Earth: What the hell happened?

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A Little Galach
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Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Little Galach » 17 Jun 2010 09:43

Forgive me if there has been a thread dedicated to this topic, I did a couple searches and came up with nada. I've seen the topic touched on a few places and some opinions offered but no sort of sanctioned debate.

Since the consensus of non-mouth breathers is that Earth did not perish in an atomic fire in an immortal-led effort by humans to destroy Robots and their cyborg lackeys...what the hell happened to it? Why is it not the capital of the Empire or even a minor planet, given it's (unlikely) proximity to the major planets of the stories. Nuclear war? A Bruce Willis-proof asteroid? Global Warming? Another ice age? Desertification? Has it turned into a waterworld taken over by the Smokers? Taken over by chimps? Pollution? Captain Trips? Expiring Mayan calender? Or has it simply faded into obscurity?

The beauty of FH is that he leaves so much to the fancy of the reader, but I like clarity in some spots...including this one...as long as I agree with it.

My personal opinion is that it has faded into obscurity after having been mined, harvested and generally squeezed for resources by its inhabitants. I imagine Geidi Prime with a couple thousand year head start. As Humanity spread out from Earth there would have been conflict, both political and conventional, that would shift the power base for an increasing number of factions away from Earth. This coupled with a possible disaster/domstic war of the non-robot variety would make it unattractive for anything beyond a figurehead-planet and an exodus/falling birthrate would ensue. A couple generations might lament its abandonment but life would go on and everyone's "homeworld" would be the place of their birth and not their species' ancestral home. I don't recall if FH ever said explicitly that Earth was "destroyed" but I do remember it having been referred to as "forgotten" a few times. I hate to sound like a preek but I think my explanation would explain away some "destruction"-like wording too. I think if it died in a nuclear inferno FH may have mentioned it in regards to house atomics and their prohibition.

Please correct me if I have contradicted anything FH wrote. I want to hear everyone's opinions, or if there is an Earth-status spelled out in the books that I missed please let me know!

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby Freakzilla » 17 Jun 2010 10:10

I imagine it ran out of resources.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby SandChigger » 17 Jun 2010 10:39

Forgotten:
Leto crouched in the lee of his dune and waited for the night to settle into its own rhythms. Patience and caution—caution and patience. For a time he amused himself by reviewing Chaucer's route from London to Canterbury, listing the places from Southwark: two miles to the watering-place of St. Thomas, five miles to Deptford, six miles to Greenwich, thirty miles to Rochester, forty miles to Sittingboume, fifty-five miles to Boughton under Blean, fifty-eight miles to Harbledown, and sixty miles to Canterbury. It gave him a sense of timeless buoyancy to know that few in his universe would recall Chaucer or know any London except the village on Gansireed. St. Thomas was preserved in the Orange Catholic Bible and the Azhar Book, but Canterbury was gone from the memories of men, as was the planet which had known it. There lay the burden of his memories, of all those lives which threatened to engulf him. He had made that trip to Canterbury once.

That's definitely about Earth. (There have been mouth-breeders ;) who have tried to say it's not.)

Destroyed?
This morning I was born in a yurt at the edge of a horse-plain in a land of a planet which no longer exists. Tomorrow I will be born someone else in another place. I have not yet chosen. This morning, though—ahhh, this life! When my eyes had learned to focus, I looked out at sunshine on trampled grass and I saw vigorous people going about the sweet activities of their lives. Where... oh where has all of that vigor gone?
—The Stolen Journals

It's not 100% certain that the second refers to Earth, of course.

We know that the planet was still around following the Jihad because the Commission of Ecumenical Translators meets somewhere in the Hawaii Islands. But that still leaves 10,000-plus years for something to have happened to it before the Dune period.

Planets do get destroyed in the Duniverse. Harmonthep (a satellite of Delta Pavonis, placing it in the same system as Caladan) went somewhere, so something (or someone) could have happened to the Earth as well.

My personal Duniverse includes no FTL before spacefolding, so when people left Sol System, they left for good. (With faster ships and cryo or some other form of suspended animation, round-trips to Ecaz would be possible; even slower automated ships would have allowed a slow type of commerce.)

Ecaz, though, is kind of the clincher, isn't it? How can people still know Ecaz but not know Earth in the system next door, only 4.2 LY away?

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby lotek » 17 Jun 2010 10:59

couldn't it have been just forgotten?
but Canterbury was gone from the memories of men, as was the planet which had known it.


To us it seems impossible but what would happen to the Old World in a galactic empire, furthermore over the course of millenia?

It's just that since that fat arse hiker boy went for nuclear apocalypse, and considering he does everything wrong I'm ready to go for anything that contradicts that!
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby Freakzilla » 17 Jun 2010 11:29

lotek wrote:couldn't it have been just forgotten?
but Canterbury was gone from the memories of men, as was the planet which had known it.


To us it seems impossible but what would happen to the Old World in a galactic empire, furthermore over the course of millenia?

It's just that since that fat arse hiker boy went for nuclear apocalypse, and considering he does everything wrong I'm ready to go for anything that contradicts that!


Like 'chigger said, we know that's wrong becasue the CET met there.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 17 Jun 2010 12:33

Personally I lean towards it being destroyed later on after the Butlerian Jihad. I do like the idea of it just having been forgotten from a romantic point of view (not sure why I find that romantic...) but it's just not likely.

This is the HOME of humanity. Even if it were barely habitable people would be making pilgrimages there. In such an extremely religious universe as the Dune one, people would not just up and forget their origins (religions are HUGE on origins).

Destroyed and then forgotten makes more sense.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Little Galach » 17 Jun 2010 16:52

I think the best explanation for Earth having been "forgotten" is to point to the intentional repression of the rabble by the elite of Empirical society. Education included. The feudal system is, by design, supposed to rob people of iniative for anything beyond their own survival. I equate it to the middle ages, and how many people in modern day France probably didn't know about the Roman empire or know it as anything beyond something almost mythical. Or how the Egyptians lost all knowledge of how to read Hyrogliphics (not going to spell check it) and even their purpose relatively shortly after the Pharohs fell from power. The educated elite knew about Old Earth, I find it likely they had instruction about it versus the shanty schools where the peasantry learned trades probably having left it out of the curriculum.

We're talking about thousands of years of people experiencing crises on their own planets and in the empire that would be jostling with Earth in the Important Things to Learn competition. I think it's plausible it grew irrelevant once it ceased being able to contribute to CHOAM and within a few centuries it grew into obscurity. The Landsraad were greedy above all else, if Earth didn't do them any good economically it would be shunned pretty quick. There's a parallel in this country with textbooks being suited towards whatever the intellectual class deems "correct," I bet it happens 10,000 years in the future too.

I find it more romantic for earth to fade rather than get "destroyed" too, for some reason. I think you could say that the planet "didn't exist anymore" beyond being a derelict and shadow of its former self. I know this borders on a preek argument. Next I'll be arguing that there were beeches and palm trees on the space station above a radioactive earth.

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 17 Jun 2010 16:55

A Little Galach wrote:, and how many people in modern day France probably didn't know about the Roman empire or know it as anything beyond something almost mythical.


Sorry to derail, you do make some good points, but I wasn't aware France was that bad! :lol:
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby Freakzilla » 17 Jun 2010 17:00

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
A Little Galach wrote:, and how many people in modern day France probably didn't know about the Roman empire or know it as anything beyond something almost mythical.


Sorry to derail, you do make some good points, but I wasn't aware France was that bad! :lol:


I watched a show on the History Channel about the Dark Ages recently that said that many of the peasants thought they were still part of the Roman Empire. I'm not trying to argue, the point is the same.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 17 Jun 2010 17:10

Freakzilla wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
A Little Galach wrote:, and how many people in modern day France probably didn't know about the Roman empire or know it as anything beyond something almost mythical.


Sorry to derail, you do make some good points, but I wasn't aware France was that bad! :lol:


I watched a show on the History Channel about the Dark Ages recently that said that many of the peasants thought they were still part of the Roman Empire. I'm not trying to argue, the point is the same.


Yes but he said "modern" - I wasn't aware France was still in the dark ages. I'm not arguing either though, he made a good point.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby Freakzilla » 17 Jun 2010 17:20

:lol: I missed that, my mind must have just read 'medieval'.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby lotek » 17 Jun 2010 18:56

A Little Galach wrote:I think the best explanation for Earth having been "forgotten" is to point to the intentional repression of the rabble by the elite of Empirical society. Education included. The feudal system is, by design, supposed to rob people of iniative for anything beyond their own survival. I equate it to the middle ages, and how many people in modern day France probably didn't know about the Roman empire or know it as anything beyond something almost mythical. Or how the Egyptians lost all knowledge of how to read Hyrogliphics (not going to spell check it) and even their purpose relatively shortly after the Pharohs fell from power. The educated elite knew about Old Earth, I find it likely they had instruction about it versus the shanty schools where the peasantry learned trades probably having left it out of the curriculum.

We're talking about thousands of years of people experiencing crises on their own planets and in the empire that would be jostling with Earth in the Important Things to Learn competition. I think it's plausible it grew irrelevant once it ceased being able to contribute to CHOAM and within a few centuries it grew into obscurity. The Landsraad were greedy above all else, if Earth didn't do them any good economically it would be shunned pretty quick. There's a parallel in this country with textbooks being suited towards whatever the intellectual class deems "correct," I bet it happens 10,000 years in the future too.

I find it more romantic for earth to fade rather than get "destroyed" too, for some reason. I think you could say that the planet "didn't exist anymore" beyond being a derelict and shadow of its former self. I know this borders on a preek argument. Next I'll be arguing that there were beeches and palm trees on the space station above a radioactive earth.


more romantic yeah, and also more... how can I put it.. more Frank Herbert-like, I mean he knew he was dealing with millenia of history and just like the old tongues didn't exist anymore but still survived in the Imperium, Earth as a planet of origin didn't exist anymore apart in the human race's collective memory.

The educated elite knew about Old Earth, I find it likely they had instruction about it versus the shanty schools where the peasantry learned trades probably having left it out of the curriculum.


absolutely!! I doubt the masses would use the word "kanly" often ;)
Kanly (kanli) is a Turkish word means sworn enemy

http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Kanly
(is that wikia reliable btw? never used it before)

EDIT: "is a word means"?? probably not very reliable seems to come to mind as answer to my question...
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby SandChigger » 17 Jun 2010 20:57

lotek wrote:absolutely!! I doubt the masses would use the word "kanly" often ;)
Kanly (kanli) is a Turkish word means sworn enemy

http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Kanly
(is that wikia reliable btw? never used it before)

EDIT: "is a word means"?? probably not very reliable seems to come to mind as answer to my question...

According to the page history, that was added by someone in Adana, Turkey, so I'm not really doubtful about whether the word in Turkish means what they say it does. But again it comes down to showing that FH knew the Turkish word.

(And that's not even grammatical (good written) English: "is a Turkish word that means".)

But back on topic...

"How much history do you know?" Paul mused aloud, studying the shadowy figure beside him.

"M'Lord, I can name every world our people touched in their migrations. I know the reaches of Imperial . . ."

"The Golden Age of Earth, have you ever studied that?"

"Earth? Golden Age?" Stilgar was irritated and puzzled. Why would Paul wish to discuss myths from the dawn of time

10,000 years after the last time the planet is known to have played a role in history and the leader of a reclusive tribe on another backwater planet still at least knows its name. ;)

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Little Galach » 18 Jun 2010 08:23

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
A Little Galach wrote:, and how many people in modern day France probably didn't know about the Roman empire or know it as anything beyond something almost mythical.


Sorry to derail, you do make some good points, but I wasn't aware France was that bad! :lol:


I wish I could say they were that bad with a straight face.

"in what is now modern-day France" may have been a better choice of words.

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Little Galach » 18 Jun 2010 08:26

Freakzilla wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:
A Little Galach wrote:, and how many people in modern day France probably didn't know about the Roman empire or know it as anything beyond something almost mythical.


Sorry to derail, you do make some good points, but I wasn't aware France was that bad! :lol:


I watched a show on the History Channel about the Dark Ages recently that said that many of the peasants thought they were still part of the Roman Empire. I'm not trying to argue, the point is the same.


I think I saw that one, and you're probably right. You could probably explain that sentiment because Charlamagne considered himself a Roman Emperorer.

That bit about the French in my lecture was pretty much me talking out of my ass. The rest is 100% golden.

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Little Galach » 18 Jun 2010 08:38

SandChigger wrote:But back on topic...

"How much history do you know?" Paul mused aloud, studying the shadowy figure beside him.

"M'Lord, I can name every world our people touched in their migrations. I know the reaches of Imperial . . ."

"The Golden Age of Earth, have you ever studied that?"

"Earth? Golden Age?" Stilgar was irritated and puzzled. Why would Paul wish to discuss myths from the dawn of time

10,000 years after the last time the planet is known to have played a role in history and the leader of a reclusive tribe on another backwater planet still at least knows its name. ;)


Did Paul or anyone in the first 3 books lament Earth as lost, or was it just Leto II in GEoD?


Could we explain the musings of Leto II as to the obscurity of Earth by saying that since his Tyranny repressed the empire, education probably suffered and therefore Earth faded? That as his reign tightened its grip and commerce faltered, his subjects' education did as well. So what was true in Paul's time would be markedly different than Leto II. And the Tyrant writing his history to be discovered at a later date would be writing for their level of knowledge versus what his current subjects' level?

To illustrate, Stilgar had rudimentary knowledge of Earth as the birthplace of man at the "dawn of time." But what would the Fremen that Duncan and Siona meet know of it? What about Sheeana's parents?

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby SandRider » 18 Jun 2010 10:26

Reporter: Governor, how do you think your segregation policies here are being received
in those Third World nations that the United States are hoping to win to our side in the
Cold War ?

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Little Galach » 18 Jun 2010 13:07

That's a spot-on quote from a despicable human being. The [sigh] makes it.

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby Kensai » 26 Jun 2010 14:23

SandChigger wrote:

My personal Duniverse includes no FTL before spacefolding, so when people left Sol System, they left for good. (With faster ships and cryo or some other form of suspended animation, round-trips to Ecaz would be possible; even slower automated ships would have allowed a slow type of commerce.)



Thats what I always thought, because if there was a form of FTL and even if it were slower than foldspace, then the spacing guild would nit have the monolpoly it has. I mean lets say FTL takes a few months to go from point a-b like it does in McDune, some people would rather take the long route than pay the guild (smugglers, poor ass people ect...). I belive Frank intended foldspace to be the only way from getting from point a-b in galactic terms.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby SandChigger » 26 Jun 2010 20:09

You can always argue that the Navigators would have sensed someone developing (or using?) an alternative form of transportation as a threat and the Guild would have moved against them. (Or coerced the Emperor into doing so.) But it just makes more sense to me to assume that FTL wasn't possible. The books seem ambiguous on the matter to me. :)

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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby Kojiro » 10 Jul 2010 01:41

SandChigger wrote:You can always argue that the Navigators would have sensed someone developing (or using?) an alternative form of transportation as a threat and the Guild would have moved against them. (Or coerced the Emperor into doing so.) But it just makes more sense to me to assume that FTL wasn't possible. The books seem ambiguous on the matter to me. :)


I will note, because of the vast distances involved, if there was no FTL, this would have made the Butlerian Jihad a long and protracted effort. Armies would be spending years, decades, or even centuries in ships as they made their way from one star to another.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby lotek » 10 Jul 2010 01:51

I am not sure the Butlerian Jihad was a military campaign as such...
I mean it's not like there was some über enemy/ies to fight when it was more of a reaction to the passivity the human race had fallen into by going down that easy road.
Just like later Leto II would have to go through 3 millenia of change just to undo humanity's reliance on prescience.

I believe that is one of the lessons Frank meant to teach his readers; and also that he was vague on the Butlerian Jihad on purpose(but I still doubt it was a Jihad like Muad'dib and the Fremen's, sweeping across the Empire)
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby Kojiro » 10 Jul 2010 01:57

lotek wrote:I am not sure the Butlerian Jihad was a military campaign as such...
I mean it's not like there was some über enemy/ies to fight when it was more of a reaction to the passivity the human race had fallen into by going down that easy road.
Just like later Leto II would have to go through 3 millenia of change just to undo humanity's reliance on prescience.

I believe that is one of the lessons Frank meant to teach his readers; and also that he was vague on the Butlerian Jihad on purpose(but I still doubt it was a Jihad like Muad'dib and the Fremen's, sweeping across the Empire)


So... y'think some of the lazy bastards would willingly give up their robots and computers and sentient toaster ovens? I'm not so sure some of them would, considering it's implied that there was some ruling elite that really, really loved their machines.
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby lotek » 10 Jul 2010 02:13

any quotes to back that up?
If you mean there was uprising and fighting fair enough, but your statement seems to imply some form of advancing army of rebels against the machines, where I see it more as pockets of mass hysteria brought by too much apathy, some kind of epidermic reaction (and I will keep my eyes opened for quotes going either way)
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Re: Earth: What the hell happened?

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 10 Jul 2010 02:17

Kojiro wrote:
SandChigger wrote:You can always argue that the Navigators would have sensed someone developing (or using?) an alternative form of transportation as a threat and the Guild would have moved against them. (Or coerced the Emperor into doing so.) But it just makes more sense to me to assume that FTL wasn't possible. The books seem ambiguous on the matter to me. :)


I will note, because of the vast distances involved, if there was no FTL, this would have made the Butlerian Jihad a long and protracted effort. Armies would be spending years, decades, or even centuries in ships as they made their way from one star to another.


As an avid fan of STL SF, there is a faster option - spread the religous message via transmission and let local's do the work/fighting (and oh there would be fighting). This would still takes years/decades, but would be much faster than realistic STL.
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