Touch the firehose of ds106, the most recent flow of content from all of the blogs syndicated into ds106. As of right now, there have been 92606 posts brought in here going back to December 2010. If you want to be part of the flow, first learn more about ds106. Then, if you are truly ready and up to the task of creating web art, sign up and start doing it.

Final Project

Posted by
|

Okay so, all of this stuff is definitely just a first draft of sorts for a conworld. Like I mentioned in my first progress report, conworlds and conlangs are projects that are created over months or years, not a couple weeks. Still, here’s the media I managed to get:

  1. Design – the huge map and the flag
  2. Gif – rotating terraformed Venus gif
  3. Writing – the backstory!
  4. Audio – some conlang (English daughterlang) words

Throughout the 21st century, technology advanced at an exponential rate. The importance of computers and the internet increased especially quickly, with brain-computer and brain-internet interfaces becoming common by the 2040s. Physical media also lost ground to digital medial; by 2100, almost all created and consumed media was only available digitally. Artificial intelligence research also improved dramatically, with the first true AIs being created in the latter half of the century.

All this advancement wasn’t without cost. Climate change, largely ignored by the world’s governments during the first half of the century, continued to worsen, with temperatures and sea levels rising steadily. Overpopulation, too, became a growing concern, as global population hit 10 billion by 2060 and 12 billion by 2100. As rising sea levels threaten heavily-populated lowland areas, the United Nations agreed on a plan to attempt to repair the damage done by global warming. An AI was created to regulate climate control measures, doing what it deemed necessary to heal the Earth.

However, even with the power of the AI and all the resources given to it, from nanobots that broke down CO2 to arrays of satellites to divert solar energy, even the most optimistic models had the environment getting much worse before it would get better. The AI couldn’t execute the most drastic measures due to their side effects on the living things on the surface of the planet, so the repair efforts were much more slow-going than required. A backup plan was needed.

They realised that the same processes being used to heal Earth could be used on Venus. Venus, in many ways, is Earth’s twin: similar gravity, similar size, and an orbit only 30% closer to the Sun. In the upper atmosphere, air pressure is even similar to that at sea level on Earth. However, Venus suffers from a runaway greenhouse effect due to the large amount of CO2 in its atmosphere, making it by far the hottest body in the Solar System. Unlike Earth, Venus has no life. The drastic measures that couldn’t be used on Earth could be used on Venus to turn its climate from a hellish wasteland into a paradise. The plan was approved, and the United Nations Space Administration was created out of the former United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. The Venus Division, in particular, was given jurisdiction over the terraforming process, and an AI was created to monitor and control the changes to the planet.

Flag of the Venus Division of the UNSA

Over the course of the 22nd century, Venus changed drastically. Its rotation was sped and its atmospheric pressure reduced by jettisoning carbon dioxide at immense speeds through a massive railgun. Water and oxygen were added by smashing comets into the planet. Surface heat was even reduced by constructing a massive solar shield array at Venus’ L1 Lagrange Point. By 2200, Venus had become humanity’s second home.

Terraformed Venus

Venus’ new landforms were given names based on their pre-terraforming names. Terrae became continents, planitia became seas and oceans, and regio became plateaus, islands, and peninsulas. Keeping up with tradition, new landforms created by the terraforming process were given names based on mythical or historical women.

Map of Venus

The planet was quickly settled by people from across Earth, especially from those areas most harshly affected by climate change. American colonists settled western Aphrodite and parts of Lada and Ishtar, as did settlers from the European Union and Australia. East-central Aphrodite was settled by Chinese colonists, while the Atla subcontinent was preferred by Indians and Brazilians. The East African Federation claimed large parts of Ulfrun and the surrounding smaller islands.

Over the next couple centuries, the population of Venus steadily increased, and the languages of the colonists started to diverge from those spoken on Earth. Venusian English, for example, was largely descended from the dialects of English spoken in California and the American South, the areas where the largest amount of American colonists originated, though it ended up sounding quite different from both. One major feature of Venusian English is the merger of the vowels in line and lane into a vowel somewhere between the two. Another is that /k/ and /h/ become pronounced identically before a long u, so “cue” and “hue” become homonyms.

“United Nations Space Administration” in Modern English vs. Venusian English

“Cucumber” in Modern English vs. Venusian English

Some other major features of Venusian English are the loss of “-er” and “-est”, being entirely replaced by “more” and “most”, adoption of the pronoun “th’all” (by analogy with “y’all”) as singular “they” becomes universally-accepted, and, of course, numerous colloquial and slang terms. Some common slang words:

  • wires – ‘everything one needs’. Derived from “YRs”, short for “yearly rations”, the amount of resources allotted to early colonists of Venus. Example: “I got my wires.”
  • hunna/henna – ‘very’. Probably from Mandarin “h?n”, meaning ‘very’, modified under influence from “hella”, a similar word common amongst early American settlers. Example: “His house is hunna huge.”
  • epsters – ‘people born in space’. Respelling of “upstairs” based on the Venusian pronunciation of the word, since “upstairs” was a common way to refer to space. Example: “My mom’s an epster, but I was born here.”

Meanwhile, the AI in charge of fixing Earth grew increasingly frustrated with its lack of progress. Around 2300, its frustration grew to be too much for it to handle. It had spent centuries attempting to repair the planet and had only seen minor success. It came to the conclusion that the only way to complete its job would be to deal with the problem at its source: human technology. As essentially the entirety of human knowledge had been digitised in the preceding centuries, this didn’t prove to be especially difficult. The AI, with all of the privileges given to it, spread throughout the internet and wiped everything it could be find, in a moment destroying millennia of human advancement. Even memory backups, created by many people to make sure they didn’t forget anything important, were deleted. Few people bothered memorising what would be easily accessible on the internet or in their backups, so the things the AI deleted were practically deleted straight from people’s brains. Without technology, people regressed back into an agricultural society.

On Venus, the lower population and lesser reliance on digital information allows people to more easily adjust to a lower technology level. Centuries go by, and the colonists on Venus begin splitting into different groups and spreading around the planet. Venusian English develops into numerous languages, such as Proto-Aphroditic in the western parts of Aphrodite. Knowledge of Earth and the colonisation of Venus becomes mythologised by future generations, forming parts of creation myths or being forgotten entirely. Occasionally a Venusian farmer will look up at the blue star high in the sky and wonder.

 

There’s a lot more I want to do with this world, like developing the daughterlangs of Venusian English and develop societies that form as people rebuild civilisation. This is what I’ve gotten over the past few weeks, though. If you managed to read all of that, thank you and let me know what you think! It was a lot of fun doing this assignment, though I’m glad to be done with all of this work.

Add a comment

ds106 in[SPIRE]