Exceedingly dull statist cultures

From: ANDOVER@delphi.com
Date: Wed 03 May 1995 - 08:02:13 EEST



Sandy's list of cultures was certainly strange, unless it was intended as a goof. 18th and 19th century Great Britain was one of the most rapidly changing cultures in history: almost by definition, THE most rapidly changing culture in history until our own century. Japan in the 17th century was undergoing rapid change (unlike say, 18th century Japan) as was France. Dune was changing so rapidly as to be about to explode and conquer the galaxy. Arthur's Britain (the real or the imaginary) was undergoing rapid change. I will admit that China in many centuries did not change much, and the same is true of Tekumel and Egypt, but by stretching his non-changing Egypt all the way up to Cleopatra, Sandy is overdoing the point. Am I correct in guessing that what Sandy is getting at is that formalized rules for cultures makes adventuring more fun than the Conan's Empire, 5th-century barabarian invasions syndrome where Anything goes? If so, I agree with him, for the same reason that art without standards becomes almost impossible to judge: as witness the most recent Whitney exhibitions here in NYC! Jim Chapin



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