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# Worldbuilding

What ifs
Posted: Posted November 28th, 2018 by chiarizio
 Firstly; what if somebody thought of a better thread-title? ———— Several possible features of a conpeople’s conculture, in ascending order of “it could happen!” (From the point of view of a male propositus) 1a. What if a man’s wife were usually young enough to be his daughter? 1b. What if a man’s wife were usually old enough to be his mother? 1c. What if a man’s sister were usually old enough to be his mother? 1d. What if a man’s sister were usually young enough to be his daughter? (With “usually” I bet all of those are absurd. (Replacing “frequently” instead of “usually” maybe they aren’t all absurd. (Replacing “sometimes” instead of “usually” probably actually happens IRL.) Remember WB means “Wife’s Brother” and ZH means “Sister’s Husband”. 2A. What if a man’s WB were usually young enough to be his son? 2b. What if a man’s WB were usually old enough to be his father? 2c. What if a man’s ZH were usually old enough to be his father? 2d. What if a man’s ZH were usually young enough to be his son? 3a. What if a man’s WBW were usually young enough to be his daughter? 3b. What if a man’s WBW were usually old enough to be his mother? 3c. What if a man’s ZHZ were usually old enough to be his mother? 3d. What if a man’s ZHZ were usually young enough to be his daughter? 4a. What if a man’s WBWB were usually young enough to be his son? 4b. What if a man’s WBWB were usually old enough to be his father? 4c. What if a man’s ZHZH were usually old enough to be his father? 4d. What if a man’s ZHZH were usually young enough to be his son? 5. And so on for WBWBW and ZHZHZ. (Keep going if you want to.) ———— From the point of view of a female proposita: 6a and 6b: what if a woman’s husband H were usually a. old enough to be her father b. young enough to be her son? 6c and 6d. What if a woman’s brother B were usually c. young enough to be her son d. old enough to be her father? 7a and 7b. What if a woman’s HZ (Husband’s Sister) were usually a. old enough to be her mother b. young enough to be her daughter? 7c and 7d. What if a woman’s BW (Brother’s Wife) were usually c. young enough to be her daughter d. old enough to be her mother? 8a and b. HZH father or son. 8c and d. BWB son or father 9a and b. HZHZ mother or daughter. 9c and d. BWBW daughter or mother 10 HZHZH or BWBWB, old enough for father or young enough for son. Keep going if you want. ————— Again, if you replace “usually” with “sometimes”, most of these probably occasionally have happened IRL. If you replace “usually” with “frequently”, they’re less absurd IRL. For both “usually” and “frequently” —— especially “usually” —— they get less absurd and more possible as the number of steps increases.
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Firstly; what if somebody thought of a better thread-title?

It can hardly be said better! If someone did, it would hardly convey the same no-nonsense approach to title creation that we've come to know and expect from you, eldin!

Several possible features of a conpeople’s conculture, in ascending order of “it could happen!”

(snip)

Again, if you replace “usually” with “sometimes”, most of these probably occasionally have happened IRL. If you replace “usually” with “frequently”, they’re less absurd IRL. For both “usually” and “frequently” —— especially “usually” —— they get less absurd and more possible as the number of steps increases.

I am sure there are many IRL instances of at least some of these. It was common practice even not so long ago for young girls to marry older fellows. In some places, the age difference can be decades.

I'm not aware of any primary world culture that sets itself up this way; but these are interesting considerations for the invented culture maker!

Even considering some of the more bizarre ones, I can see them (accidentally) happening among Daine. And of course, any secondary world where "immortal Elves" are part of the scene, even more bizarre things could happen.

Like Elrond being not only Aragorn's foster father but also quite literally his great-great-to-the-I-don't-know-how-many-generations-great uncle on account of Elros being Elrond's brother and Aragorn's direct ancestor. (First king of Numenor). And therefore, Arwen being his first cousin! :S

I suppose after something like 4000 years, Elrond could overlook the technical weirdness of that match.

In The World, it would certainly be possible for a young boy of perhaps 50 years to marry a girl of a 1000 years and who has descendants several generations distant that are his age. An unlikely match, but technically possible.

Also for the Aragorn~Arwen situation to arise: it would be quite possible for one sister to produce a daughter when she's a thousand years old and for her to marry a 15th generation descendant of her mother's sister. I think most folks would count that as at least somewhat incestuous. More so as the number of generations decreases.

Posted November 30th, 2018 by elemtilas
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Imagine a culture in which:
• husbands are always older than wives.
• oldest sons are always older than oldest daughters (e.g. because if the firstborn is female they do birth-order female infanticiide).
• the average husband’s age at marriage averages at least about 4/3 times the average wife’s age at marriage. (Say 24 to 18, or 28 to 21, or 20 to 15).
• the average male generation (average age difference between father and son) averages at least about 4/3 as long as the average female generation (average age difference between mother and daughter). (Say 24 to 18, or 28 to 21, or 20 to 15.)
• the average age-difference between husband and wife, averages at least about 4/3 as long as the average age-difference between brother and sister. (Say 6 to 4.5, or 7 to 5.25, or 5 to 3.75).

In such a culture a man’s ZH is probably older than he is, and his ZHZH is older yet. On the other hand his WB is probably younger than he is, and his WBWB is younger yet.
If his ZH is six years older and his ZHZH is twelve years older; and his WB is six years younger and his WBWB is twelve years younger; then his ZHZH is probably, on average, around 24 years older than his WBWB.

So his ZHZH is old enough to be his WBWB’s father.

To me that doesn’t seem at all far-fetched.

———

If we replace all the 4/3 in the above example with 3/2, we get a situation where a man’s ZHZ will usually be old enough to be his WBW’s mother.

(And a woman’s HZH will usually be old enough to be her BWB’s father.)

———

I remember reading at least one RL society in which a man’s ZH is usually old enough to be his WB’s father. There grooms were usually twice the bride’s age. 28 to 14, or 30 to 15, or 32 to 16, or 34 to 17. It just seemed too extreme to me.

• Posted November 30th, 2018 by chiarizio
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BTW I barely remember meeting my ZHZs, and don’t remember anything about my ZHZHs.
My latest ex wife had no brother.
But for my first wife, I distantly remember my WBWs, but don’t remember my WBWBs.

It’s probably common in my natculture to meet one’s ZHZHs and/or WBWBs only at weddings and funerals; and to meet ZHZs and WBWs only every other year at major holidays. Or, for women, to meet HZHs and BWBs only at holidays and HZHZs and BWBWs only at weddings and funerals.

My ZHZs were older than me if i recall correctly. For my first marriage so were my WBWs. Some of my ZHZs were a generation older; none of my WBWs were.

I can’t immediately call to mind any real-life circulum connubium I’ve ever met a member of.

———

What about anyone else who cares to respond here?

Posted November 30th, 2018 by chiarizio
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Anyone else care to share any personal experience with this topic?

Posted December 4th, 2018 by chiarizio
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Consider a society in which men usually marry for the first time at about age 26 yrs., and usually have their first child at about that age, too:
and women usually marry for the first time at about age 19, and also usually have their first child at about that age.

Say an eligible bachelor EGO, 26 yrs old, is his 52-y/o father F’s oldest child.
Say F has a 5-yrs-older sister, FZ (57 y/o for those of you playing at home).
Say FZ’s oldest daughter, FZD EGO’s cross-cousin, was born to FZ when FZ was 19 y/o. FZD is 38 now.
Say FZD’s oldest daughter W, EGO‘s first-coz-once-removed descending, was born when FZD was 19; then W is herself 19 now.
So EGO could marry W, his FZDD. He’s 26 and she’s 19.

And the whole schmear looks pretty dang reasonable.

If we made the ages 27 and 18, F and FZ could be “Irish twins”! (54 y/o).
Using 25 and 20, though, would require FZ to be 10 years older than F; F would be 50 and FZ would be 60, so EGO would be 25 but FZD would be 40.

—————

What if men prefer to marry their MMMBSD?
If female generations are 17 years but male generations are 33 years,
a 33-year-old male EGO might have a 50 y/o M, a 67-y/o MM, and an 84-y/o MMM.
OTOH a 17-y/o ALTER, let’s call her W, could have a 50-y/o father we’ll call WF; he’d have an 83-y/o father we’d call WFF. Possibly WFF could also be MMM’s one-year-younger brother, MMMB, so WF could be MM’s first cousin MMMBS; and W could be M’s second-cousin MMMBSD.

So the bride could be a generation “older”, yet 16 years younger, than the groom!

———

For W=FFZDDD (so H=MMMBSS), if female generations were 20 years and male generations were 25 years, we’d have H 25 y/o, HF 50 y/o, and HFF 75 y/o; while we’d have W 20, WM 40, WMM 60, and WMMM 80 y/o.
HFF and WMMM could be brother and sister, she 5 years older than him.

With the same generation lengths, consider
W=MMMMBSSD (and equivalently H=FFFZDDDS).

W 20
WF 45
WFF 70
WFFF 95

H 25
HM 45
HMM 65
HMMM 85
HMMMM 105

HMMMM and WFFF could be sister and brother, she ten years older than him.

Shorten the female generations to 18 years and lengthen the male generations to 27 years, and we’d get

W 18
WF 45
WFF 72
WFFF 99

H 27
HM 45
HMM 63
HMMM 81
HMMMM 99

so the bride’s FFF and the groom’s MMMM could be “Irish twin” brother and sister.

With female generations 19 years long and male generations 26 years long, we could get
W 19, WF 45, WFF 71, WFFF 97 years old; and
H 26, HM 45, HMM 64, HMMM 83, and HMMMM 102 years old.
An age difference of just 5 years; HMMMM being WFFF’s older sister.

—————

If 🤵 grooms are older than 👰 brides, and male generations are longer than female generations, it’s kinda simple to work out systems wherein men marry an nth-cousin-once-removed descending (a generation younger).
That is, for example, a ZD (I know, that’s a niece, not a cousin), or an FZDD, or an FFZDDD, or etc. (From the girls’ POV, H would be, respectively, MB, MMBS, MMMBSS, etc.)

But it’s more complicated to work out systems where men marry an nth-cousin-once-removed ascending (a generation “older”), while still keeping grooms older than brides, and male generations longer than female generations.
That is, for example, MMBD, or MMMBSD, or MMMMBSSD, or etc. (From the girls’ POV, H would be respectively FZDS, FFZDDS, FFFZDDDS, etc.)

==============================================

I’m mostly using generation lengths of 17 or 20 or 25 or 33 years.

If male generations are 33 years, and H is a 33-y/o groom, his father HF is probably about 66, and his grandfather HFF is around 99.
If male generations are 25 years, and H is a 25-y/o groom, his father HF is around 50; his grandfather HFF is about 75; and his great-grandfather HFFF is about 100.
If male generations are 20 years, and H is a 20-y/o groom, his father HF is around 40; his grandfather HFF is about 60; his great-grandfather HFFF is about 80; and his great^2-grandfather is about 100.

If female generations are 25 years, and W is a 25-y/o bride, her mother WM is around 50; her grandmother WMM is about 75; and her great-grandmother WMMM is about 100.
If female generations are 20 years, and W is a 20-y/o bride, her mother WM is around 40; her grandmother WMM is about 60; her great-grandmother WMMM is about 80; and her great^2-grandmother is about 100.
If female generations are 17 years, and W is a 17-y/o bride, her mother WM is around 34; her grandmother WMM is about 51; her great-grandmother WMMM is about 68; her great^2-grandmother is about 85; and her great^3-grandmother is about 102.

So, for 33 for males and 25 for females, the groom’s grandfather HFF could be 99 and the bride’s great grandmother WMMM could be his 100-y/o sister. That is the 33-year-old groom’s FFZDDD 2nd-coz-once-removed could be his 25-year-old bride.
For 25 for males and 20 for females, the 25-years-old groom H’s great-grandfather HFFF might be 100, while the bride’s GGgrandmother WMMMM might be his 100-y/o “Irish Twin” sister. H’s bride W could be his 3rd-coz-once-removed FFFZDDDD.
And for 20 for males and 17 for females, the 20-years-old groom H’s 100-year-old GGgrandfather HFFFF could be the kid brother of H’s 17-year-old bride W’s 102-years-old GGGgrandmother WMMMMM. That is , W could be H’s 4th-coz-once-removed FFFFZDDDDD.

Relations don’t have to be that distant if we allow greater age-gaps between the apical brother-sister pair.

For instance, with 33/25, if HF is 66 and his sister WMM is 75, then W could be H’s 25 y/o 1st-coz-once-removed FZDD.

Or for 25/20, maybe HFF is 75 and his big sister WMMM is 80, and W is H’s 20 year old 2nd-coz-once-removed FFZDDD. Or HF is 50 and his ten-years-older sister is 60-years-old WMM, so W is H’s 20-y/o 1st-coz-once-removed FZDD.

And for 20/17, 80-year-old HFFF is only 5 years younger than 85-year-old WMMMM. They could easily be brother and sister. If they are, maybe W is 20-year-old H’s 17-y/o 3rd-coz-once-removed FFFZDDDD. Or 60-y/o HFF is only 8 years younger than 68-y/o WMMM; if they were brother and sister we’d have W=FFZDDD, a 2nd-coz-1-removed. (I don’t want to work with the 11-year age-gap between 40-y/o HF and 51-y/o WMM.)

With bigger differences in the sexes’ generation-lengths, the nth-cousins might be twice-removed instead of once-removed.

For instance, with 33 for men but 20 for women, HFF could be 99 while WMMMM was 100, making W=FFZDDDD, a 2nd-coz-2-removed. And with 25/17, HFFF might be 100 when WMMMMM was 102, and maybe W=HFFFZDDDDD, a 3rd-coz-2-removed. Actually for 25/17 it might be better if 50-y/o HF and 51-y/o WMM were siblings, so W=HFZDD, a 1st-coz-1-removed.

==============================================

Someone six degrees away has about 1/64 of their variable genome in common with you because you both inherited from the same common recent ancestor and ancestress; the parents of the apical brother/sister pair of recent ancestors. Unless there’s another relationship of six degrees. (For purposes of this paragraph I’ll just ignore relatives seven or more degrees away; and I’ll assume we’ve already said the closest relationship is six degrees long.)
That would mean if you had offspring together you each might contribute 1/128 of the offspring’s variable genome drawn from that pool. Everyone has only 46 chromosomes; 1/64 of a genome is less than one chromosome, and 1/128 of a genome is less than half a chromosome. If there weren’t any crossover events, I’m estimating that odds are your shared offspring is no likelier to inherit a double dose of something, than they would be if you and your spouse were total strangers-in-blood.

So second-cousins-once-removed should be pretty safe, in regards to inbreeding. The trouble is to get the ages to match up right.

Posted December 16th, 2018 by chiarizio
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What if, in order to attend a lame-duck session, a lame-duck legislator had to actually BE lame?

“You can make motions and debate and vote; but only if you let us break your leg first.”

Posted December 16th, 2018 by chiarizio
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What if, in order to attend a lame-duck session, a lame-duck legislator had to actually BE lame?

“You can make motions and debate and vote; but only if you let us break your leg first.”

Probably in time, it will become sufficient for such legislators to each bring with them a duck, whose leg will be broken in lieu.

The lame-duck becomes a scape-duck before becoming a peking-duck!

Posted December 17th, 2018 by elemtilas
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What if, in order to attend a lame-duck session, a lame-duck legislator had to actually BE lame?

“You can make motions and debate and vote; but only if you let us break your leg first.”

Probably in time, it will become sufficient for such legislators to each bring with them a duck, whose leg will be broken in lieu.

The lame-duck becomes a scape-duck before becoming a peking-duck!

:lol:

—————

What if society preferred each one to marry
one’s
parent’s parent’s sibling’s child’s spouse’s sibling’s spouse’s parent’s sibling’s child’s child?

For instance, a man should marry his MFZSWBWFZSD,
or a woman should marry her FMBDHZHMBDS.

Anyway a(n) (F,M)(F,M)(B,Z)(SW,DH)(BW,ZH)(F,M)(B,Z)(S,D)(S,D) .

Would my battery still die?

Good night!

Posted December 17th, 2018 by chiarizio
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BTW there’s the “I Am My Own Grampaw” situation.
I marry a widow and thereby acquire a stepdaughter;
my widower father and my stepdaughter fall in love together and marry each other.
That makes me my father’s stepfather-in-law.
It also makes me my stepdaughter’s stepson.
So I am my own dubstepgrandfather.
(And my own dubstepgrandson.)

My stepdaughter has now become her mother’s stepmother-in-law.
And she is her stepson’s stepdaughter; i.e. she is her own dubstepmother and her own dubstepdaughter.

My father is now his daughter-in-law’s son-in-law.
My wife is now her son-in-law’s daughter-in-law.

:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;::;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;

Let’s see whether I can figure this out.

In the beginning,
Al and Bill are father and son, and
Claire and Dot are mother and daughter.
Bill’s mom is gone; either deceased, or divorced from Al.
Dot’s dad is likewise out of the picture, whether dead or Claire’s ex.

Then Bill and Claire marry one another. That makes
Bill and Claire become husband and wife; and it makes
Al and Claire father-in-law and daughter-in-law; and it makes
Bill and Dot stepfather and stepdaughter.
I don’t think we have or need a name for the relationships between Al and Dot up to this point.

Now Al and Dot marry one another; thus
Al and Dot become husband and wife. Consequently
Al and Claire become son-in-law and mother-in-law; and
Bill and Dot become stepson and stepmother.

So:
Al is Bill’s father and Bill is Al’s stepfatherinlaw; making Al be Al’s own grandstepfatherinlaw.
Al is Claire’s fatherinlaw and Claire is Al’s motherinlaw; making Al be Al’s own grandfatherinlawinlaw.

Bill is Al’s son and Al is Bill’s stepsoninlaw; making Bill be Bill’s own grandstepsoninlaw.
Bill is Dot’s stepfather and Dot is Bill’s stepmother; making Bill be Bill’s own grandstepstepfather. Or should that be, stepgrandstepfather?

Claire is Al’s daughterinlaw and Al is Claire’s soninlaw, making Claire be Claire’s own granddaughterinlawinlaw.
Claire is Dot’s mother and Dot is Claire’s stepmotherinlaw; making Claire be Claire’s own grandstepmotherinlaw.

Dot is Bill’s stepmother and Bill is Dot’s stepfather; making Dot be Dot’s own stepgrandstepmother (or something).
... and so on ...

:;:;:;:::;:;:;:;:

It’s tangled —— or, rather, sounds tangled —— because each of the four parties has a separate first-degree kinship with each of two of the other three parties, and therefore has two separate second-degree relationships with the remaining, fourth, party. So everyone has also a 3rd-degree relationship with everyone with whom they have a 1st-degree relationship; and, to continue, each one has two different 4th-degree relationships with themselves.

Posted December 30th, 2018 by chiarizio
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This post might be a good candidate for Canon Critique, but I think it fits better here in World & Culture.

An oft-seen device in Fantasy literature and games is that whatever a character believes about the afterlife, will be true of their afterlife.

What if, instead, whatever the character believes about the afterlife, is the one thing guaranteed NOT to be true of their afterlife?

—————

Maybe a similar principle could be applied to supernatural spiritual beings of power, such as gods, angels, and demons.

An oft-seen trope is that the more believers a god has, and the stronger their faith, the more powerful the god is or becomes.

What if that were somehow turned on it’s head, or otherwise twisted?

Posted January 13th, 2019 by chiarizio
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