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    The Scattering/Famine Times

    Postby BasharTeg » 16 Oct 2008 15:11

    I was hoping I could get a discussion going on the Scattering and the Famine Times. This seemed to be a gray area for me when I first read Heretics and Chapterhouse. I believe I know the basics, but I was hoping to have someone or everyone post a sort of abbreviated bulletin with all the points of the Scattering and subsequent Famine Times.

    When the Lost Ones return, the arrival of the Honored Matres, and the elusive Outside Enemy. I know when Leto II dies, the spice was extremely limited and so all the thousands of worlds were on their own for 1,500 years. But in the long scheme of things it doesn't seem like enough time for all of these things to have happened (development of Honored Matres and so forth). Considering it took many thousands of years for the different schools (Bene Gesserit, Tleilax, Fremen, etc) to fully develop.

    Also, how exactly did the Face Dancers rise above their slave-like servitude to become these superior beings that we find towards the end of Chapterhouse.

    I hope I didn't babble and we can answer some of these questions, thanks!
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    Postby Drunken Idaho » 16 Oct 2008 15:25

    This is a convenient topic, as I've just begun re-reading Heretics :D

    I've also always had the impression that 1500 years seems like a short time for all this to happen. But I think we're all just conditioned to immense time-spans, such as Leto's reign.

    IIRC, face-dancers became so powerful from the gathering of various personas and intellects. Isn't that how Marty and Daniel did it? Or was that just in the sequels? :oops:
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    Re: The Scattering/Famine Times

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Oct 2008 15:26

    BasharTeg wrote:I was hoping I could get a discussion going on the Scattering and the Famine Times. This seemed to be a gray area for me when I first read Heretics and Chapterhouse. I believe I know the basics, but I was hoping to have someone or everyone post a sort of abbreviated bulletin with all the points of the Scattering and subsequent Famine Times.


    Idaho and Siona take over Leto's empire. Other than that we don't know much.

    When the Lost Ones return,


    Unknown, appearantly recently (assuming you're refering to the returning Tleilaxu).

    the arrival of the Honored Matres, and the elusive Outside Enemy.


    We are told the Honored Matres are estimated to have been on Gammu 100 years before Teg is sent there. The "enemy of many faces" has not arrived.

    I know when Leto II dies, the spice was extremely limited and so all the thousands of worlds were on their own for 1,500 years. But in the long scheme of things it doesn't seem like enough time for all of these things to have happened (development of Honored Matres and so forth). Considering it took many thousands of years for the different schools (Bene Gesserit, Tleilax, Fremen, etc) to fully develop.


    The Honored Matres didn't develope fully, they are offshoots of the scattered Bene Gesserits and Fish Speakers.

    Also, how exactly did the Face Dancers rise above their slave-like servitude to become these superior beings that we find towards the end of Chapterhouse.


    The BT introduce a new Face Dancer in the last two books that can copy the persona of their victem. They copy their victem so well that they forget that they are face dancers. I assume the Lost Masters in The Scattering developed a parallel program that got out of control.

    I hope I didn't babble and we can answer some of these questions, thanks!


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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Oct 2008 15:29

    I think development happened a lot faster out in the Scattering because they had broken free from the laws of the Butlerian Jihad, and presumably from the fuedal ruling system of the old empire. Advancement was much slower in the 10,000 years before Muad'dib (and during Leto II's rule) because all of humanity had stagnated.

    Look at how fast we are advancing right now in real life, if we assume a rate of change and advance someting like what we have now on Earth for the peoples out in the Scattering, I don't think 1500 years is too short a time for anything, let alone the things you've listed. I think 500 years would have ben plenty. Maybe you have some ther examples of what you are thinking of?
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    Postby Drunken Idaho » 16 Oct 2008 15:59

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:I think development happened a lot faster out in the Scattering because they had broken free from the laws of the Butlerian Jihad, and presumably from the fuedal ruling system of the old empire. Advancement was much slower in the 10,000 years before Muad'dib (and during Leto II's rule) because all of humanity had stagnated.

    Look at how fast we are advancing right now in real life, if we assume a rate of change and advance someting like what we have now on Earth for the peoples out in the Scattering, I don't think 1500 years is too short a time for anything, let alone the things you've listed. I think 500 years would have ben plenty. Maybe you have some ther examples of what you are thinking of?


    Bear in mind that most people live a shitload longer in Dune (exactly how long, I don't know... Teg was 300 when he died). So you could say that 1500 years might be the equivalent of 500 years...
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Oct 2008 16:04

    Drunken Idaho wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:I think development happened a lot faster out in the Scattering because they had broken free from the laws of the Butlerian Jihad, and presumably from the fuedal ruling system of the old empire. Advancement was much slower in the 10,000 years before Muad'dib (and during Leto II's rule) because all of humanity had stagnated.

    Look at how fast we are advancing right now in real life, if we assume a rate of change and advance someting like what we have now on Earth for the peoples out in the Scattering, I don't think 1500 years is too short a time for anything, let alone the things you've listed. I think 500 years would have ben plenty. Maybe you have some ther examples of what you are thinking of?


    Bear in mind that most people live a shitload longer in Dune (exactly how long, I don't know... Teg was 300 when he died). So you could say that 1500 years might be the equivalent of 500 years...


    True, but I don't know that that would cause advancement to slow down (technological advancement anyways) though it would slow down societal changes. Still plenty of time for unique cultures to show up.
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    Postby SandChigger » 16 Oct 2008 21:04

    I'm not convinced that such longevity would slow down even societal changes, given a growing population.

    Then again, colonial populations do tend towards conservatism, so maybe it would all balance out.

    Let's try it and see! :D
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    Postby BasharTeg » 16 Oct 2008 21:16

    Did we ever actually find out that the Honored Matres were derived from the Fish Speakers and Bene Gesserit? I thought it was only hinted at. I don't know if that's something from the sequels, as I read about 300 pages of Hunters of Dune, threw up, and burned it.
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    Postby Omphalos » 16 Oct 2008 21:36

    SandChigger wrote:I'm not convinced that such longevity would slow down even societal changes, given a growing population.

    Then again, colonial populations do tend towards conservatism, so maybe it would all balance out.

    Let's try it and see! :D


    I don't think it would slow down changes at all. What it would do is change the perspective of innovation, so that multi-generational programs are no longer so daunting. I think that would probably speed up innovation.
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    Postby SandChigger » 16 Oct 2008 21:47

    At the very least it would increase the productive span of individual researchers and inventors. ;)


    (BasharTeg, the "Dune 7" impostor books give an explanation of the origin of the HMs that initially seems like it might be something thought up by Frank himself (they were "tanked" Bene Tleilaxu females rescued by BGs and FishSpeakers). Unfortunately, the presentation in the sequels is sadly lacking and doesn't really make much sense. It's just their way of explaining why the HMs hate the BT enough to destroy all their planets.)
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    Postby Omphalos » 16 Oct 2008 21:53

    Yea, that too. Institutional memories would get a hulluva lot longer.
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    Postby Laphtiya » 17 Oct 2008 06:49

    Drunken Idaho wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:I think development happened a lot faster out in the Scattering because they had broken free from the laws of the Butlerian Jihad, and presumably from the fuedal ruling system of the old empire. Advancement was much slower in the 10,000 years before Muad'dib (and during Leto II's rule) because all of humanity had stagnated.

    Look at how fast we are advancing right now in real life, if we assume a rate of change and advance someting like what we have now on Earth for the peoples out in the Scattering, I don't think 1500 years is too short a time for anything, let alone the things you've listed. I think 500 years would have ben plenty. Maybe you have some ther examples of what you are thinking of?


    Bear in mind that most people live a shitload longer in Dune (exactly how long, I don't know... Teg was 300 when he died). So you could say that 1500 years might be the equivalent of 500 years...


    Just because people live longer doesnt mean 1500 years is the equivalent to 500 years. If anything production and development would speed up. Innovation would be faster because developers live longer and have more time to experiment and expand. People are not trying to reverse engineer a product wasting a good deal of their lifetime trying to figure out how something from a previous inventor works before being able to improve on it.

    Social development might be slower yes, technology wouldn't. However seeing as technology has had a massive effect on social life in the real world the two could expand at the same rate. So 1500 is a long time for a group or culture to develop, for an example look at America, how much has it changed since its formation? Okay the core structure of America is almost the same with only additions to the constitution but it is a far different america than it was back in the early days.

    For me the Face Dancers could have been an experiment that the TM's took out into the scattering, and lost control of them and they decided to become their own masters. The Honored Matres I am sure it is hinted alot if not confirmed that they are of Bene Gesserit origin mixed in with the Fish Speakers.
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    Postby inhuien » 17 Oct 2008 08:00

    This 300 years lifespan is a dead-end, Melange, in small quantities, may well have been taken out with the scattering but not enough for the average lifespan to be three times plus what it is now. Remember there was no known planet other than Dune which had, past tense, a spice cycle.
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    Postby Laphtiya » 17 Oct 2008 09:11

    inhuien wrote:This 300 years lifespan is a dead-end, Melange, in small quantities, may well have been taken out with the scattering but not enough for the average lifespan to be three times plus what it is now. Remember there was no known planet other than Dune which had, past tense, a spice cycle.


    There was a so called substitute that the Honored Matres were using. Maybe that expanded the life span? And dont forget in the case of the BT they would have used Golahs and lived forever
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    Postby inhuien » 17 Oct 2008 10:21

    The substitute was used in the Honoured Matres attempt to recreate the Agony so that they could have their own Reverend Mothers. It's wasn't a substitute for Melange per se but rather Water of Live.
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    Postby SandChigger » 17 Oct 2008 10:28

    Slow down there! ;)

    Where does it say that the HM drug increased lifespan? (And with the way the HMs lived, killing each other, how could you ever tell, either way? :lol: )

    Also, where is there evidence that the use of gholas for longevity among the BT was available to anyone besides the Masters?

    Inhuien brings up an excellent point. The fact that the spice and spice essence was unavailable to the BG who went into the Scattering is the primary reason that those who merged with the FishSpeakers and became the HMs lost their identity as Bene Gesserit and their ability to access Other Memory and to fight disease and poison...the latter being one of the main reasons they came fleeing back to the Old Empire, because The Enemy was using a biological weapon on them that turned them into vegetables.

    (And there's another piece of evidence for The Enemy being BT-created/run amok Face Dancers: they can't reproduce on their own (they're sterile mules) but brain-dead HM would make perfect tanks! Why bother turning your enemy into human vegetables when you could just kill them dead?)
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 17 Oct 2008 12:38

    Didn't it say in Heretics that Teg was 300 without spice?
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    Postby BasharTeg » 17 Oct 2008 16:07

    About the life spans post-famine times/scattering.

    I'm just trying to comprehend if the average person lived to be 300 years old, even in some far off future.

    If you take today, for example you lived for three hundred years from 1700-2000. How would you handle all of the social, economic, and political, not to mention technical changes that would take place?

    or

    Do you think these things would be tempered by the fact that people lived so long? Because I think that in the 1500 years between the death of Leto II and the beginnings of Heretics there were only five lifespans. Do you feel that people would get so much more done in that extended time or basically just do the same amount of stuff spread out over their lives.

    If we look at the Lord of the Rings, particularly the Silmarillion (which I have to say I love more than Dune, but its close) the Numenorean Kings lived to be 300-500 years. But they had children very late in life and it didn't necessarily advance their civilizations as far as you'de think it would. I don't know if I should compare LOTR and Dune, but they are considered by many to be the top Fantasy and top Sci-fi works of all time.
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 17 Oct 2008 17:58

    This is kind of a tricky question, it relies on a lot of speculation with vvery little to base that speculation on from our own experiences. I don't think any one person would do less in "per year" just because they were going to live longer, except for maybe the useless lazy people. I think the productive people would just have that much longer to be productive. As far as there only being 5 life-spans in leto's reign, that doesn't necessarily mean there weren't many generations, really depends on how long the average person waited before having kids.

    As far as them emotionally handling all the change - it would probably be a bit to deal with, but you have to remember that they'd still be experiencing the change at the same rate as anyone else, regardless of tootal life-span. So while they might look back and think "holy shit, what a change", they really had as much time to adjust to it as anyone else. I guess this is also a tough one to call - it really would depend on how flexible that person's perceptions were.



    At then end of the day I think progress would go pretty much as expected, certainly faster in some areas, and slower in others, but pretty much the same overall would be my guess.
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    Postby SandChigger » 17 Oct 2008 18:59

    We learned how to learn. Before us, instinct-ridden researchers possessed a limited attention span—often no longer than a single lifetime. Projects stretching across fifty or more lifetimes never occurred to them.
    —from the Bene Gesserit Creed

    ;)

    In times and places where the spice was available for normal geriatric use, the average life span seems to have been 300 SY ("some twenty hours" shorter than the "primitive year", or around 8,746 hrs, remember!)...

    Leto II ... lived more than ten times the normal span of three hundred SY

    ...a lifetime of things to see and learn, even the lifetime of some three hundred Standard Years he could reasonably expect.

    But take away the spice and...??? During the Famine Times conditions were a bit...unsettled, to say the least, and there was eventually little or no spice to go around. People who could—who had access to no-ships—got out and away. Everyone else would have been pretty much stuck where they were, because the necessity of relying on its stockpiles would no doubt have caused the Guild to restrict travel severely. IMO the lifespan on most planets would have dropped precipitously. I think the "only five lifespans" between Leto and Heretics misses the point: there would have been very few places where spice was available to maintain such long lives.

    And it certainly would not hold out in the Scattering with even more limited spice supplies. In a much more dangerous environment.

    BasharTeg, it's interesting that you bring up Tolkien, because I was thinking of his Elves while reading this thread last night. It occurred to me that what the Immortals know is that nothing lasts forever. Including immortals. ;)

    Personality death is a reality one would have to come to terms with eventually. I can't remember whether Tolkien ever touches on the matter (he did have his Elven languages change slowly over time), but I think FH was aware of the problem:

    How could any thinking creature live more than three thousand years? Not even the wildest projections of geriatric spice allowed such a lifespan.

    His inclusion of "thinking" there makes me think that he might not have been talking about just the physiological aspects.

    We all change with time. Given enough time, we could (unavoidably would?) become completely different people. Some would find that abhorrent, try to avoid it.

    Maybe what saved Leto was his superhuman memory abilities? ;)
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    Postby Laphtiya » 18 Oct 2008 04:23

    When I was saying that they are using Gholas for longevity I was making an assumption that the masters would be doing this. They were doing this at the time of Heretics to make themselves immortal, the masters would have taken this into the scattering. I didn't say that they would be using it for anyone else, but it is possible that these new facedancers could have taken the secret from their masters and began to use it for themselves. I was just suggesting that the HM drug could possibly extend lifespan, I know it was to replace the spice essence but it still could happen.
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    Postby BasharTeg » 18 Oct 2008 19:42

    When I was referring to Tolkien, I wasn't necessarily referring to the Elves, who were immortal. I thought a parallel could be drawn between the 300 year life span of the spice users in Dune and the Numenorean Kings of the Second age whose original life spans were 300-500 years, and only dwindled as the centuries went by and then bred with "lower classes of Men".

    I guess you could draw parallels of the Elves and the ghola "immortals" such as the BT Masters, although there are obvious differences.

    For those of you who haven't read much Tolkien or just Lord of the Rings I highly reccomend the Silmarillion and his Unfinished Tales. There is such a broad wealth of histories and knowledges out there that it is very similar to Frank Herbert's Dune Universe.

    I work at an independent bookstore and anytime I see someone buy a Dune book I always recommend LOTR and if I see someone buying LOTR I recommend the Silmarillion or The Children of Hurin. Great reads.

    I don't consider myself a big fantasy guy. Sci-fi is my favorite genre, and LOTR is the only fantasy I've read, but it is such an epic work that I truly put it in a place of its own.
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    Postby SandChigger » 18 Oct 2008 20:14

    Tolkien's kings of men were probably modeled after the "long-livers" in Genesis. Closer to the original creation, they were superior models. ;)

    Med-tech and the spice with some increases due to breeding are the best assumption for people in the Duniverse, IMHO. (Even the original Teg would have been ingesting spice in some small quantities, living among the BG, no?) Lose the first two and fall back only on genetics and I imagine that the average lifespan of 300 SY would probably drop significantly.
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 23 Jan 2009 12:30

    SandChigger wrote:Then again, colonial populations do tend towards conservatism, so maybe it would all balance out.


    Man, that is a idiosyncratic subjective view or there is actually any data whatsoever on that? Can you cite references? Not that i doubt you, i actually kinda feel this to be right, but i never saw anything that could confirm it...
    Marcio (mrpsbrk) does believe in Lord Leto over all other wills and reasons ;-)
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    Postby SandChigger » 23 Jan 2009 12:56

    No references to cite offhand, no. I guess it's just something anecdotal I've picked up over the years. Could be completely wrong.
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