Burrabb Argument

It’s unlikely that any aliens we encounter will be as homogeneous as the ones that populate most science fiction films and television shows. Just as planets have diverse ecosystems so will intelligent species have a variety of political, religious and economic systems. They’re unlikely to all be warriors, all worship one set of gods and all be communists. If they all had the same beliefs they’d likely never build a civilization and never leave their home world. Intellectual and technical progress is much more likely to happen when multiple cultures are competing and trading and fighting with each other. When everyone gets along, when one lives in a Golden Age and everyone agrees that it’s a Golden Age, then life is likely to be kind of static. It might be an awesome, wonderful, even enriching status but a status it will be. Because if everyone is happy no one is likely to make an effort to change that status.

That doesn’t address what’s going on in this sketch (from 2003) other than to suggest that if there are Burrabb utopias this sketch doesn’t depict one. Or if it does the Burrabb idea of utopia involves a lot of snarling and waving of claws.

3 thoughts on “Burrabb Argument

  1. Decoration, personal and environmental, seems to be part of life. Fancy mating displays, bigger horns or an attractive nest lead to greater reproductive success. Colors that allow prey to blend or to appear to be more dangerous allow species to survive. Humans are just more conscious of how we decorate ourselves and our environment.

    Part of the fun of imagining aliens cultures for me is figuring out their fashions and home furnishings. The Burrabb are an aggressive species and have a thick rubbery sort of skin resists claws and teeth. The skin also scars and tattoos well so decorative scarring is part of most Burrabb cultures. It’s thickness allows “jewelry” to be implanted. In the case of the foreground fellow those tasseled nobs at the back of his head are screwed into sockets that have been implanted in the skin. He can replace them with other accessories depending on his mood.

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