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Snippet: The life of Merlin Athrawes

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Snippet: The life of Merlin Athrawes
Post by Salisria   » Fri Jun 17, 2022 11:29 pm

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Guillaume wrote:err, where does that snippet comes from ?

I don't remember ever seeing that bit of textev anywhere...

Prologue of the most recent book.

Louis R wrote:Certainly possible, but it's equally plausible that it was a simple choice to reestablish continuity with the past culture. For all we know, the reckoning is written in full as CE, not AD.

For Safehold to so thouroughly abandon their existing calendar system for one based on a year not that of Safehold for any reason other than a widespread adoption of Christianity (and thus AD, not CE) would to me imply we're going to see a truly vicious war between those who accept the Testimony of Schueler and those who reject it in favor of the Holy Writ. A war that causes so much bitterness that the survivors abandon as much as possible anything even remotely associated with the Writ. The Safeholdian calendar is reasonably well suited for Safehold. It's going to take a major reason for Safehold to abandon it for any Terran calendar so long as Safehold is the primary world of humanity. I suppose it's possible, but not very plausible that by 4217 that humanity has defeated the Gbaba, reclaimed and resettled Terra, and Terra has resumed it's former place as the primary world of humanity. Given all that the Gbaba likely did when it killed all humans there, I seriously doubt Terra is any more habitable than Luna is now, and thus is unlikely to be inhabited in 4217 by anything more than a few scholars studying Long Dead Terra.

Frankly, if 4217 is our 4217, it's most likely as a convenience for us as readers of the Safehold series, not an indication of what calendar system Safehold is generally using by then.
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Re: Snippet: The life of Merlin Athrawes
Post by Louis R   » Mon Jun 20, 2022 11:19 pm

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And this would surprise you how, exactly? [IIRC, Himself has commented on the future to the effect of "you ain't seen nuthin' yet!"]

Reestablishing the continuity of human civilisation - and history - is precisely what the [eventually] winning side will have been fighting for. And you are overlooking the fact that even today many, if not most, of those who use the Gregorian calendar in their day-to-day lives have little interest in and less respect for Christianity. There's no reason whatsoever for the association to figure in the minds of Safeholdians as anything more than an - inaccurate, BTW - historical datum.



Salisria wrote:For Safehold to so thouroughly abandon their existing calendar system for one based on a year not that of Safehold for any reason other than a widespread adoption of Christianity (and thus AD, not CE) would to me imply we're going to see a truly vicious war between those who accept the Testimony of Schueler and those who reject it in favor of the Holy Writ. A war that causes so much bitterness that the survivors abandon as much as possible anything even remotely associated with the Writ.
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Re: Snippet: The life of Merlin Athrawes
Post by Salisria   » Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:54 pm

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Louis R wrote:And this would surprise you how, exactly?


I think I pretty clearly explained why it would surprise me. First off, switching to a Terran calendar and the AD/CE year numbering means giving up a calendar well-suited for Safehold and its seasons. I just don't see humanity abandoning the calendar they use for any Terran calendar for any reason other than religion. I could see them reworking their calendar so that the year starts on a different day and/or they count years on a different basis than YOG, but that's merely a possibility, not a necessity. (For example renaming February to December, so that September to December are actually the 7th to tenth months in a calendar that starts in March. And perhaps counting years in YOS, with year 0 being the year in which Holy Schueler revealed his Testimony.)

Absent a religious-based reason for calendar reform, be it adoption of Christianity or a wholesale revulsion against Langhornism, I could see the BCE/CE system used to refer to events that happened before humanity came to Safehold. It certainly makes more sense than redating them in terms of a Safeholdian calendar. But adopting a calendar ill-suited for Safehold for everyday timekeeping on Safehold is decidedly not needed for "reestablishing the continuity of human civilization".
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Re: Snippet: The life of Merlin Athrawes
Post by Louis R   » Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:10 am

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That question was specifically addressed to the paragraph quoted, which is why I snipped to it.

To be explicit: for what reason are you rejecting the possibility - in fact, probability - of exactly that degree of viciousness?

And why don't you think that an interstellar human civilisation - which is very likely what we're looking at by the time that book is written - would not, quite consciously, revive the reckoning of the home system of the species, despite, or even because of, the fact that is probably only occupied by people living in orbital habitats. What better common calendar than one that doesn't actually work any place people live?

Salisria wrote:
Louis R wrote:And this would surprise you how, exactly?


I think I pretty clearly explained why it would surprise me. First off, switching to a Terran calendar and the AD/CE year numbering means giving up a calendar well-suited for Safehold and its seasons. I just don't see humanity abandoning the calendar they use for any Terran calendar for any reason other than religion. I could see them reworking their calendar so that the year starts on a different day and/or they count years on a different basis than YOG, but that's merely a possibility, not a necessity. (For example renaming February to December, so that September to December are actually the 7th to tenth months in a calendar that starts in March. And perhaps counting years in YOS, with year 0 being the year in which Holy Schueler revealed his Testimony.)

Absent a religious-based reason for calendar reform, be it adoption of Christianity or a wholesale revulsion against Langhornism, I could see the BCE/CE system used to refer to events that happened before humanity came to Safehold. It certainly makes more sense than redating them in terms of a Safeholdian calendar. But adopting a calendar ill-suited for Safehold for everyday timekeeping on Safehold is decidedly not needed for "reestablishing the continuity of human civilization".
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Re: Snippet: The life of Merlin Athrawes
Post by Salisria   » Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:35 am

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Louis R wrote:And why don't you think that an interstellar human civilisation - which is very likely what we're looking at by the time that book is written - would not, quite consciously, revive the reckoning of the home system of the species, despite, or even because of, the fact that is probably only occupied by people living in orbital habitats. What better common calendar than one that doesn't actually work any place people live?

One that works on the planet that is the core of human civilization, which is apparently still the case given that the book was published by the Royal University Press in Tellesberg. Now, I can easily see the years being called something like SE (Safeholdian Era) rather than YOG, much like how many people now use CE to refer to the AD calendar year. I don't see the TE (Terran Era) calendar being adopted by spacefaring Safeholdians when they first head off planet. They'll continue to use the calendar they are accustomed to using on their home planet. Once the Safehold calendar is being used in space, the inconvenience of switching to another calendar with no practical benefits other than sentimentality make it unlikely for a switch to ever happen, just like how the Terran Federation continued to use the Terran-based MKS system instead of switching to a common system based upon Planck units that have no reference to any planet.

That's also why I don't see the metric system ever returning to common use by humanity, though a decimalized version of the Delthak system of units is a distinct possibility. The advantages of decimalization alone aren't what led to the adoption of the metric system. It served the advantage of providing a common set of units where there hadn't been one before. Humanity already has a common calendar (YOG) and a common system of units (Delthak) that are in universal use. There is no practical benefit to be gained by a reversion to either a Terran calendar or a Terran system of units.
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