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Thread: Another question, possibly being too picky?

  1. #1
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    First off thanks to everyone who responded to my post about Battlefield Earth.

    Now am I the only who who has noticed how humancentric the names of Alien races in movies and television is?

    I mean If an alien race is from a planet in the Vega system they are called Vegans, If from the Alpha Centauri system then they are thus called Alpha Centaurians. But when anyone refers to us we are Earthlings.

    I seem to remember from High school that are Sun's proper name is Sol, Why then are we not refered to as Solarians if the system is name a race after their Systems Primary?

    I know this seems a little picky but it strikes me as a hold over of the Earth-centric mentality that dominated religious and scientific veiws for so long.


  2. #2
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    If we knew the names of any of those planets in other solar systems, we'd call them that too? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Sometimes we're referred to as terrans.

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    And loonies.

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    Egocentrism is common on Earth as well. In english we don't call germans "Deutsche" and we don't call Japan "Nipon".

    In Sci-Fi, if speaking in an Earth based language it would make sense to use names we created since there is generally no universal body governing names of locations.

  6. #6
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    [quote]
    On 2001-12-06 10:50, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
    If we knew the names of any of those planets in other solar systems, we'd call them that too? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    [/qu
    ot e]
    Not usually, Many times I've heard them use the stellar designation for the race while visiting the planet itself.

    I do want to add however that the Star Trek franchise has made an effort to avoid using this system, the show often uses the name of the homeworld to Identify the race.
    Also on their show we are not refered to as Earthlings but instead as "Human Beings from planet Earth" which is little more accurate.
    [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]



  7. #7
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    On 2001-12-06 11:42, amstrad wrote:
    Egocentrism is common on Earth as well. In english we don't call germans "Deutsche" and we don't call Japan "Nipon".

    In Sci-Fi, if speaking in an Earth based language it would make sense to use names we created since there is generally no universal body governing names of locations.
    Good point.....! It just bugs me that even the aliens in sci-fi use the same reference system. But I guess since a human wrote it ......
    Just seems a little egotistical to me.

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    On 2001-12-06 12:25, ronin wrote:
    Good point.....! It just bugs me that even the aliens in sci-fi use the same reference system. But I guess since a human wrote it ......
    Just seems a little egotistical to me.
    not really, just remember that even though aliens a talking it needs to translated to English (or whatever) for you to understand it. Place names are translated as well, as with my Nipon/Japan example.

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    It just bugs me that even the aliens in sci-fi use the same reference system.
    Once again, I know this is an old topic, but saying that ALL aliens in sci-fi call humans "Earthlings", or some variation thereof, isn't entirely true. If you've ever read the Worldwar series by Harry Turtledove, the aliens that invade earth during WWII call us "Tosevites" after their name for Sol, which is "Tosev". (Alternate history) They also say that we live on the planet "Tosev-3". In the book, there are 2 other planets that have already been conquered by "The Race" (name by which they call themselves), that are also referred to by the Race's name of their star system. (Sorry, can't remember the names offhand. It's been about 18 months since I last re-read the series.) Also, in the book, collectively, all humans are called "Tosevites", but in some areas, the Race calls them by the names they've made for themselves. Those of us in the United States are called "Americans", the German are called "Deutsch", and the Japanese are called "Nipponese", to cite a few examples.

    On another note, if you like alternate history, Harry Turtledove is one heck of an author.

    [Edited to add quote and make a few additions.]
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    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jetmech0417 on 2002-12-16 03:59 ]</font>

  10. #10
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    On 2001-12-06 11:42, amstrad wrote:

    Egocentrism is common on Earth as well. In english we don't call germans "Deutsche" and we don't call Japan "Nipon".
    I often call Japan "Nippon". But then again I'm usually speaking in Japanese at the time. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

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    What I would like to know is why aliens use Greek numbers like we do. I just saw this is star Trek: Nemesis. One of the Romulans gave a command that included the word "alpha" or "delta" or one of those words.


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    On 2002-12-16 03:55, Jetmech0417 wrote:
    It just bugs me that even the aliens in sci-fi use the same reference system.
    Once again, I know this is an old topic, but saying that ALL aliens in sci-fi call humans "Earthlings", or some variation thereof, isn't entirely true. If you've ever read the Worldwar series by Harry Turtledove, the aliens that invade earth during WWII call us "Tosevites" after their name for Sol, which is "Tosev". (Alternate history) They also say that we live on the planet "Tosev-3". In the book, there are 2 other planets that have already been conquered by "The Race" (name by which they call themselves), that are also referred to by the Race's name of their star system. (Sorry, can't remember the names offhand. It's been about 18 months since I last re-read the series.) Also, in the book, collectively, all humans are called "Tosevites", but in some areas, the Race calls them by the names they've made for themselves. Those of us in the United States are called "Americans", the German are called "Deutsch", and the Japanese are called "Nipponese", to cite a few examples.

    On another note, if you like alternate history, Harry Turtledove is one heck of an author.

    [Edited to add quote and make a few additions.]
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    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jetmech0417 on 2002-12-16 03:59 ]</font>
    Yah i read the series, i am finisheing the last book of the colonization series. A very very good series, sometimes a little too slow, but great series. The other planets are called "robotev" and "Halseti" (spelling?) and the inhabitants are called that. The humans also use "the race"'s language for the names of their planets. The even call "the race" home world "Home".

    You stole the words right out of my mouth. I was just thinking of telling this when i rread your pots.

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    On 2001-12-06 10:43, ronin wrote:
    Now am I the only who who has noticed how humancentric the names of Alien races in movies and television is?

    I mean If an alien race is from a planet in the Vega system they are called Vegans, If from the Alpha Centauri system then they are thus called Alpha Centaurians. But when anyone refers to us we are Earthlings.

    I seem to remember from High school that are Sun's proper name is Sol, Why then are we not refered to as Solarians if the system is name a race after their Systems Primary?
    It's worse than that! If you notice, even names like "Alpha Centauri" are human-centric.

    We only call that particular star "Alpha Centauri" because it's the brightest star as seen from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus, and the constellation of Centaurus itself was called that because it looked vageuly like a centaur when seen from Earth.

    How would you like it if aliens called you a "Beta Refrigeron" just because the Sun happened to be the second-brightest star in a constellation in their home planet's night sky that happened to resemble a refrigerator?

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    Don't forget Larry Niven's "World of Ptaavs". That was how the alien invader (just one) referred to all races that were sub-normal on his scale of reference. (We were weak and had no telepathy). Great read.

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    I too started thinking about the Worldwar books. The planets were Rabotev-2 (Beta Hydra or maybe Epsilon Indi) and Halless-1 (Epsilon Eridani).

    Cool books.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rodina on 2002-12-17 18:19 ]</font>

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    On 2002-12-16 10:32, nebularain wrote:
    What I would like to know is why aliens use Greek numbers like we do. I just saw this is star Trek: Nemesis. One of the Romulans gave a command that included the word "alpha" or "delta" or one of those words.
    Argument 1: it was just the Universal Translator...

    Argument 2: the Romulans seem to be strongly modeled on the Romans. This might be Terran projection, or it might be (hm....) that the mysterious ancient race that created duplicate earths and who seeded worlds (the Vulcans and Romulans are "cousin" races) sneaked into Rome at some point in history and brought back a bunch of Roman culture, which they gave to the Romulans.

    (This could also explain "Plato's Stepchildren," for how else could ancient Greek culture be found deep in space? On the gripping hand, it might have been the god Apollo, who would obviously have had some interest in the matter.)

    (The Metrons and Organians seem unlikely to have gotten involved, but the Q are prime suspects for playing games with galactic cultural history.)

    Argument 3: Jean-Luc Picard wakes up, and finds himself lying in a double-bed, across from Suzanne Pleshette, and murmurs, "I've just had the strangest dream..."


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    Silas:

    If i remember correctly (which is not often [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]) from the original series (i only watched a few episodes, most were boring) all humanoids look alike because they were seeded by the same species. The differences are due to evolution, but the basic stock was made by a race that lives at the center of the galaxy. Thye never mention this in the other series, but i think because it is too out there even for star trek. Correct me if i am wrong...



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    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2002-12-17 19:31 ]</font>

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    ... the Vulcans and Romulans are "cousin" races ...
    They are much closer than that. Romulus was colonized by Vulcans.

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    It was not mentioned in the old series, it was largely just budget reasons I suppose.

    It was mentioned and (shudder) shown in the Next Generation. The episode was like 'It's a Mad Mad World" chase to put together the evidence and recieve a message from the same actress that would later play the Hitler like leader of the Dominion.

    However I think you are correct it has not been mentioned since

  20. #20
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    Maybe that's because when they showed that, all the fans went:
    "G-A-A-A-A-G!"

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    On 2002-12-17 18:24, Silas wrote:

    On the gripping hand, it might have been the god Apollo... (emphasis mine)
    I just noticed your sly little reference to an excellent book. Good work Silas. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

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    On 2002-12-18 09:48, David Hall wrote:
    On 2002-12-17 18:24, Silas wrote:

    On the gripping hand, it might have been the god Apollo... (emphasis David's)
    I just noticed your sly little reference to an excellent book. Good work Silas. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    And here I thought it was a sly little reference to the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" . . .

    Which was it, Silas? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]


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    tracer wrote:

    It's worse than that! If you notice, even names like "Alpha Centauri" are human-centric.

    We only call that particular star "Alpha Centauri" because it's the brightest star as seen from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus, and the constellation of Centaurus itself was called that because it looked vageuly like a centaur when seen from Earth.
    Well, do you have a better proposal?

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    On 2002-12-18 09:55, SeanF wrote:
    On 2002-12-18 09:48, David Hall wrote:
    On 2002-12-17 18:24, Silas wrote:

    On the gripping hand, it might have been the god Apollo... (emphasis David's)
    I just noticed your sly little reference to an excellent book. Good work Silas. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    And here I thought it was a sly little reference to the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" . . .

    Which was it, Silas? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Why, both, of course! I was referring to the Old Trek episode, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" but "The Gripping Hand" is the title of a science fiction novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, which is the sequel to their (most excellent!) novel "The Mote in God's Eye."

    That's why I love this group! We grok one another!

    Silas

  25. #25
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    Grok? Another book? Which one is this. (I will probobly kick myself after i hear the answer. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img])

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    Stranger In a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.

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    Robert Heinlen Stranger in a strange land

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    Kick!! One of the only Heinlen books i have not read. I will eventually.

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    Stranger in a Strange Land is very, very different from the "typical" Heinlein that brought us such military recruitment posters as Starship Troopers and The Puppet Masters.

    Stranger in a Strange Land is, more or less, about the virtues of being a hippie from Mars. Some Heinlein fans have speculated that Heinlein suffered from some kind of temporary mental disorder when he wrote it (!), and then got better again in time to write his next novel.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: tracer on 2002-12-18 21:26 ]</font>

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    On 2002-12-18 21:25, tracer wrote:
    Stranger in a Strange Land is very, very different from the "typical" Heinlein that brought us such military recruitment posters as Starship Troopers and The Puppet Masters.

    Stranger in a Strange Land is, more or less, about the virtues of being a hippie from Mars. Some Heinlein fans have speculated that Heinlein suffered from some kind of temporary mental disorder when he wrote it (!), and then got better again in time to write his next novel.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: tracer on 2002-12-18 21:26 ]</font>
    Of course, Robert Heinlein was pretty explicit that Stranger in a Strange Land was the only book he wrote without deviating from his original outline, so I don't think it was some "lapse."


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