June 6th 2013
The integration of technology into society has giben almost everyone access to basic education should they want it. As the following paragraphs demonstrate, the sliding scale of education in the UEE dictates how much personalized instruction the student receives.
The baseline of schooling is done through the Glas or computer systems. A variety of companies, through imperial subsidies, have created learning programs capable of educating children to achieve Equivalency (high school education). These programs tend to be used on frontier planets and other rural environments that lack ready access an actual school. The problem is that there is little customized learning for the student. It’s basically multiple-choice quizzes, so there’s very little opportunity to develop interpretative thought. It’s essentially just teaching the facts. There’s also very little repercussion if the student fails a sequence or stops altogether, which is often the case.
The next step is a public school which offers teachers but in which, depending on the population, the class sizes can easily spiral out of control. Some public schools in the megacities, for example, can have upwards of five hundred students in an elementary classroom. In this kind of environment, most of the teaching is done through Glas, but there is a teacher who will handle the occasional question and grade essays.
The third step is a private academy which, while expensive, offers the finest educational services from qualified teaching professionals. These academies will offer scholarships to exceptional students, but many argue that this is simply to access increased budgetary support from the UEE.
After achieving Equivalency, a student has several options: enter the workforce, join the military or pursue higher education. While the first option generally doesn’t require a certificate of Equivalency, the military and universities do. The military offers Equivalency courses to committed applicants and can waive its Equivalency requirement if the recruit possesses ‘desirable skills.’
Since higher education alone does not qualify someone for Citizenship, a large number of college graduates will still join the military.
While there is a blanket of security throughout many of the UEE systems, particularly the more populated ones, the persistent dangers of space have helped create a culture of military service.
Some view the military service as a matter of duty, others as simply a faster (albeit potentially dangerous) way to attain Citizenship, and still others see the military as enforcers of an authoritarian government that tries to hide behind a friendly, progressive facade but will still authorize bombings on Cathcart and covert strikes into Xi’An space. In other words, the public’s reaction to the military is varied.
Again, due to the prevalence of military service, a lot of the population has either served in the military or known someone who has.
Although there is no official religion recognized by the UEE, and the cosmic landscape is dominated by science, there is still a need for the divine in Humanity.
Without getting into specifics, it’s safe to say that the predominant religions of modernity exist in the future in some form. So there are patches of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. existing throughout the Universe. Many of the religions have adapted with the times (incorporating alien species into doctrine, for example) and those that haven’t are slowly withering. The millennia-long grudges and intolerance between the religions has cooled, partially due to distance between worlds (if you don’t like someone you can move millions of miles away from them) but also because exposure to the Xi’An, Banu, Tevarin and Vanduul has strengthened the commonality between Humans and created a Humans-first, theology-second mentality.
A handful of new religions have sprung up as well. Some are crossovers from alien species (there are Human traders who keep trinkets of Cassa, the Banu patron of luck) and some are new.
The newest belief systems tend to be humanist in nature rather than overtly religious. One of the more popular new beliefs is:
Church of the Journey: Celebrates the experiences gained over the destination. Life is what happens along the way. Missionaries are called Journeymen and often spend their time wandering throughout the systems in the pursuit of knowledge through experience.
Traveller’s Day (Holiday): Sundown on the first day of a new orbit (New Year’s basically). Due the variety of orbital periods, it’s different for every planet and not a single standardized day. It’s a metaphorical celebration of the beginning of a new journey. The devout usually meet at a church or gathering place and go on a symbolic pilgrimage through the night to a new destination.
There was a previous Dispatch describing this religion if you’d like an in-universe explanation.
Even though Humanity may not interact with alien life as part of their everyday existence, aliens are a part of life. Are there still people who support a strictly (and even violent) pro-Human agenda? Sure. Are there cases of discrimination based on species? Yes. But first contact was over five hundred years ago, so the majority of Humanity has gotten used to aliens.
Therefore, while it’s considered socially unacceptable to launch into a vicious rant in public, there are still people (even groups) that view aliens as either inferior or mortal enemies.
WRITING FOR THE MASSES
Most people simply want to live their lives in peace, avoiding conflict if they can help it, but helping others or fighting when the time calls for it.
Like we’ve said since the beginning, we love variety and moving away from black and white archetypes makes the universe feel more vivid and real. Again it comes down to character and backstory so ask yourself questions to make their beliefs and situation believable for you. Want to write about pro-Humanist on Prime? Do they keep their anti-alien sentiments quiet in public or hold rallies in the Quad? If they’re uncompromising, that would affect their perception by other people, therefore do they only really interact with like-minded individuals?
I was hoping planetside transportation would explain this: What are the rings on top of the skyscrapers in Beijing (left)? How will they be used for transportation?
A: We’re still deciding on whether they are functional or strictly aesthetic in nature.
Would you be willing to nail down the principles by which “hovers” work planet-side? I mean, is anti-gravity technology something that exists in Star Citizen, or is it a more down-to-earth (pun intended) sort of technology like VTOL, using things we’d recognize as engines, rotors, etc.
Mainly asking from a visualization stand-point rather than a nuts-and-bolts of the tech (although I wouldn’t throw stones at a nuts-and-bolts expose either).
A: Since we have artificial gravity established as available in ships, some sort of anti-gravity hover vehicles would make sense. The top-end hovers are clean, quiet anti-gravity technology, while the more common ones, particularly on frontier worlds, are the older, noisier hover fans and/or thrusters similar to the maneuvering thrusters on ships.