Discussion in 'Civ4 - Caveman 2 Cosmos' started by strategyonly, Sep 3, 2010.
The Win For Losing and Tech Diffusion options should be useful in helping them catch up/keep up.
I have these options on (off for human players), but I personally find it more fitting for a new/old world scenario. The most developed civilization of the (pre-Columbian) Americas was the Incan empire, I think the only one to develop bronze working. They also hadn't developed writing or even the wheel (though an argument can be made with their rope system for recording language). Other civilizations, like the Aztecs, were even less developed... so I think it is rather fitting to have new world civs behind others.
If you want new world civs to be on par with old world civs, just have civs start in both worlds.
They were clearly late Ancient to early Classical civs (btw the Maya certainly did have writing). The absence of individual techs proves nothing. This sounds a bit like the racial superiority propaganda started by the genocidal conquistadors is still being got away with (and the amount of damage they did, it would not be surprising if there were a number of techs that they destroyed all evidence of).
I also turn off tech trading in part to keep larger trading partnership collectives from getting so far ahead the rest of the world. Quite a few reasons more, though I do understand Tech Trading is a more RL realistic option.
Yes and no. Not all techs are created equal. Every few columns there is a tech that would be very significant, especially if they change the creation (e.g. Mathematics, Philosophy, all sciences, Computer, etc.) or storage (e.g. Writing, Printing Press, Computer Networks - although the latter is a case of the first type as well) of knowledge itself. We all have learned a few things about exponential growth in the last few months, and everything that can speed up such a curve has tremendous consequences.
In this case, if a civilization really doesn't have Writing, that does tell us a few things. The downside of Oral Tradition is that you play the Telephone Game, and that restricts how far you can go as an individual, or as a civilization. Also, all teachers you have must still be alive, which can also be restrictive in a less common field of knowledge. On the other hand, in a civilization with written records you can store knowledge, keep it intact for a very long time, and retrieve it whenever you want to. This effect is even enhanced if you have a common language, at least in the respective field of knowledge. And we have had such "common languages" for a very long time now (roughly speaking - at least in large parts of Europe: Greek in Classical Antiquity, Latin from Late Antiquity to Renaissance, then French until the 19th century, and after a short time with no clear common language we now have English, which has arisen to this place by the end of World War 2 at the latest).
I apologize if I came across as a white supremacist, but I was just pointing out that the American civilizations were definitely behind european civilizations in technology (about early classical versus early renaissance). The wheel comes across as particularly important; though the Incas didn't need wheels to get around, grind wheels are important for making gunpowder safely (not to mention clockwork, norias, and other applications of wheels being great to have).
Again, I am not suggesting that native Americans are racially inferior... several things were problematic for American civilizations, but the most important is perhaps the geography of the Americas. Because the Americas are mostly vertical, the biomes vary greatly from region to region. Different biomes mean different cultures, which are difficult to unite under one empire. A similar situation for Africa... but Europe and Asia are more horizontal, providing larger regions of the same biome and cultures. This doesn't excuse the plundering of Africa and the Americas, but it explains it (or so I think).
Not having horses I think was the main hindrance. Just think about all the things that they didn't develop as a result. There was also a spiritual belief against digging into the Earth which technologically held things back. They, I believe, though Rax disagrees, did develop a lot we didn't and still need to though, particularly things about understanding the relationship between man and nature and how to nurture the land without damaging it.
Well European and Asian pagans had much more time for spirituality:
Native Americans appeared at 20 000 - 10 000 BC.
Europe and Asia was populated at 200 000 - 50 000 BC
Africa for even longer.
Ancient Middle East China seemed to have both spirituality and technology, but it stagnated.
If we transported those native Americans to Europe we still could have Ancient Greece city states, monotheistic religion and Renaissance.
On other hand Native Americans could have their own Renaissance if American continent had different geography.
Also Native Americans weren't only ones that were spiritual and close to nature.
European pagans could be close to nature too. Maybe this is how we got Ancient Greece?
Somehow only Europeans were balanced enough to enter renaissance - maybe they were only ones with serious internal and external competition?
There could be some planet, where multiple civilizations achieved Renaissance - point where technological progress is naturally runaway.
The primary unique aspect of European history is indeed that Europeans were truly savage about competing with one another. Aka we were constantly at war, lethal war with the goal of complete annihilation rather than just dominance, even among the smallest divisions of our own cultures. Other people warred but usually it was more to establish respect among their rivalries rather than to take everything the other group had and/or subjugate/eliminate the other group entirely.
Don't mean to say that they were. The Aborigines were as well as many indigenous tribes. And spiritual and close to nature are two slightly different topics, particularly if you're holding asian cultural development up to these groups, holding 'spiritual' to mean philosophical. I'm just saying they were engaged in advancements that our tech tree will probably never explore because those cultures didn't advance 'technology' in the way Europeans tend to define it. Also, few major groups in the world had the disdain of mining that the NA cultures mostly had (not all but most.) If we tried to somehow make that a game element, I'm not sure how a player wouldn't loudly complain if they were saddled with such a restriction, no matter what kind of benefit the people believe they are getting out of it.
The family groups go all the way back to the same root origins so it's not like they weren't developing the whole time even if they weren't doing so mostly on the NA continent though. However, around the middle east, settled civilizations were taking root much earlier than anywhere else.
We (speaking as a European and a former Christian) genocided them, surely that is very strong evidence that they were ahead of us on the most important criteria including philosophy and ethics (ie. ones "we" pride ourselves on).
The Native Americans took the ultra-advanced ethical position of assuming the visitors were not genocidal until proven otherwise. It is a level of ethics that the US government and law enforcement are currently demonstrating they are still well short of, and this is by no means unique to the US. Unfortunately all the European invaders were genocidal racial supremacists. I would think twice (at least) before claiming any kind of superiority for them.
Fascinating way to put it. Makes one think a lot about what is 'advancement'. Is it possible that some forms of advancement are actually what can make us weaker and more vulnerable rather than less? What was the benefit of being so 'advanced' in this way that leads to it BEING an advancement? What does society benefit from trusting and being trust worthy when there are so many potential problems that come of it as well? I'm not criticizing or disagreeing here... just openly musing about the value of vulnerability and what might that mean in game terms? Obviously we have this dichotomy somewhat expressed in open and closed borders. It would seem to be something to be expressed in diplomacy more. Is it somehow an actual 'tech' achievement along a philosophical or civic line to start to see more cause to be helpful and engaging and cooperative as opposed to violently competitive? hmm...
Geography isn't a problem with North America. Take a look at the east coast and you will see the land is quite fertile with a nice temperate climate that gets subtropical if you go more south. All in all the biome here isn't that much different then what it is in Western Europe so I don't see why they would have trouble making civilization here anyway. Africa on the other hand is much different considering the much more dangerous wildlife, malaria, and parasites in nearly every body of water.
IMHO it had more to due with the fact that North America did not have an equivalent of the horse. Because there were no horses communication was painfully slow and could only be done on foot, hence slowing down the spread of ideas. Also without the horse large empires were much more difficult to maintain and were thus much more rare in the New World. With a lack of large empires and more isolated tribes, larger hierarchical structures that would facilitate future innovation was severely lacking in the Americas thus explaining why the natives were very much behind technologically compared to their Old World counterparts.
The natives also waged brutal wars against one another, captured and traded slaves, all before Europeans arrived in the New World. Not to mention that the Aztecs and Maya committed live human sacrifices. This is by no means a defense of Europeans who by and large did the very same things. However I think its disingenuous to believe that somehow one culture was morally and ethically superior to the other when quite obviously the opposite is true.
One thing is clear though, they did not have iron working whatsoever. Otherwise things might have turned out a lot differently for the Europeans. At most that would make them Late Ancient Era (a.k.a. the Bronze Age). Although it must be said that only the Incans had bronze working so that would make the rest of the tribes anywhere from Neolithic to Chalcolithic as far as technological capabilities are concerned, with maybe the Inuit being Mesolithic.
Not only that but a fledgling European planted nation went from being a whole new country to the global superpower here in under 200 years, during which the number of wars it was engaged in was uncountable, including a major civil war. Yeah, the breadbasket here is powerful. There's also a LOT of precious metals to be had here and plenty of iron everywhere.
This also industrially limited insight into the concept of vehicular travel and the wheel and other applications from the resulting mechanical developments and required solutions leading to other innovations and breakthroughs.
The Aztecs and Mayans in particular were the major contributor of this, and through the Olmecs, there are a lot of indications that they may have learned a lot from Egypt at some point. You look at the Plains Natives and few of those tribes were engaging in exploitation of others like these people did. Ironically perhaps, they were also much more technologically advanced in ways more similar to Old World cultures. Really only the Ancient Pueblo people were stone builders north of Aztecs and it was a nation that was directly in regular contact WITH the Aztecs. Most of any nations north of them were still highly nomadic and had developed out mobile settlement technologies to a very refined degree. They also didn't have such a conquering mentality as you found south of the modern day Mexican border. They nipped at each other and counted coup and raided one another to establish the cost of taking advantage of them and assuming them weak and to defend their territories but also worked hard to be cooperative with each other because they often relied on neighboring tribes for trading and help when they really needed it. Some were more... aggressive, sure.
Again, much of this was the reluctance to pierce the Earth for useful resources. It was cutting into the mother! At least to the plains natives it was. The Incans also were great collectors of gold and thought of it as the feces of the gods (and also the property of the gods.)
We had human sacrifice. The willing ones we called "The Crusades", the "Wars of Religion" and "World War I", to name a few. They weren't just wars, they were pointless wars for sordid concealed purposes, and with hindsight had no prospect of causing anything but death and devastation.
The unwilling ones were called "capital punishment".
"We" did all the "evil" things "they" did, and then genocided them on top of that (and that's a lot of genocides). The ethical superiority evidence is still in their favour.
This discussion has made me think of the whole new/old world dichotomy is kind of restrictive. Sure, it might be fun, but there are other possibilities I haven't tried because I was focused on this game option. Imagine a 4-world planet, for example; four continents all separated by ocean. The climate and resources would vary quite a bit from one continent to the next, making for unique experiences for each "world".
Where do I start? First of all, if by "pointless" you mean that these wars had no clearly established goals, you are mistaken. The crusades were about reconquering a land that had been conquered by comparable means a few centuries prior, the wars of religion where about either re-establishing unity in both spiritual and political senses, or about establishing new identities in both aspects, and World War I was about resolving several long-standing feuds that failed to realize these goals mostly because the winners did not establish an order of peace, for several reasons (just compare the Treaty of Versailles with the Congress of Vienna a century earlier). The dichotomy is not "pointless" and "justified" (whatever the latter might be), "pointless" can mean either not being aware of what you are trying to achieve, or it can mean morally pointless. If you meant the latter, I'd be curious why you picked these particular wars.
Capital punishment is not about sacrificing people, it is a way people try / have tried to protect society, in the best cases from dangerous people, in other cases from people the leaders disagree with. But in no case capital punishment was "just" about wanting to see blood - if that was the motivation, we use other terms.
Genocide is about murder (of an entire people), and that implies intent. Most Native Americans died by diseases. I know there are these hypotheses about these diseases having been spread on purpose, but people really haven't thought this through. We have been (barely) understanding the "mechanics" of diseases since the end of the 19th century, and some of these supposed acts of murder happened centuries before. If the Europeans had been so aware of what caused diseases, why were they still dieing by the thousands when these diseases reached their cities? Considering what is happening in these days, even our own understanding is still limited in this regard, but we are not completely puzzled anymore by what is happening.
You give the pretexts as if they were the actual purposes. For example, the only real purpose I know (I strongly suspect there were others just as sordid or moreso) for the Crusades was to grab some land and more impressive titles for the second and subsequent sons of the petty nobility. Most of the actual troops had no clue how to even find Palestine let alone get there. Subsequently most did not get there, even if they did not die trying of disease, exposure, starvation etc.
Implying that human sacrifice is "just" about wanting to see blood is a pathetic racial slur. As for the rest, it's the old old story of creating an artificial distinction between what "we" do and what "they" do, and then trying to make the former sound noble, and the latter sound as demonic as possible.
We didn't know smallpox was contagious? How utterly pathetic (and dishonest)! We've known about disease contagion since at least Classical times (I only know about leper colonies from the Bible which isn't a credible source, but I'm confident they did exist and that they are attested in genuine historical sources).
As for innocence of genocide through lack of intent (we kept shooting them on sight until we couldn't find any more - we never intended to wipe them out), or through not actually managing to massacre every single one, I'm not dignifying that with any further response.
Even if the diseases that came through before white settlers arrived had a lot to do with the majority of deaths among Native Americans, trying to say that it in any way diminishes the vast genocidal evil that was inflicted upon the tribes by the white settlers after arrival is so stunningly appalling I don't even have words for it. You DO realize we ARE basically a nation of murdering, backstabbing liars and thieves, first and foremost, right? We stole a land that we were able to steal because the people on it reached out a vulnerable helping hand to help teach us how to survive it, and even offered to share in its bounty with us. Is that hard to hear or accept? You and I didn't do it ourselves but our ancestors did assuming you're like me, a primarily white American, and its a karmic debt we will dearly suffer for in the end, among so many others. MAYBE, just maybe, if we at least admit the evils we've perpetrated, we have a chance at making up for it before the debt comes due as savagely as we inflicted it.
If it was just a landgrab, it wouldn't have been such a far off objective. As we know, it's easiest to manage an empire that's fully connected rather than fractured. The region of Israel, particularly the city of Jerusalem, has been hotly contested over by all peoples of a Judeo/Christian/Muslim heritage as a sacred place to control and that's rooted in the stories of those religions that indicate the reason for it to be so centrally important. The temple mound in particular is really the key site. The soldiers IN the Crusades were probably mostly just religious recruits who barely understood the reasoning themselves, but the organizations driving the wars had very deep understanding of the importance of holding that territory.
Implying that capital punishment and human sacrifice are in any way the same thing is... interesting to say the least. Very different motives I think.
This was what came a bit later on in the story and damn straight the white men issuing out infested blankets as a source of benevolent assistance to the struggling tribes was as horrible an act as one can define, but most of the disease the white man brought was initially more incidental stuff in sharing exposures to diseases that Europeans had mastered the immunities against while the Natives had never faced it before. The mass killoff in the new world apparently happened mostly before whites can even be said to have visited unless we were seeing some interactions pre-Columbus that brought it about, which is possible. I don't think they are even fully sure what diseases it was that wiped out so many people but apparently quite a high percentage of the population had been lost to a great mysterious plague just before our arrival. And as we know, in the centuries before, Europe also experienced a massive killing off event in the Black Plague, but they were well recovering from that by then.
You do realize that a lot of tribal warfare involved burning down and wiping out entire villages then selling the women and children into slavery? Tribal warfare often times was genocidal in order to eliminate generations long tribal enemies. The only difference in the New World in pre-Columbian times was that everyone was technologically equal so everyone at least had a fair fight to prevent being wiped out by enemy tribes. But when Europeans arrived they were actually able to easily win wars due to their technological superiority and thus enact genocides onto their defeated enemies. Europeans only come off as worse because they didn't give the natives a fair fight and won. The natives would have happily committed genocide in return if they had the advantage to win as well. So you simply can't claim they were morally superior.
Nah. Unfortunately the benefits go to the victors of history, not the losers. Sure you can believe karma exists but in actual truth it doesn't. Victors can due horrible things but such things are actually likely to benefit them in the long run if they are able to get away with it. And the thing with the natives is that most of them are dead so its not like they can take their land back anyway. Many people have done horrible things, gotten away with it, and were never punished by someone else or something else. Otherwise every society that said they had God/gods/spirits/Karma on their side would still be around today. Just look at all the people who have prayed to whatever faith they believe in to save them from great misfortune only for it to happen to them anyway as this cruel world made them suffer in horrible ways before putting them out of their misery.
I've heard @JosEPh_II has been locking for end game saves to test some stuff.
Here's mine, this is the result of 114 hours distributed among 122 different sessions, if the ingame statistics are to be trusted. This is also the result of lots of love and mixed emotions, damn, I've found many hardships along the way, but at the end of the day, I really f*cking like this game, it's so great.
Let me know if there's a problem.
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