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The Official Eutopia: General Stories, Worldbuilding, & Discussions Thread

eutopia utopia dystopia Moville cyberpunk Transhuman Be In cyberdelia cyberdelic ultraterrestrial futuristic realism

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#1
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Alright, so I decided to go "Fuck it" and create a whole 'verse. There's multiple parts to Eutopia, multiple storylines.

  • The Transhuman Be-In: A Brief History of the Moddies
  • The Ultraterrestrial Mythos
  • Moville
  • Mother Meki
  • The Dark Things

The gist behind Eutopia is that there will be great changes in the near future. Radical changes. Changes of the likes we have never known before. How will we respond to these changes? 
 
 
Chances are: same as we always have. And thus, little will change unless we actually enact that change ourselves. And even then, what do you expect will happen? Same things as ever.
 
Humans will hume.
 
Futuristic realism/slice of tomorrow will also be my guiding principle. In fact, it was thinking about futuristic realism that got me interested in writing a eutopian series. I realized that things could get better, and generally are trending towards a positive future. 
 
So let's imagine what a positive future would be like. 
I initially wanted to write a utopian series of stories, with a futuristic realist bent.
 
But wait! Futuristic realism is a genre that mixes science fiction with literary/realistic fiction. Anyone who has ever encountered the literati knows that literary fiction is about as anti-utopian as you can get. Any why? Because literary fiction is centered around the human condition. The human condition is based around our interactions with this unpredictable world. Even if you created a utopia, it could never remain utopian. 
 
I wrote in my journal/diary about this the other day.

Utopias are constructed.
Eutopias and dystopias happen.


What does that mean? Long story— consider this: whenever you come across utopian fiction, what is it almost always about? It's about how the utopia goes wrong. The conflict in them revolves around someone rejecting some dehumanizing aspect of a utopia, wanting to experience something else. And if they get their wish, the whole utopian society collapses. Those that aren't centered around this tend to be conflict-less stories (there are utopian poems, but not really utopian stories). I'm sure someone out there can write an engaging story set in a utopian society where the excitement derives from watching butterflies and riding balloons, but I've never read it. Partially because if a story were written in that setting, I'd immediately note suspicious events like if the main character has no name, has no sense of self, has a commune-approved "family", or is forced to never have a childhood for the sake of working. Just about every utopia has a flaw that undermines its premise— hence why it's called a "utopia." Greek for "No Place."

Whenever you try to create No-Place, you always create Bad-Place— a dystopia

 

Utopias can't function with humans. If you dehumanize humans, you defeat the purpose of creating a utopia in the first place. There's no way around it.

Thus, it's impossible for a utopia to just "happen." It has to be constructed. It has to be planned. It must follow certain rules. 

 

Dystopias happen. It's not even very difficult for a dystopia to happen. Dystopias are usually defined by how well society treats the individual and the collective. If the individual is forced to be sacrificed for the collective, the collective is forced to be sacrificed for the individual, and/or both are forced to be sacrificed for some other purpose, you have a dystopia. Ever notice how so many utopias magnify the collective and utterly obliterate the individual? Ever notice how so many utopias are actually dystopias? There's your reason.

 

However...! What isn't taught in most English classes is that there's actually a third option, what I keep referring to as a "eutopia." Eutopia is Greek for "Good Place". Good-Place and Bad-Place are both possible states; No-Place is not. The biggest reason why we don't tend to use the word 'eutopia' is because it's pronounced the same way as 'utopia' and a lot of people think of them as being the same thing since utopias are described as being good places to live.

 

The difference between a eutopia and a utopia is if they can actually exist and how they can exist. Right off the bat, utopias disqualify themselves. However, some utopias may not degenerate all the way into a dystopia. When you introduce humans, things still go well. Not as well as you wanted, but society isn't collapsing or under the bootheel of a tyrant. Vast swaths of people aren't crowded into slums. Environmental degradation isn't a big problem, and there's more than enough to go around. 

Something strange just happened— the world is alright. 

 

Some might call this a utopia because they don't know better. I say that the difference between these three is "perspective."

 

Short story— you have to make utopias happen, because they aren't natural. Eutopias and dystopias happen naturally because of human behavior.

 

 

We can clearly create peaceful, stable, free, and educated societies. The best example is easily the Scandinavian countries— they are purely eutopian. Very high development, very high wealth, very small underclass, very bright future in general. Iceland is likely going to elect the Pirate Party soon, and the Pirate Party is one of the most technologically savvy political parties out there. 

 

America is generally eutopian, but also borderline dystopian. Surveillance is out the wazoo, the police is being excessively militarized, and the two ruling political parties are basically two wings of the Ministry of Truth, dedicated to making sure we keep up our perpetual war. Nevertheless, human development is high, internet access is extremely widespread and uncensored, cultural norms are shifting towards liberalistic ideals (drug legalization is on the horizon; gay marriage is legal), and it's so easy to become an entrepreneur that even kids can do it. Our shops are full, and there isn't hyperinflation. So you can't say we're definitely one or the other. We're not as good as we could be, but we could also be a whole lot worse. 

 

Like China. China is basically what a Corporate-Run dystopian America would look like, and what's silly about this is that they actually got here through communism. It didn't work out for them at all— their economy crashed hard in the late '60s, and even before that it was one of the poorest nations on Earth— so they liberalized and got much richer. Except state-run enterprises rule over society, and the State controls information coming into and out of China. There's no semblance of net neutrality— they outright block whole search engines, let alone individual sites. Their human rights abuses are very high within their own country, and it's never wise to speak against the regime lest you become an unperson. So China is the opposite of the US— they're generally dystopian, but also borderline eutopian in some places. This is because they actually are improving things, and the whole of society is becoming more and more well off as China becomes wealthier and more influential. The dystopian-blues of smoggy Beijing will soon be history considering how full-steam ahead they are for solar, wind, and nuclear. 

 

 

But at the end of the day, even if all the world was like Norway or Finland or Iceland, it still wouldn't be "utopian". 

 

Nevertheless, the whole world could be like Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, etc. If not the whole world, then at least most of it.

 

And I wanna write about that. I want to write a science fiction story that is neither utopian nor dystopian. Hence Eutopia. It'll always be teased that there may be undercurrents of a dystopia, but I'm done with overt dystopias. When the time comes to write Twenty Eighty-Four, I'll write it, but that time's not now.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#2
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Well alright, I've finally gotten around to fleshing out a major location in the Eutopia series.

 

Elon Isle

 

It'll be a perfect location to test futuristic realism, slice of tomorrow, and science non-fiction.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#3
TranscendingGod

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Sad how people ignore your imagination. However even some of the greats were not recognized until after their time.
The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth.

#4
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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China in OTL - 2020
qD4gLLR.jpg
 
China in Eutopia: Glitter - 2027
HA11xPl.png

I had a dream where I was in a coma for 5 years and woke up in 2022. The world looked pretty glittery and sci-tech seemed worlds more advanced than where it is now. Nevertheless, I could generally recognize what was going on.

For starters, I know for a fact that I had this dream after looking at this picture:
5OPdEaA.png
This very same image appeared in my dream, yet I could walk around in it. I imagined glamorous youths and celebrities walking about, using 2022-era smartphones. Imagine it's a cool night, with a breeze that's not too rough on the skin. You're sitting on a wooden bench, this particular sight in your eyes, while holding a 5-years-hence smartphone all plugged up listening to music. You look at the skyline and realize, "Holy shit, it's 2022." But does it feel like 2022? What does that even mean? What does living in a particular year 'feel' like?
I couldn't really get over the thought of checking out /r/Futurology to see what new trends are being talked about. Yet it's also somewhat frustrating. Ever since 2014, I've had this same frustration that things feel so terribly advanced and amazing, like we're just a few neural network breakthroughs away from the Singularity. Yet we aren't. That was literally my frustration in 2014, that I was so excited for the future but it wasn't quite here yet. The frustration is growing because I keep hearing about amazing sci-tech developments and I see some of their effects in real life— $20 VR HMDs at Walmart, anyone?— but so much of it is just beyond my grasp.
2022, we'll be in the midst of it still. AI will be much better; robotics will be much better; renewable energy will be improved; nuclear fusion will be further along; biotech will be progressing nicely; in vitro foods will be talked about in the mainstream; cybernetic implants will still be getting tens of thousands of upvotes; AR glasses will be where VR HMDs are now; smartphones will be well within the 5G era; passenger drones and autonomous vehicles will be a more common sight in the news; hologram technology will be escaping the world of novelties... but they still won't be a regular part of everyday life. Much of it will still only be found in videos, behind misleading titles on Reddit, talked about in forums, but not in my house.
And even if they were, they'd probably be more like novelties than anything. Video game/CGI graphics will still be almost but not quite photorealistic. The best AI might still only be a particularly strong ANI that has general-learning capabilities but can still only learn three or four unique skills max.

I decided to go five years further with a Eutopia story, "Glitter". To a point just after "The Curve" has turned sharply upwards. The bend of the curve is the most frustrating part of it because you can clearly see what's coming next and how life will differ from what came before, but all those wondrous developments are beyond you. But in ten years, we'll have moved past the bend, and the world of The Future™ will finally be in our hands to enjoy. East Asian and North European countries will be talking about "6G phones"; solar power will be reaching levels we never thought possible; we're finally combining strong ANI and weak AGI with practical utility/service/medical/military robots; nanotechnology will reach the molecular engineering level and practical nanobots will become a reality; augmented reality will have come of age while VR will already be an well-established industry...

 

Just imagine waking up in such a world after falling into a coma in humdrum ol' 2017.

I created a fictional map of China to help illustrate that. Most Westerners today still bang on about an impending Chinese hard landing, that China's about to hit a ceiling of stagnation a la Japan in the 1990s and that they'll never surpass America. But let's look at what's genuinely likely— come 2027, China will have individual provinces that are wealthier than some first-world nations. Sort of like how various US states are wealthier than some whole countries. Hell, the state of California is wealthier than the entirety of Africa. This is going to be true for Chinese provinces soon enough. Chinese GDP PPP is already higher than the US's. 10 years ago, China's GDP was $3.5 trillion. It's now $12 trillion. I doubt they'll be able to increase their economy by the same percentage— otherwise their GDP would be about $41.2 trillion in 2027. But who knows! Maybe they will. From 2007 to 2017, they grew at a double-digit rate only twice, and one of those times was 2007 itself. The other time was 2010. Ever since then, they've been growing in the single digits. And yet they still went from $3.5 trillion to $12 trillion in a decade. Their economy is 3.43x larger than it was 10 years ago. Let's say they do manage it and achieve an economy that's 3.43x larger in 10 years. They rocket past us to a GDP of $41.2 trillion. What would China look like? 

Considering they're a technocratic country dedicated to overcoming the West, I'd imagine they'd be visually pretty. They'd have enough money to clean themselves up, so the country wouldn't be a smoggy hellhole. Whether it would actually be a desirable place to live for someone used to Western freedoms, I dunno.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#5
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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So I mentioned Glitter in the previous post. I feel I should point out that the Eutopia series only has common settings; only a few stories have a common canon. Moville and Glitter are in the same timeline; Mother Meki and parts of Dark Things are in a completely different one, etc.

 

Moville and Glitter are more my attempts to get futuristic realism/slice of tomorrow started as a genre.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#6
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Right, so my little map above is apparently inaccurate out the wazoo. There are simply some regions of China that are not going to get GDPs above that of, say, third world nations.  And you wanna know why? 

 

Because there's no one there.

 

Yes, it's one of the most shocking things I've learned all year, believe it or not. It's actually kinda embarrassing that I'm only just now learning about it. But it's true.

 

China has a population of 1.4 billion people— but there's virtually no one in large swaths of the nation. Yes, it's true! 

You know of Tibet, right? About 3 million people live in Tibet. Which sounds like a lot for a province until you realize that Tibet is about twice the size of Texas. The region of low density is a similar size to the Australian Outback (and you have to remember that Australia's about the size of the continental United States, so the Outback is already about 1/2 the size of America).

 

Eastern China is denser than a black hole when it comes to population. If the nation were as densely populated as Western/rural China, then it'd probably only have a population the size of England. 

jmsNdOy.jpg

ilOFVHx.jpg

 

Part of me is fascinated by this phenomenon. That in a nation so densely populated, there are still vast stretches where absolutely no humans reside. But it's not like they even really can. Much of western and northwestern China is basically inhospitable. If it's not the tallest mountains in the densest mountain range on Earth, it's a massive desert with literally no arable land whatsoever.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: eutopia, utopia, dystopia, Moville, cyberpunk, Transhuman Be In, cyberdelia, cyberdelic, ultraterrestrial, futuristic realism

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