On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

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On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#1 Post by Technic[Bot] »

Ok on page 1112 we had Saria again and every time she appears on comic we have a discussion about Keidran age and lifespan. Which generally boils down to: she is terribly old and how come Keidran have a functioning civilization if they live onl 30 years?.
In any case we managed to completely derail that particular page thread so i thought creating a new thread for this topic was a good idea.

Besides I already had something to say on the topic:
I am no biologist much less a historian or an anthropologist so question about culture and or speculative biology are way out of my area of expertise. But I work on technically stuff and there when you do not know something, or have a problem you do some research both in the sense of consulting available bibliography and, more often than not, asking the whole world about their opinions hoping you are not the first person with the same issue and that someone else can give you a hand. that is the core idea of stack-overflow.com a forum about programming question in general.
As this approach turned to be quite succesfull the guys at stack exchanged decided to create similar forums for every topic imaginable, from board games to spanish and yes writing and world-building .
So i decided to ask everyone listening: What is the minimal lifespan of a species for culture and civilization to arise.

I am quite satisfied with the answer. I accepted the idea of a 30-50 as he is the only person who to date, the question is not closed and you can even add some comments, provide any number. But that is not the most popular answer.
In general most people tend to accept that as long as there is enough information exchange between generations a functional culture will arise. So as long as you can teach the newer generation what you know ther should no be any issue, you might see more generations taking making the same amount of progress than more long lived creatures but that is that.
On the other hand some other people think that there is some lower limit, if they kinda learn the ropes of a career on a third of their life, or when their grandparents are still around, they are all set. But if you really take it to low lifespan you have problems with seasonality. As some people here pointed out before no matter how good you are at learning how to smith weapons, the iron ore still takes some time to process so you might not be able to master a skill that has inherent time requirements. On the other hand if you are are capable to learn a whole career in 4 years you are probably superhuman and i did mentioned that was not allowed.

Oh also that site is awesome and it can be a good resource for those into creative writing.
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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#2 Post by Dadrobit »

Ddraig wrote: Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:28 pm
Dadrobit wrote: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:57 pm
Yastreb wrote: Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:18 pm
Dadrobit wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:41 am Aye, I personally am from the same camp. I don't care if it's "legal" (and yeah, that "joke" REALLY didn't age well) or not. I don't particularly care if the body is "mature" or not. The fact of the matter is that a person who is only 11 years old is someone who still only has 11 years of life experience. They are mentally still just an 11 year old. Regardless of how much their matured body might push them towards sex, it's still inevitably an icky scenario.
Age of consent is not just about life experience. Human brain is still developing when you are 11 and there are major changes that happen over the teenage years. Keidran brain presumably matures faster, reaching its adult state at ~9 instead of ~20. Mentally an 11-year-old Keidran is nothing like a human child of same age.
The age of consent is very very heavily reliant on life experience. Being a consenting individual relies not just on how developed a brain is, it's reliant on the individual being able to make an informed decision through understanding the position that they're in based on the information they have gathered throughout their life. Having a developed brain does not make a person inherently equally mature or well reasoned when their actual access to everything life has to offer is less than half of another person with the same brain maturity and twice the age. This is the source of ick.

Certainly age does not ALWAYS beget wisdom, but the exception does not make the rule.
I am by no means intending the following as a 'gotcha' or to stand as a refutation of your argument, but allow me to, out of curiosity, ask you how a theoretical situation fits into your stance:

Say a sentient and technological race exists which has a natural lifespan of 25 years max and a fertile window of 9-20 years old (i.e. early puberty to menopause equivalent). (for reference, humans' fertile window starts at age 12-14)
If they were a client species of Humans, would you expect them to adhere to Human age of consent standards among themselves? If not, would you regulate their half of a mixed-race couple up to human standards (obviously human-side would still have human standards)? If yes to the second question, why?

Second situation:
Flip the scenario. Humans are the comparatively short-lived client species of, say, an Asari-like or elf-like species. Same questions but this time about humans.
I think the best way to answer this hypothetical is with providing other examples of these scenarios that I have come across that are already more fully fleshed out.

The obvious parallel of Keidran lifespans I think is, (going along with your Asari reference) probably the Salarians of Mass Effect. The issue of an extremely short life and thus necessarily young mating age was circumvented by simply taking away their sex dive and making the act of mating a non-intimate cultural duty including no small amount of eugenics. Romance is almost entirely absent in fact as traditionally close interpersonal relations are perceived as a waste of time. Minus the whole eugenics aspect, this is one of the best solutions for an uncomfortably short lived race.

The second example I could think of which has come up on the boards before is that of Anton's Key which limits a person's life to about 20 years, (without incredible intervention like launching the person into space for a zero G environment for the rest of their life). It's a genetic mutation that exists in the Orson Scott Card universe that unlocks a form of gigantism. This particular aspect of gigantism manifests with incredible levels of perception and a nearly infinite ability to keep learning due to a constantly growing brain with the rest of their body. The person is born prematurely, but even so they require less attention than a normal baby due to their nearly immediate ability to learn and adapt. From there the body grows at the same rate as any other human into and through their teens. Through this particular detail, Card avoids uncomfortably young sex drives as puberty still only comes into effect into their teens leaving sex as something that happens well after a Keidran would be considered "adult." This limits their reproductive capacity to the last fifth or so of their life, but is a decent method for avoiding the ick factor.

The similarity here that is largely lacking in Keidran is their hyper-perceptive/intellectual natures. Outside of Euchre, Keidran are not really presented as particularly discerning individuals. To the opposite in fact, characters like Flora and Kathrin are instead portrayed as being quite child-like and impulsive. It reaaaaaaly doesn't help sell the idea of them being "adults" at 8 years.

Towards your last point of "What if humans are young in comparison?" I'm gonna go back to simply emphasizing that personal experience is paramount in younger people. A human is still manufacturing the building blocks of their decision making ideals well through their teens and into their twenties. But from the mid twenties on, in general the average person goes from creating ideals, to refining them. Yes, a person's ideals can absolutely stray wildly away from their 24 year old self by the time they're 72, but that swing is nothing when compared to the wildly erratic and impulsive natures of literal children whose principals fluctuate at the drop of a hat. Comparing the average 8 year old against the average 24 year old, there is a literal world of difference between the two in terms of abstract experience based decision making that objectively cannot be matched by any level of "brain maturity". But if we were to compare an average 24 year old to an average 72 year old, while certainly there is still a sizable difference, the 24 year old will still have a much more respectful level of decision making capacity by comparison. By the 24 year old's age, their principals are at least worth taking into consideration. Far more so than that of a 24 year old juxtaposed against an 8 year old. I think this disparity continues to flatten even if you were able to compare a 72 year old against a hypothetical 216 year old. Yes, the 216 year old is absolutely going to have a big leg up, but is someone who still has 72 years of experience going to be the equivalent of an impetuous 8 year old compared to a 24 year old? In my hypothetical opinion, no, not even close.

The only example in media that I can immediately think of that somewhat tries to contest this is Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. The protagonist Valentine Michael Smith was born on Mars and raised by the Apollonian Martians to young adulthood before he is "rescued" and brought back to Earth with the comparatively Dionysian humans. Through Michael's eyes, we are able to imagine the thought experiment of what it would be like to experience humanity, (including sexuality) as a newborn but with the full cognitive powers of a hyper-intelligent adult with the understanding that humans are the short lived race in the context of the Martians. In the end, Smith comes to the conclusion that the ideal format for humanity is actually something akin to the way Keidran live. Free love orgy fueled communism! The book starts off strong and is still an interesting read, but the character of Smith kind of breaks down as he's not exactly human himself by the end as his Martian trained body has become a literal God figure (Homo Superior) through his near omnipotent level of perception and telekinetic powers, complete with Jesus imagery in his execution and later the literal cannibalism of his body by his acolytes.

And Heinlein was kind of a horny old man in general who had a bad habit of hypersexualization, misogyny, incest, and pedophilia with his characters.

So, ya know, grain of salt with that take and all. :mrgrin:
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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#3 Post by Warrl »

Technic[Bot] wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:47 amhow come Keidran have a functioning civilization if they live onl 30 years?.
This is the very first occasion that I've seen THAT question brought up or addressed.

The question is whether the keidran can be competitive, culturally, technologically, or diplomatically, with longer-lived species. Not whether they can have a culture.

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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#4 Post by Dadrobit »

Warrl wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:07 pm
Technic[Bot] wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:47 amhow come Keidran have a functioning civilization if they live onl 30 years?.
This is the very first occasion that I've seen THAT question brought up or addressed.

The question is whether the keidran can be competitive, culturally, technologically, or diplomatically, with longer-lived species. Not whether they can have a culture.
Yeah, it's something that's really not addressed in the comic proper. Amenon really highlighted it in a conversation we had some 5 or so years ago on Keidran time management when they pointed out that I had made a bunch of assumptions on their lifestyles being simplistic to the analog of irl Amish. In reality we had no idea, and to this day we are left wanting. In the last half a decade there hasn't been a ton of exposition made outside of Patreon sketches that can only be classified as B-Canon at best.

Funny to see how the forum circulates and re-circulates these topics over time. :mrgrin:
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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#5 Post by aitaituo »

Warrl wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:07 pm
Technic[Bot] wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:47 amhow come Keidran have a functioning civilization if they live onl 30 years?.
This is the very first occasion that I've seen THAT question brought up or addressed.

The question is whether the keidran can be competitive, culturally, technologically, or diplomatically, with longer-lived species. Not whether they can have a culture.
Gorillas and chimpanzees have "culture" as do the few remaining stone age hunter gatherers. They don't have "civilization." The very word means the construction of a city with non-familial and impersonal institutions to direct the lives and labor of its residents. Of course, the keidran are portrayed as having civilization. I think it's a fair question to ask whether that is realistic given their short lifespans. There are a lot of reasons to suspect an average life expectancy of 30 was a prerequisite to the pre-civilizational large settlements of the neolithic period. Humans have a later start to adulthood than keidran, yes, but 30 was an average, not a max limit.

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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#6 Post by SpottedKitty »

aitaituo wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:31 am Of course, the keidran are portrayed as having civilization. I think it's a fair question to ask whether that is realistic given their short lifespans. There are a lot of reasons to suspect an average life expectancy of 30 was a prerequisite to the pre-civilizational large settlements of the neolithic period. Humans have a later start to adulthood than keidran, yes, but 30 was an average, not a max limit.
That "average age of 30" bit turns out to have interesting complicating factors. Let's see if I can properly remember an explanation I came across a while back. The figure of 30 is an average for everyone at birth. As you age (and, more importantly, survive to at least the age of 5) that figure goes up — if you survive to "adult", whatever that is locally, the average expectancy rises to 60 or more. The simple average figure is skewed by increased infant mortality.
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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#7 Post by Dadrobit »

SpottedKitty wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:14 pm
aitaituo wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:31 am Of course, the keidran are portrayed as having civilization. I think it's a fair question to ask whether that is realistic given their short lifespans. There are a lot of reasons to suspect an average life expectancy of 30 was a prerequisite to the pre-civilizational large settlements of the neolithic period. Humans have a later start to adulthood than keidran, yes, but 30 was an average, not a max limit.
That "average age of 30" bit turns out to have interesting complicating factors. Let's see if I can properly remember an explanation I came across a while back. The figure of 30 is an average for everyone at birth. As you age (and, more importantly, survive to at least the age of 5) that figure goes up — if you survive to "adult", whatever that is locally, the average expectancy rises to 60 or more. The simple average figure is skewed by increased infant mortality.
This isn't the case for Keidran though. 30 is just their cap, no statistics wrangling here. :mrgrin:

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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#8 Post by Ddraig »

Dadrobit wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:26 pm
Ddraig wrote: Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:28 pm[snip]
I am by no means intending the following as a 'gotcha' or to stand as a refutation of your argument, but allow me to, out of curiosity, ask you how a theoretical situation fits into your stance:

Say a sentient and technological race exists which has a natural lifespan of 25 years max and a fertile window of 9-20 years old (i.e. early puberty to menopause equivalent). (for reference, humans' fertile window starts at age 12-14)
If they were a client species of Humans, would you expect them to adhere to Human age of consent standards among themselves? If not, would you regulate their half of a mixed-race couple up to human standards (obviously human-side would still have human standards)? If yes to the second question, why?

Second situation:
Flip the scenario. Humans are the comparatively short-lived client species of, say, an Asari-like or elf-like species. Same questions but this time about humans.
I think the best way to answer this hypothetical is with providing other examples of these scenarios that I have come across that are already more fully fleshed out.

The obvious parallel of Keidran lifespans I think is, (going along with your Asari reference) probably the Salarians of Mass Effect. The issue of an extremely short life and thus necessarily young mating age was circumvented by simply taking away their sex dive and making the act of mating a non-intimate cultural duty including no small amount of eugenics. Romance is almost entirely absent in fact as traditionally close interpersonal relations are perceived as a waste of time. Minus the whole eugenics aspect, this is one of the best solutions for an uncomfortably short lived race.

The second example I could think of which has come up on the boards before is that of Anton's Key which limits a person's life to about 20 years, (without incredible intervention like launching the person into space for a zero G environment for the rest of their life). It's a genetic mutation that exists in the Orson Scott Card universe that unlocks a form of gigantism. This particular aspect of gigantism manifests with incredible levels of perception and a nearly infinite ability to keep learning due to a constantly growing brain with the rest of their body. The person is born prematurely, but even so they require less attention than a normal baby due to their nearly immediate ability to learn and adapt. From there the body grows at the same rate as any other human into and through their teens. Through this particular detail, Card avoids uncomfortably young sex drives as puberty still only comes into effect into their teens leaving sex as something that happens well after a Keidran would be considered "adult." This limits their reproductive capacity to the last fifth or so of their life, but is a decent method for avoiding the ick factor.

The similarity here that is largely lacking in Keidran is their hyper-perceptive/intellectual natures. Outside of Euchre, Keidran are not really presented as particularly discerning individuals. To the opposite in fact, characters like Flora and Kathrin are instead portrayed as being quite child-like and impulsive. It reaaaaaaly doesn't help sell the idea of them being "adults" at 8 years.

Towards your last point of "What if humans are young in comparison?" I'm gonna go back to simply emphasizing that personal experience is paramount in younger people. A human is still manufacturing the building blocks of their decision making ideals well through their teens and into their twenties. But from the mid twenties on, in general the average person goes from creating ideals, to refining them. Yes, a person's ideals can absolutely stray wildly away from their 24 year old self by the time they're 72, but that swing is nothing when compared to the wildly erratic and impulsive natures of literal children whose principals fluctuate at the drop of a hat. Comparing the average 8 year old against the average 24 year old, there is a literal world of difference between the two in terms of abstract experience based decision making that objectively cannot be matched by any level of "brain maturity". But if we were to compare an average 24 year old to an average 72 year old, while certainly there is still a sizable difference, the 24 year old will still have a much more respectful level of decision making capacity by comparison. By the 24 year old's age, their principals are at least worth taking into consideration. Far more so than that of a 24 year old juxtaposed against an 8 year old. I think this disparity continues to flatten even if you were able to compare a 72 year old against a hypothetical 216 year old. Yes, the 216 year old is absolutely going to have a big leg up, but is someone who still has 72 years of experience going to be the equivalent of an impetuous 8 year old compared to a 24 year old? In my hypothetical opinion, no, not even close.
[heinlein snip]
I should clarify that I'm not speaking about this from a storytelling perspective, but rather from a realism/expectations one.

Humans (IRL) have no experience with other sentient (sapient?) species, so you have to step past the automatic ick reaction and look at the whys. That automatic reaction comes from an assumption of human development and physiology, so it doesn't *necessarily* apply when looking at species-wide morality, though it could be right.

Beyond the age of majority, obviously the relative disparities will be reduced, but the section in question is below the age of majority. Rate of maturation of species is going to be based on a few things: amount of information/events directly exposed to (yes, I will admit this is a driver, but I won't say it's a majority one), brain structure/tendencies/whatever (how perceptive the species naturally is), cultural environment (incl stories related, i.e. second- or third-hand experience, and cultural expectations/standards), and chemical/hormonal effects in the brain (e.g. invincibility of youth syndrome). I sincerely doubt that's an exhaustive list, just ones I can think of on the fly. Hell, humans even have sections of aging where the brain's capacity for learning drastically changes - for example the 'language window' of very young children.

Differently-aging races are inherently going to have different factors for each of those. Young elves, for example, might be tentative and slow learners, while young Keidran might naturally start highly risk-taking and thus end up exposed to a lot more earlier in life. Remember that our only real example of a Keidran kid is Maeve, and a sample size of 1 is a horrible representation. With a shorter lifespan, I imagine there's a greater emphasis placed on generational storytelling and second/third-hand experience.

And then you have to take into account the actual dangers of sex before the individual is mature enough (and using those dangers to establish what "mature enough" is). There's the obvious physical danger, which is solely tied to the physical growth rate (and pregnancy method - humans are weird* in this regard) of the species and is 100% determined by that, but there's the emotional/mental dangers, which is what we've been in the fine details of. If sex poses less (or more) risk mentally to a species (i.e. due to the above mentioned factors) then that species' safe age of consent shifts.



disclaimer: I have no post-secondary education/qualifications in this regard, and am entirely looking at this with what I consider common sense-examination.
*most animal pregnancies are physically nurturing by their nature, while human pregnancies are more akin to a contest or parasitism. The mother's body does its best to prevent a fetus from surviving while the fetus does its best to force the mother's body to allow it to survive. It's weird.
aitaituo wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:31 am
Spoiler!
Warrl wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:07 pm
Technic[Bot] wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:47 amhow come Keidran have a functioning civilization if they live onl 30 years?.
This is the very first occasion that I've seen THAT question brought up or addressed.

The question is whether the keidran can be competitive, culturally, technologically, or diplomatically, with longer-lived species. Not whether they can have a culture.
Gorillas and chimpanzees have "culture" as do the few remaining stone age hunter gatherers. They don't have "civilization." The very word means the construction of a city with non-familial and impersonal institutions to direct the lives and labor of its residents. Of course, the keidran are portrayed as having civilization. I think it's a fair question to ask whether that is realistic given their short lifespans. There are a lot of reasons to suspect an average life expectancy of 30 was a prerequisite to the pre-civilizational large settlements of the neolithic period. Humans have a later start to adulthood than keidran, yes, but 30 was an average, not a max limit.
It is worth noting that the primary driver of "Life Expectancy" was (and, for a good portion, is) infant mortality; the main reason average life expectancies went up was because the cultural group drove their infant mortality rates down. I wouldn't think those deaths would have a major (or, at least, direct) influence on generational information transfer. As another said, it doesn't really affect the Keidran numbers, but it does for finding accurate IRL comparisons.
Another couple factors to bear in mind: Keidran societies had the advantage of being able to reverse engineer from each other and from Humans, and, by my understanding, were created already at the early technological stage by the Masks.
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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#9 Post by aitaituo »

Ddraig wrote: Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:27 am
aitaituo wrote: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:31 am
Spoiler!
Warrl wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:07 pm
Technic[Bot] wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:47 amhow come Keidran have a functioning civilization if they live onl 30 years?.
This is the very first occasion that I've seen THAT question brought up or addressed.

The question is whether the keidran can be competitive, culturally, technologically, or diplomatically, with longer-lived species. Not whether they can have a culture.
Gorillas and chimpanzees have "culture" as do the few remaining stone age hunter gatherers. They don't have "civilization." The very word means the construction of a city with non-familial and impersonal institutions to direct the lives and labor of its residents. Of course, the keidran are portrayed as having civilization. I think it's a fair question to ask whether that is realistic given their short lifespans. There are a lot of reasons to suspect an average life expectancy of 30 was a prerequisite to the pre-civilizational large settlements of the neolithic period. Humans have a later start to adulthood than keidran, yes, but 30 was an average, not a max limit.
It is worth noting that the primary driver of "Life Expectancy" was (and, for a good portion, is) infant mortality; the main reason average life expectancies went up was because the cultural group drove their infant mortality rates down. I wouldn't think those deaths would have a major (or, at least, direct) influence on generational information transfer. As another said, it doesn't really affect the Keidran numbers, but it does for finding accurate IRL comparisons.
Another couple factors to bear in mind: Keidran societies had the advantage of being able to reverse engineer from each other and from Humans, and, by my understanding, were created already at the early technological stage by the Masks.
Yes, but there is a rather compelling hypothesis circulating in archaeological circles that in the paleolithic era (a very long era), not only was the life expectancy below 30, most people really did die well before 30. A decent number survived past that, but grandparents were uncommon and what we now call geriatric or middle aged people were rare. As technology advanced into the mesolithic, that slowly ticked up and grandparents become more common than uncommon. Grandparents are important for several reasons, but most critically because they can care for children, free up time for the parents, and dedicate their time to passing down knowledge to the grandchildren. Keep in mind, most social groups appear to have been at most a few families or a small semi-nomadic village, so a 50% grandparent rate is kind of big deal compared to a 15-35% rate. After reaching 30 years of life expectancy, humanity really only barely squeaked above that for the next 20,000 years.

I didn't want to bring all this up before, because at first glance this doesn't seem like a problem for keidran, does it? Their accelerated growth means that grandparents should be common if they can regularly reach 28+ at a medieval plus magic technology level. But we know from Tom that this world is very young. These civilizations are only a few thousand years old. After millions of years at a paleolithic level of technology, humanity achieved mesolithic technology and slowly advanced for another 10,000 years or so before building proto-civilizations in the neolithic. It was another 8,000-5,000 years to reach proto-industrial civilization, which failed to adopt industrial techniques largely because of slavery. It's a very slow and iterative process to develop the technology and cultivate the plants\animals necessary for civilization. I can only imagine it would be harder for a mainly carnivorous species like keidran. Every time someone dies before senescence, that process is held back. Every keidran enslaved by humans is a step back.

Edit: Also, while I do not wish to diminish the frighteningly high child mortality rates, during the paleolithic they were were probably lower than what you're thinking. Death in childbirth is only a 1-2% chance without any healthcare services for both the mother and the child. A big driver of childhood mortality was epidemic disease, which is largely a side effect of the population density enabled by civilization. Another big driver is malnutrition, but, strangely enough, paleolithic people tended to have less malnutrition than neolithic peoples and civilized peoples. Low population density also meant that there tended to be plenty of animals to hunt and wild animals to forage. Homicide, accident, lack of shelter, and animal attacks (hunting related) appear to have been bigger drivers (and we don't really know for sure) of death in the paleolithic than disease and pregnancy complication. Accidents, abuse, and homicide were likely still big drivers of child mortality because everything is terrible.

Did the masks gift the races with the knowledge necessary to kickstart a civilization? That would certainly change the variables for the realism question.

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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#10 Post by Yastreb »

Regarding ancient human lifespan, I have seen estimates that the average life expectancy at birth was 22-29 years for most of premodern era. What varied was child mortality. If we assume, say, that in stone age 20 % died soon after the birth and 25 % of the rest died before the age five years, then those who survived would live 30-40 years in average. Some would of course die between 5 and 30 while some would live into their 50s or even 60s. After the agricultural revolution child mortality went up, but if you did not die young you were also more likely to live a long life.

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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#11 Post by AmigaDragon »

Adding another tangent (as per the title), in Star Trek, Klingons, while capable of reaching geriatric ages, have a lower life expectancy due to their violent natures. In ST:Voyager, the Ocampa (Kes' race) only live to 9 years old, whether they always have since their ancient beginnings or something (Caretaker or something else) caused this short lifespan after the race was established.
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Re: On Keidran Lifespan and tangential subjects

#12 Post by Technic[Bot] »

aitaituo wrote: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:21 am - really big snip -

Did the masks gift the races with the knowledge necessary to kickstart a civilization? That would certainly change the variables for the realism question.
I think that is the crux of the question:
Would a species with a top lifespan of 30 years be able to develop a civilization and get out of prehistory or stone age? I find it unlikely. But as you mention the races in Mekkan are no naturally occurring, this has been mentioned a couple times in the forums even by Tom himself but as long as he does not write it on the comic its canonicity may change without warning. The mask apparently created the races around 4000 years ago, in comic time, seemingly out of boredom, again canonicity and details are sparce. So I imagine they simply bestowed their respective races with base technology if only to make the thing more interesting.
So if that is the case i think they live just enough for their culture not degrade over time, and anything they do not live enough to develop themselves they can copy from humans.
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