Cally going off world to fight.
 
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