I watched Venom and then read https://rydra-wong.dreamwidth.org/79396.html
Rydra Wong's Walked Right Out Of The Machinery
, and so now I have Thoughts about parasites and symbiotes and civilisation. Not on the whole new thoughts, but I thought I'd write them down again anyway, since I keep going silent around here.
Stargate set up the goa'uld to be very alien and very limited, in their unbonded forms. The Tok'ra were living with the same biology, but made different moral choices about what to do with it. The Venom parasite has different constraints, not least that it eats its hosts. And then there's Jadzia Dax, treated very differently than all of the above, since the Dax symbiote doesn't stay a seperate voice in the host, an old being taking over a new life, they just conjoin completely, becoming together an entirely new being, or so the legal argument went.
We don't know much about the reproductive biology of Trill symbionts, or at least I don't. I hear there's stuff in the comics about Venom and his lot, but I don't know it. And that's a bit frustrating because you can go from the goa'uld's biological constraints to explaining their whole society. ... no I don't know how much the writers intended, and I haven't watched canon recently, but still, thoughts can happen. ( Read more... )
The thing is, Stargate wrote goa'uld as profoundly limited, biologically speaking. Impaired, compared to humans. Limited senses, no fine manipulators, possibly even limited capacity for thought. They are utterly dependent on their hosts for most functions.
And then Stargate presented them as evil because of this.( Read more... )
What would be a fair arrangement, for two minds in a single body?
Answer that, preferably with an array of choices, and you've got a solution to the raised problem, rather than just a Biologically Evil Species.
True symbiosis, instead of parasites.
It's frustrating when the story doesn't want the same answers.
Just a more efficient war.
Of course another answer is what Baal did, to create more bodies that didn't
have their own minds. Cloning technology opened up a whole new vista of possibilities for his species. ( Read more... )
Whether the symbiote needs the body or the mind of the host changes a lot about how they'd structure their society.
It's the difference between getting an exoskeleton and getting a friend, or teacher, or student.
The Tok'ra made a start, but they weren't great at it, and didn't take the symbiosis idea far enough. Individual, still not cultural. They could have magnified their ideas through far larger groups, but they were too constrained by secrecy to avoid being wiped out in that war.
... I feel like if they'd just bought a bunch of slaves and set up an experimental world somewhere they'd have done much better in the long run.
See the stories I'd tell, starting from the same biology, wouldn't so much be about the nukes and the shooting. That's the Problem. The solution is a lot about learning to be good neighbours, which means everyone getting their needs met. How they understand those needs is part of that. And they'd come up with a lot of different answers.( Read more... )
I haven't watched most of the source texts for this for a really
long time. Rewatch long overdue. So I'm sure I'm missing or misrememering a bunch of stuff.
But I had a thought to take for a walk, about parasites and symbiotes and the societies you'd need to build to make those lives work for everyone in them.
They'd need to work out a balance of priorities so both species had freedom to pursue personal projects and could improve the conditions for their own species and their own children.
The human ideal of attachment to a small group or an individual presents a model for a healthy relationship between symbiont and host.
But potentially the goa'uld greater good of improving the environment for the support of all future generations could present a model to improve how humans manage their worlds too. I mean, if you wanted to write them that way. They'd changed their whole way of life and engineered civilisations to support a far lower infant mortality rate for future generations and spread from one world to many. That was all good stuff.
It was just unfortunate that by making it more comfortable for the individual goa'uld parasite they'd cut themselves off from the data source that could let them understand how to make the whole thing work for everyone.
It would be way more interesting to write about sorting out that civilisation and working through the rebuilding than it is to write just blowing it up. Blowing it up is the same every time, figuring out how to mesh very different sets of needs is different.
I should write stories some time.