Eras of Interstellar Civilizations

Published on July 28th, 2023 19:31

TODO: Make acronym? Or all S?_

Some civilizations never enter a strain era; achieving industrialization, electrification, atomization, digitization, and slip while maintaining healthy levels of interdependence.

Strain Eras

During a #StrainEra, access to material needs, such as nutrients and shelter, is inhibited. These conditions often result in aggressive behavior, with in-groups and out-groups defined along arbitrary lines such as ability, appearance, gender, sexuality, spirituality, or species.

Strain Eras are characterized by any involuntary hunger or homelessness and have two main causes:

  • Real Scarcity; due to insufficient production.
  • Artificial Scarcity; where production is sufficient but distribution is insufficient.

In prolonged #StrainedEras, species may experience a #FilterEra.

Filter Eras

#FilterEras are when a civilization is at risk of extinction due to poorly stewarded resources. Some species develop extinction-tier technology without first creating the social conditions to ensure they're never deployed as weapons. Others prioritize the luxury of a few at the expense of the material needs of the many, resulting in unrest. Others ignore their relationship with their home planet's ecosystem, creating circumstances which are hostile to their continued survival. Some fail to reach a level of technological competence sufficient to mitigate natural disasters like asteroid impacts or other world-altering circumstances.

Stable Eras

Presuming the civilization has made it's way through any #FilterEras and #StrainEras, it's said to have reached a #StableEra once it meets the material needs of all people. It can take generations of #StableEras for a species to devote enough of their shared resources to transition to a #SampleEra.

Sample Era

Even after the underlying science behind #SlipTravel are unraveled; the material and energy costs associated are sufficiently large that it requires significant investment for a system to develop their first #SlipHub. Once complete, civilizations enter a #SampleEra.

In a #SampleEra, a civilization explores their surrounding star systems, mapping their place in the universe. Depending on the species' location in the galaxy, there may be thousands or even millions of stars within slip travels hard-limit of 100 light years. Most species will sample most of the star systems within reach before determining it's time to start settling a second home among the stars and entering a #SpreadEra.

Spread Era

Once a civilization begins establishing slip hubs in other star systems, they are in their #SpreadEra.

Contact Eras

A #ContactEra occurs when a civilization comes in contact with another sentient species. Some Contact Eras are between peers capable of slip. Other times, a civilization will find itself in contact with a civilization incapable of slip.

Interaction between Slip-capable and non-slip capable civilizations is precarious. In most cases, the slip-capable civilization will keep their distance to avoid detection by the sub-slip civilization. In some particularly precarious #FilterEras, confirmation of the existence of interstellar civilizations can trigger an extinction level event.