Tetrads are a wonderful thing that can precisely describe any element of culture. They describe an element with four qualities. The qualities are described in the link above. I also made some examples a year ago and I’ll share them with you guys.


Enhance: Work
Retrieve: Library/Index
Reverse: Addiction
Obsolesce: Paper & Ink

Artificial Intelligence

Enhance: “Human mind”, work
Retrieve: Slavery
Reverse: Dictatorship, domination
Obsolesce: Jobs, calculator

The point is how could they be used in later stages of the game? I mean, their generality is exceptional and could be used to program a civ’s culture. What do you think guys?

I like this concept, because it makes it very easy to apply this to tangible game mechanics obtained through research.
I’m not too keen on the “obsolesce” category, because 1: technology is often a trade-off, and 2: progression in thrive is much harder to tack down than human history.
In my schema, I would replace obsolece with something more general - that of its primary purpose. Instead of computers “obsolescing” paper and ink, it would be counted as a new “medium of information” with certain traits (high information density, fast processing) in the same way that paper and ink obsolece stone tablets. If we consider non-visual media, then that same category would be occupied by sound recordings, or maybe even scratch-and-sniff (my Smellatus race use these instead of letters)
Technologies should also be rather granular - there shouldn’t be just one computer tech on-par with the latest laptop, it would consist of many components such as hard drives/storage, processors, and wireless connections that your civilization develops gradually.

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Wait, what do you mean by “scratch-and-sniff?”

Next up in the series of posts about very common things blackjacksike doesn’t know about: scratch-and-sniff. They are basically little patches you can put on paper, which when scratched give off some smell:


Oh that. I thought it was some invention from kraken for his creature.