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The POR'HUI
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Old 31 Jul 2007, 21:22   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default The POR'HUI

The Library of the Dead post is now completed with fantastic results- but during our conversations, fellow members began discussing propaganda and how the Tau understand current events in their Empire (such as, how does T'au spin the bad decisions of a Commander like Brightsword so that it still serves the GG?)

The news network of the Tau seems to be run by the Por- as it should be- but at the same time it is also shepharded by the military (since Medusa V if thats to be taken into consideration).

This shouldn't be as substantial a post as the Library- but it should be worked out as to how News works in the Empire.
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Old 31 Jul 2007, 21:29   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The POR'HUI

What little we have suggests a "Fox News" approach; lie through your teeth for the sake of making the Tau race look good.

The Por'hui are not there to report the news, they are there to make everyone think the Tau are invincible.
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Old 31 Jul 2007, 21:33   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The POR'HUI

mmm, okay- but then there is the actual distribution of Tau news to other Tau- that's what we should concentrate on- we all know they wage incredible convincing propaganda campaigns.
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Old 01 Aug 2007, 00:48   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The POR'HUI

I can see how and why the Fox Network approach would be plausible, but I have a hard time believing that the Empire would warp information as severely as the Imperium. In some way, perhaps because it is younger, I see the Tau Empire as a bit more truthful.

Although the news networks are probably run by the Por Caste, I would think that the Ethereals would be at the very top, controlling the distribution of news for the spiritual benefit of the Empire.

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Old 01 Aug 2007, 02:05   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The POR'HUI

And there are different interpretations of serving the Greater Good. Honestly, I could see some Por believing the truth best served the Tau'va... I mean, the more you know, the less likely another mistake is going to happen.

Obviously, not the whole truth - I mean, the ethereals do place interdictions on artefact worlds for a reason, after all, and the Tau will want to be portrayed postively - but I don't think it would simply be "all lies, all the time."
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Old 01 Aug 2007, 02:29   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SUUPAH
I can see how and why the Fox Network approach would be plausible, but I have a hard time believing that the Empire would warp information as severely as the Imperium. In some way, perhaps because it is younger, I see the Tau Empire as a bit more truthful.
The USA is younger than the Tau...

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Originally Posted by SUUPAH
Although the news networks are probably run by the Por Caste, I would think that the Ethereals would be at the very top, controlling the distribution of news for the spiritual benefit of the Empire.
I think there's a three or four edged sword in it all:
- No 'bad' reports will ever be 'massed distributed' that say "Blimey, the Fire Caste ****ed up royally" or "Crikey, the entirety of Pech has rebelled!".
- The Tau 'losing' wars will always be spun into a good light. A heroic evacuation, a valiant retreat in face of barbarian hordes. A stoic sacrifice to buy the rest of the Tau'va enough time to strike back with the enemy exactly where we want them. Never 'we were soundly routed, screaming like little girls', nor 'our armies shat themselves and ran for the hills' or indeed 'Por'O caught in bed with rentboy, pictures on page seven...!'
- News will be need to know appropriate. Shas'O who're involved with a situation will get unadulterated news telling them that they're being buggered sideways. Shas'la will be told the fighting is fierce, not to let their guards down, to train hard and remember their training. Shas'ui will be told "These aren't your usual Gue'la, make sure you're in good positions to support the Shas'la, their weapons won't be as effective as normal, they've been told, but they might be shaken somewhat". Fio'la, on the otherhand, will simply be told that there's fighting a couple of hundred miles away and that the military is 'on the case'.
- Sensationalist reporting will only ever be in a 'pro-Tau'va' manner.
- There will be differing points of view. Whilst the Tau'va is good as a controlled society, it'd be a poor society if its inhabitants didn't have the powers of reason, interpretation and insight. Indeed, debates, coverage of 'radical viewpoints' and such will be taken embracingly or not at all, depending on how well the Por'hui feels it can 'ride the wave'. Radical ideas such as 'Jihad', say, will be discussed openly and reasonably by the best Por'O around, both defending and supporting. The end result, of course, is that the very notion will be defeated, but most of the time it'll be given a 'fair run' (of course, it'll be given no run at all if it is deemed too unmanageable). The Tau'va would be foolish to stifle its people, to cotton-wool wrap them and such. But, it still acts as a buffer. Por'la don't need to know what exactly it is that Slaaneshi cultists do, do they?
- As I said, it should be appropriate to who watches it. So some more senior folks will have 'internet-like access' to the news, wheras your average 'la just doesn't need to know the ins and outs, the disparity or the arguments the whole thing is causing. In this sense, the 'one size fits all' approach is fair, but only when it is recognised that the 'system' changes itself (or accomodates comfortably) all the different aspects.

Also note: With a smaller population it'll be easier to control who knows what...(I would assume).

Regarding Artefact Worlds

Things like that can be put under very good light. On one hand:
"NEWSFLASH! ETHEREALS BAN ACCESS TO ENTIRE PLANET! PERSONAL FREEDOMS IN QUESTION!"
vs
"NEWSFLASH! MAJOR ARTEFACT WORLD DISCOVERED, EXPERTS FROM THE SEPT CONVERGE!We now transfer to our reporter on the planet, they're in the middle of the first press briefing!"

Of course, the media, as it were, must do everything it can in Tau society (inside the Tau'va, essentially) to ensure that any disagreements or arguments or 'bad feelings' are kept exposed, above ground, and well looked after. Civil disobediance is unthinkable, but having different opinions is not (and the Tau'va'd be foolish to treat it that way). By restricting information but doing so openly, I feel, the Por'hui would become both more sinister and more plausible....indeed, more effective in actuall educating the Tau Empire!

It's the old 1/3 Dystopian, 1/3 Utopian, 1/3 Something completely differentopian scenario. The Tau Empire is 'ideal' in that it is a very effective system (IMO). It doesn't require 'lying' to people or tricking them, or selling them a sham-system that will only work so long as they don't realise it's a pile of crap. Instead, it seels exactly what it is: The Tau'va. You give up a bit of personal freedom, you trust that society knows what its doing, and you contribute. The payoff, with the Tau'va, however, is that it does seem to work.

Evil, Good or otherwise, it's a very effective system of government. The people appear to be happy (if not entirely 'free&#39, the government is fair and without corruption (if not 100% morally excellent from every perspective) and you get free cupcakes...

Regarding the Ethereals

I suspect they hold a vaguely 'celebrity/clergyman' status. I envisage the lower ranks of ethereals being 'after dinner speakers' and 'guest lecturers' and 'sermon-givers' and whatnot. They basically do alot of talking, alot of convincing. Alot of selling the real Tau'va. They call it like it is. They might even be quite comic in some of their stylings. But they're not your everyday people. Where you have lots of Por'O and Fio'O and that who can debate things really well, it will be usually left to the Ethereals (or rather: the Ethereals will cut in at just the right time) to say something that really 'cuts to the heart of the matter', something insightful and something that makes people think "Aha! That makes perfect sense!"

Similarly, Ethereals get to give masses and lectures and whatnot to deal with more difficult topics, perhaps discussing the philosophies of one thing or another, perhaps allowing things to be done openly and allow for 'Question and Answer' sections about the Tau'va. In this way the Tau'va would be ever present, but it'd give 'the people' plenty of room to interact with it. They get to have their say (even if it's closely monitored and controlled by people who, on a word, could make you kill yourself), and you go home happy. You're allow to ask things about "How come I can't just do what I please?" and the Ethereals might deign to give you a very polite, well thought out and extremely convincing and satisfactory answer (rather than just giving a nod and you find yourself being manhandled into the back of a Piranha never to be seen again).

As said: 1/3 Dystopian, 1/3 Uptopian, 1/3 something else!
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Old 01 Aug 2007, 08:36   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The POR'HUI

There is a Tau news report on the Games Workshop website here: http://uk.games-workshop.com/tau/background/3/
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Old 01 Aug 2007, 11:00   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ShasVre_Koyaan_KiVak
There is a Tau news report on the Games Workshop website here: http://uk.games-workshop.com/tau/background/3/

Interesting read, especially the slightly ambiguous message from the human traitor. You end up wondering whether it's propoganda or the truth.
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Old 01 Aug 2007, 16:12   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The POR'HUI

Don't forget as well that that propaganda piece was made just after the Damocles Crusade. I imagine they've moved on quite a bit since then.
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Old 01 Aug 2007, 16:16   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The POR'HUI

I don't see the Por lying, exactly, but rather I would expect them to be relentlessly upbeat about any news they reported, glossing over the negative aspects as best they could.
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