April 01, 2020, 11:14:36 AM

Author Topic: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding  (Read 30054 times)

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4603
  • Total likes: 3547
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #75 on: April 26, 2015, 12:57:49 AM »
Which brings me to another lesson of worldbuilding: Evolution is lazy.

Creatures don't evolve to a form that is perfect for their environment, but just good enough to not go extinct. Natural selection really only selects for "not dying faster than you reproduce".

Well yes, but then... A few animals do end up going extinct quite easily precisely because they've evolved to fit their environment too to much perfection. When animals evolve to become a killing machine for a precise species and itself goes missing for example. Or take extreme cases of camouflage, adapted to the specific environment of the animal?
It's no proof that genetics got motivated, only that an animal can become super adapted through evolution.
Like sharks. They've been around for so long probably because their evolution put them to an optimum shape no?
Humans of course, are different. Not pointedly adapted but wickedly adaptive on their own, surviving everywhere and killing in their wake just like a virus (shamelessly quoting the matrix here).
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Online JMack

  • Hircum Magna Rex of the Fabled Atku Temple, and writing contest regular
  • Writing Group
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ******
  • Posts: 7073
  • Total likes: 4829
  • Gender: Male
  • Our daily efforts are love poems to the universe.
    • View Profile
    • Tales of Starlit Lands
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #76 on: April 26, 2015, 01:08:47 AM »
Which brings me to another lesson of worldbuilding: Evolution is lazy.

Creatures don't evolve to a form that is perfect for their environment, but just good enough to not go extinct. Natural selection really only selects for "not dying faster than you reproduce".

Well yes, but then... A few animals do end up going extinct quite easily precisely because they've evolved to fit their environment too to much perfection. When animals evolve to become a killing machine for a precise species and itself goes missing for example. Or take extreme cases of camouflage, adapted to the specific environment of the animal?
It's no proof that genetics got motivated, only that an animal can become super adapted through evolution.
Like sharks. They've been around for so long probably because their evolution put them to an optimum shape no?
Humans of course, are different. Not pointedly adapted but wickedly adaptive on their own, surviving everywhere and killing in their wake just like a virus (shamelessly quoting the matrix here).
Ah yes we are horrible things in so many ways, it's true. But I still rather like us.  ;)
And we invented ice cream, so it's not all bad. ;D
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
www.starlit-lands.com

Offline Doctor_Chill

  • RPG Ringleader and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3700
  • Total likes: 776
  • Gender: Male
  • You've been pugged.
    • View Profile
    • Acerbic Writing
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #77 on: April 26, 2015, 03:14:01 AM »
Something I learned today: Honey (and not your generic Walmart crap, but actual bee pollen honey comb) is an anti-septic/anti-fungal and is used for dressing wounds. So cool.
“It’s a dangerous thing, pretense. A man ought to know who he is, even if he isn’t proud to be it.” - Tomorrow the Killing, Daniel Polansky

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4603
  • Total likes: 3547
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #78 on: April 26, 2015, 05:13:19 AM »
Something I learned today: Honey (and not your generic Walmart crap, but actual bee pollen honey comb) is an anti-septic/anti-fungal and is used for dressing wounds. So cool.

It also preserves things (like an insect fallen in your jar) for amazing periods of time. And it's the only food that never rots.
Check out the properties of propolis too! Bees are the best bugs ever. Love them.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

  • Secretly I'm laughing about jurassic raccoon testicles. And a Writing Contest Regular
  • Auror
  • ***
  • Posts: 1024
  • Total likes: 840
  • Gender: Male
  • Only partially responsible for my custom title.
    • View Profile
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #79 on: April 26, 2015, 08:22:03 AM »
One thing to note about evolution is, that even though it's conceivable that in two similar environments the evolution would follow quite similar paths, change of only one variable could make the evolutionary paths stray a lot from each other. For (a very weak) example, there was a time in earths history when there was significantly more oxygen floating around, and because of that, back then insects were huge. If the conditions had stayed unchanged, maybe we would now be much more insect-like.  :-\

Humans of course, are different. Not pointedly adapted but wickedly adaptive on their own, surviving everywhere and killing in their wake just like a virus (shamelessly quoting the matrix here).
Dang it, I was going to quote lord Elrond from the Matrix!  ;)


I really love how this conversation EVOLVED from starvation. (Pun very much intended.)  ;D :D :-\ :( :-[
Everything I wrote above is pure conjecture. I don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm a perfectionist but not very good at anything. That's why I rarely finish things.

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Ringbearer
  • *
  • Posts: 6089
  • Total likes: 2678
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
    • View Profile
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #80 on: April 26, 2015, 08:36:06 AM »
Something I learned today: Honey (and not your generic Walmart crap, but actual bee pollen honey comb) is an anti-septic/anti-fungal and is used for dressing wounds. So cool.
I burned my hand on new years eve and put honey on it. The burn didn't hurt at all and didn't break open. No scar remains. :)
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Raptori

  • Barbarian who does not use the Oxford comma and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
  • Total likes: 2111
  • the prettiest kitty cat in the world
    • View Profile
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #81 on: April 26, 2015, 09:59:38 AM »
But do you know why the penguins are doing it? Because that's literally the only place in the entire world where absolutely nobody is coming and trying to eat you. It's the safest place anywhere, because nobody else can survive there.
That'd work if penguins only occurred in the Antarctic, but they don't. Even the ones down there take their lives in their own hands every time they go searching for food. The leopard seals in particular enjoy eating penguins. We have penguins here in Australia, there's a fairly large colony on Phillip Island, seeing them come in nightly is actually a tourist attraction, before people realised that and commercialised it and protected that colony they were under threat from foxes, domestic pets like cats and dogs and also feral cats and dogs. There's also a colony living in St Kilda quite close to the city. There are between 17 and 20 species of penguin, and they can occur as far north as near the equator, which is where the Galapagos penguin comes from.
Emperor penguins have a much longer incubation period since they're far larger, so that's probably a major factor in their habits. They have to spend a lot more time in one place while incubating, which has a knock-on effect on the amount of time they can spend gathering food - the way they are now, they can spend the summer months eating as much as possible while there are more fish around.  :)
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4603
  • Total likes: 3547
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Can't vouch for all the data, but I know a few of them to be true, so leaving this here for whoever needs it!

"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Doctor_Chill

  • RPG Ringleader and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3700
  • Total likes: 776
  • Gender: Male
  • You've been pugged.
    • View Profile
    • Acerbic Writing
What did Hellen Keller's parents do to punish her when she did bad?

They rearranged all the furniture.  8)

(The emoticon is surprisingly ironic this round.)
“It’s a dangerous thing, pretense. A man ought to know who he is, even if he isn’t proud to be it.” - Tomorrow the Killing, Daniel Polansky

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4603
  • Total likes: 3547
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Well that's pretty funny... I actually have a similar list full of actual life tips, and got the wrong one here! Don't mind me I guess?  ;D
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Online ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 11722
  • Total likes: 6762
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
I did wonder if you had posted this in the wrong thread hehe
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4603
  • Total likes: 3547
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
OK, here's the ACTUAL picture I meant to put up!

"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4603
  • Total likes: 3547
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Locally "fished" and re crafted iron, aka, from river garbage to beautiful blade.



Also, the origins of Morse code :

"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Online JMack

  • Hircum Magna Rex of the Fabled Atku Temple, and writing contest regular
  • Writing Group
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ******
  • Posts: 7073
  • Total likes: 4829
  • Gender: Male
  • Our daily efforts are love poems to the universe.
    • View Profile
    • Tales of Starlit Lands
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #88 on: August 12, 2015, 04:46:36 PM »
Heard a very interesting article on U.S. public radio this morning about a study of pupil shapes in the eyes of mammals.

Here's a link to an article:
http://news.discovery.com/animals/pupil-shape-can-show-whos-predator-and-whos-prey-150807.htm

And here's a good clip from that article:
Quote
When all of the data came together, the researchers and their colleagues determined that four basic pupil shapes corresponded to particular behaviors and other factors:

Vertical: Predators that are active both day and night, such as domestic cats, tend to have vertical pupils.

Vertically elongated: Animals with what the scientists called "subcircular eyes," such as lynxes, are usually ambush predators that capture their prey using stealth and strategy, as opposed to primarily relying upon speed and strength.

Horizontal: Grazing prey animals, such as sheep, deer, and horses, typically have eyes with this pupil shape.

Circular: Most predators that are active during the day, like humans, have evolved this type of pupil.

The predicted patterns come with a few exceptions, though.

"A surprising thing we noticed from this study is that the slit pupils were linked to predators that were close to the ground," co-author William Sprague, a postdoctoral researcher in Banks’ lab, said. "So domestic cats have vertical slits, but bigger cats, like tigers and lions, don't. Their pupils are round, like [those of] humans and dogs."

One of the fun things about the radio article was that they completely understood and talked about this information in terms of fictional world building! They said something like: "A vertical, cat's eye pupil might look awesome and terrifying on a dinosaur standing 8 feet tall, but it wouldn't have happened. They'd have had round pupils."
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
www.starlit-lands.com

Offline Raptori

  • Barbarian who does not use the Oxford comma and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
  • Total likes: 2111
  • the prettiest kitty cat in the world
    • View Profile
Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #89 on: August 12, 2015, 05:26:57 PM »
Heard a very interesting article on U.S. public radio this morning about a study of pupil shapes in the eyes of mammals.

Here's a link to an article:
http://news.discovery.com/animals/pupil-shape-can-show-whos-predator-and-whos-prey-150807.htm

And here's a good clip from that article:
Quote
When all of the data came together, the researchers and their colleagues determined that four basic pupil shapes corresponded to particular behaviors and other factors:

Vertical: Predators that are active both day and night, such as domestic cats, tend to have vertical pupils.

Vertically elongated: Animals with what the scientists called "subcircular eyes," such as lynxes, are usually ambush predators that capture their prey using stealth and strategy, as opposed to primarily relying upon speed and strength.

Horizontal: Grazing prey animals, such as sheep, deer, and horses, typically have eyes with this pupil shape.

Circular: Most predators that are active during the day, like humans, have evolved this type of pupil.

The predicted patterns come with a few exceptions, though.

"A surprising thing we noticed from this study is that the slit pupils were linked to predators that were close to the ground," co-author William Sprague, a postdoctoral researcher in Banks’ lab, said. "So domestic cats have vertical slits, but bigger cats, like tigers and lions, don't. Their pupils are round, like [those of] humans and dogs."

One of the fun things about the radio article was that they completely understood and talked about this information in terms of fictional world building! They said something like: "A vertical, cat's eye pupil might look awesome and terrifying on a dinosaur standing 8 feet tall, but it wouldn't have happened. They'd have had round pupils."
I saw that in the Guardian. As with so many of those type of things, it annoys me how they've simplified it - particularly the "all herbivores are ruminants" meme. :-\
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.