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Old Jul 28 2008, 11:00 AM   #1
D. M. Domini
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Capella

I was skimming The Rowan for descriptions of Reidinger IV, (he has blue eyes, if you wanted to know), and came across a scene where Goswina was shocked that Altair had real trees. Which surprised me, as I didn't realize that Capella was treeless. She also implied Capella is a harsh place. In Damia we learn that it rains, but whether it's ordinary rain or a monsoon season of some sort, we don't know.

Figured I'd start a thread where I can plop other facts if/when I come across them.

Last edited by D. M. Domini; Jul 28 2008 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Edited to clarify my subject
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Old Jul 28 2008, 07:22 PM   #2
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Are you talking about Altair or Capella?
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Old Jul 28 2008, 08:06 PM   #3
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Gah! Sorry about that; obviously hit post before actually reading what I had wrote. I've edited to clarify--I meant Capella.
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Old Jul 29 2008, 09:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by D. M. Domini View Post
Gah! Sorry about that; obviously hit post before actually reading what I had wrote. I've edited to clarify--I meant Capella.
*cough* Your post still says Altair, though. ;>
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Old Jul 29 2008, 10:24 AM   #5
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*cough* Your post still says Altair, though. ;>
Of course it does; Goswina was on Altair when her reactions implied that Capella is treeless. What's your point?
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Old Jul 29 2008, 02:41 PM   #6
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Well, when Afra is young in "Damia" and he does some errands at the spaceport. He meets Damitcha who's impressed with Afra's good manners and tips him with a coin to save for a "rainy day". Afra is confused because he didn't get the tip, but also because when it rains on Capella nobody goes anywhere. So one may expect them to be torrential rains, although I've no idea if they're seasonally limited or not.
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Old Jul 29 2008, 07:22 PM   #7
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Could you quote the bit where Goswina is surprised at Altair's trees, please? I don't remember that.
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Old Jul 30 2008, 04:20 PM   #8
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Here you go, Brenda.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rowan, pp 73 (softcover)
"Altair is a lovely planet." Goswina said in a gentle voice and the Rowan was grateful for the interruption. "Capella is a very harsh place. Are those really trees?" She pointed to the wooded hills behind Port Altair.
As pointed out previously, Goswina's question implied that Capella was/is treeless -- otherwise, Goswina would already know what trees looked like and would have no need to ask "Are those trees over there actually trees?"

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Old Jul 31 2008, 08:08 PM   #9
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Thank you!

It could also be that although there are some trees on Capella, there are no forests, so she would not be used to seeing wooded hills.
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Old Aug 2 2008, 10:30 AM   #10
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It could also be that although there are some trees on Capella, there are no forests, so she would not be used to seeing wooded hills.
Again, if there were trees, Goswina would have seen them (even if as only pictures in a schoolbook), and would've have asked "Is that a forest?" not "Are those trees?" since even young people stable and intelligent enough to satisfy the high and mighty Earth Prime Reidinger wouldn't waste much time asking questions they already knew the answers to, especially ones as frivolous as you're suggesting.

Paying attention to subtle nuances of speech is typically a 'high yeald investment'....
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Old Aug 2 2008, 11:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by draconichybrid View Post
Again, if there were trees, Goswina would have seen them (even if as only pictures in a schoolbook), and would've have asked "Is that a forest?" not "Are those trees?" since even young people stable and intelligent enough to satisfy the high and mighty Earth Prime Reidinger wouldn't waste much time asking questions they already knew the answers to, especially ones as frivolous as you're suggesting.

Paying attention to subtle nuances of speech is typically a 'high yeald investment'....
Actually, I don't think Brenda's suggestion is invalid. You can still be intelligent in general and be ignorant about something in particular. For all Goswina knew, they weren't trees at all, but something different. Maybe an alien species of animal. Or as Brenda suggested, perhaps she's never seen a forest in person, or her question is more rhetorical and she's just in awe of the trees. I have been known to ask the obvious before, and I wouldn't think that I'm particularly unstable or stupid.
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Old Aug 4 2008, 09:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by D. M. Domini View Post
Actually, I don't think Brenda's suggestion is invalid. You can still be intelligent in general and be ignorant about something in particular. For all Goswina knew, they weren't trees at all, but something different. Maybe an alien species of animal. Or as Brenda suggested, perhaps she's never seen a forest in person, or her question is more rhetorical and she's just in awe of the trees. I have been known to ask the obvious before, and I wouldn't think that I'm particularly unstable or stupid.
But given the whole advanced society thing, schooling is going to be better in Towerverse than it is in reality (more complete, among other things). So she would already know what trees are if she might ever run across them on Capella.

Besides, FT&T Talents in particular would have that level of frivolity "trained out" of them by Goswina's age, as it would interfere way too much with Tower duties....
Well, that's my take on it, at least.


Paying attention to subtle nuances of speech is a 'high yield investment' because it doesn't take much effort and... one, it often reveals other peoples secrets; two, it helps a person safeguard their own secrets. Same thing goes with body language, actually.

Last edited by draconichybrid; Aug 4 2008 at 12:07 PM. Reason: additional thoughts
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Old Aug 4 2008, 03:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Capella

It doesn't take much effort for educated people who are at some level empathic,not able to sense other people's emotions necessarily, but able to put themselves in other people's shoes - not as common a talent as you'd expect and certainly nothing to take for granted.

I doubt all FT & T Talents would have that sort of frivolity trained out of them, but anyone born on Capella certainly would have, Talent or not. Afra only developed a sense of humor after he'd been on Callisto a few months or more.

My take on it was that Goswina was so surprised to see the trees that she had to make sure that's what they were. She did say "are those really trees" (emphasis mine) rather than "are those trees?" or "what are those?" implying that she in reality knew what they were, but couldn't quite believe it.
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Old Aug 4 2008, 03:50 PM   #14
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Could be she thought the only trees anywhere were in books and pictures. And yes I know that's stretching...
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Old Aug 4 2008, 07:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
My take on it was that Goswina was so surprised to see the trees that she had to make sure that's what they were. She did say "are those really trees" (emphasis mine) rather than "are those trees?" or "what are those?" implying that she in reality knew what they were, but couldn't quite believe it.
This, exactly.
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Old Aug 5 2008, 09:39 AM   #16
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Could be she thought the only trees anywhere were in books and pictures. And yes I know that's stretching...
Actually, it's not.

Gossie implied that Capella is treeless -- the first part of Damia bears that assumption out (or at least, doesn't refute it) -- and Damia also establishes the fact that Capellans rarely leave Capella.
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Old Aug 5 2008, 03:54 PM   #17
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Yeah, and I doubt they'd have much appreciation for off-planet entertainment holos either.
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Old Aug 5 2008, 04:37 PM   #18
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Yeah, and I doubt they'd have much appreciation for off-planet entertainment holos either.
Isn't watching off-planet entertainment holos one of the ways Afra finds to rebel as a teen on Capella?

Hasn't it been well established that Afra is one of those rare cases where parental indoctrination doesn't stick?

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Old Aug 6 2008, 10:47 AM   #19
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Yes, but if watching them is a rebellious activity, it means that ordinary Capellans who may watch them overtly disapprove of them, and would certainly disapprove of their children watching them. A bit similar to how most Americans seem to feel about swearing or nudity on TV. That doesn't mean that a resourceful kid couldn't find the means to watch them anyway.
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Old Aug 6 2008, 11:37 AM   #20
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Yes, but if watching them is a rebellious activity, it means that ordinary Capellans who may watch them overtly disapprove of them, and would certainly disapprove of their children watching them. A bit similar to how most Americans seem to feel about swearing or nudity on TV. That doesn't mean that a resourceful kid couldn't find the means to watch them anyway.
Your point? Why do you think I made that comment about Afra's 'parental indoctrination immunity'?
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Old Aug 7 2008, 12:12 AM   #21
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My point wasn't that Afra couldn't gain access to entertainment holos, just that they're generally disapproved of by the indoctrinated population. He must have been indoctrinated to some extent considering his parentage, but he was able to shake most of it off once he got to Callisto. An indoctrinated kid would never even have dreamed of doing anything his parents didn't plan for him, so to that extent you're right. However, people who are completely immune to parental indoctrination are the sociopaths nobody can do anything with because they simply don't care about other people, and Afra wasn't one of those.
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Old Aug 7 2008, 01:08 PM   #22
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However, people who are completely immune to parental indoctrination are the sociopaths nobody can do anything with because they simply don't care about other people, and Afra wasn't one of those.
'Immunity to parental indoctrination' simply means the child doesn't accept parental instruction simply because it's coming from a parent.

That doesn't mean he or she can't agree with their parent's views or accept some instruction when the parent is actually making sense.
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Old Aug 7 2008, 03:05 PM   #23
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Granath already effectively covered that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by granath
He must have been indoctrinated to some extent considering his parentage, but he was able to shake most of it off once he got to Callisto.
IE, he chose which mores he got from his parents to keep, and which he did not wish to keep.

What's the debate here? To quote yourself, draconichybrid:

Quote:
Originally Posted by draconichybrid
Paying attention to subtle nuances of speech is typically a 'high yeald investment'....
(sic)

Back to the original topic...Goswina was likely just in awe of the trees, asking a rhetorical question. Goswina isn't a robot. Capella is a stricter place, but people vary, and it's not some sort of hell uniformly everywhere across the planet. There's no evidence that Capella is so strict Goswina would be paralyzed by indoctrined fear of asking a rhetorical or (quote, unquote) "silly" question. Therefore, the simpliest answer is probably the most likely; the charcter, who has never seen a forest before, is awed by it and asks, "are those really trees?" out of sheer surprise, wonder, or awe.

My original point was to say that Capella must be treeless, in case anyone (me or otherwise) is going to write some fic on Capella.
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Old Aug 7 2008, 08:11 PM   #24
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That makes me wonder what kind of planet it is, what the environment is like, if it has strong seasonal rains but can't support trees.
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Old Aug 7 2008, 09:58 PM   #25
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Well if the rain's eroding all the topsoil away, maybe the trees can't take root? Or else Capella's so industrialized allt he trees got cut down....
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Old Aug 8 2008, 01:07 PM   #26
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Well, if we want to go deeper into speculation...I once held a theory that there was something in the sunlight that made human skin tint greenish, since green isn't a natural human color, and 300ish years isn't long enough to evolve the color, I don't think. Sunlight being the factor thought was a rather poorly thought-out theory. Maximillian, whom I've not seen around in a while, countered that it was something in the water, and I think that's a more reasonable idea, since all natives would grow up drinking the water and if it held some trace chemical that was being deposited in the epidermis of the skin that could explain the skin color of natives.

Perhaps the chemestry of Capella makes it difficult for plantlife such as trees--or, forests at least--to grow. Perhaps Capella has a more prehistoric level of native flora and fauna...ie, lots of ferns and mosses, but nothing with flowers or woody stems. If Capella doesn't have native pollinators, too (which it wouldn't, if it didn't have flowers of any sort, since the two evolved hand in hand) they're going to have issues with keeping any sort of angiosperm reproducing in the open. Therefore, trees would be restricted to farms and orchards, without any true "forests", and nobody outside of the agricultural industry would really encounter them day to day. Your normal person would either be from a city, with few trees, or from a rural area, with lots of ferns and mosses, but again no trees except in agriculture.

Of course, I'm making an entire symphony here based on three notes...lol. Lack of trees, color of skin, and rains that are possibly seasonal.
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Old Aug 8 2008, 03:35 PM   #27
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Yes, but your three-note symphony makes a lot of sense. Of course, there's no guarantee that life on Capella, or any other planet for that matter, evolved in any way parallel to our own.

It may well be that if we ever get to colonize another planet, the only way we'll do it is by killing off all the native flora and fauna first, so that we can find something edible.
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