Ia Ia Mene Tekilath

Reported By: Jedikiah Drake

As tremendously useful as the techniques of Manichean Linguistics can be, it is somewhat annoying that their end result is not an actual translation of an alien text into a modern tongue but rather a largely grammarless matching of the source text (in this case, the Polveran logoglyphs) into the 'best match' words chosen from the entire vocabularies of all known historical languages, leaving a human scholar to perform the final act of translation. We thus translate this phrase, the central organizing principle of the macro-level of Binary Accounting and nearly all Polveran legal systems, as "Hail, Hail (or possibly 'I invoke') the Count and the Measure."

The Count in question is the population of the Polveran community, and the Measure is of availible resources, usually food, although in late Culture B, fuel, electricity, and bandwidth were sometimes the issue. In other words, the phrase is an expression of the cold Malthusian logic necessary to establish and maintain civilization in an r-selected species like the Polverans, and stands as the ultimate justification of any number of policies we may find brutal, from legalized dueling and vendetta in Culture F to the unquestionable power of the state in Culture B to mark any citizen for death with no further reason stated.

The phrase is also, of course, used to justify wars, which were generally fought as though mutual population reduction was in fact a more important goal than the territory or policy being fought over. To certain small-minded Terra-bound scientists, this attitude seems evolutionarily unlikely, even for an r-selected species, but recall that the frequent phenomenon of Viral Chromosome Subversion makes the preservation of direct lines of descent far less important from the viewpoint of any given Polveran gene.

See Also:
Binary Accounting
Manichean Linguistics
Viral Chromosome Subversion


This is a GHI article in the Polvera Lexicon

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