This post is about the Adeptus Mechanicus, their perceived level of technical ability as portrayed in background, and two opposing points of view commonly encountered on 40K forums. In the background of 40K the Adeptus Mechanicus seem to be pig ignorant of the technology they control, while atmospheric of the stetting, it seems at odds with common sense notion of the technical ability needed to maintain high end systems. Such high end systems would need a thorough understanding of how they work in order to repair them. Rote learning, an often used phrase to explain the ignorant building advanced systems, will only get you so far. I thought I’d chip in my ideas on this whole ‘Adeptus Me-can-icus, or Me-can’t-icus’ debate.
When explaining my views on the Adeptus Mechanicus, I often get the impression that people are trying to pigeon hole my ideas into one or the other. This doesn’t work, as I see both arguments as valid and working together – at the same time! It all depends on what level within the cult you are talking about.
At the low level it’s defiantly the realm of the ‘Me-can’t-icus’.
At the high level is defiantly the realm of the ‘Me-can-icus’
In the middle it’s ‘Me-erm-depend-icus’.
It’s like our modern era; those who design technology ‘can’, and those usually putting it together in some sweatshop of a factory ‘can’t’. Those in between have varying levels of technical expertise.
- I reckon those in a sweatshop soldering components to a circuit board are very much working in the technology field, but I doubt they could design or build the actual components they are soldering onto the board. They may be up to their eyeballs in technology, but they understand very little. This is pretty much how I imagine the mind set and knowledge level of most of the lower orders, the initiates, who can be collected under the Adeptus Me-can’t-icus banner.
- A sparky (electrician) knows a fair bit about their work, and can wire things up, but they lack detailed knowledge of what they are wiring up. A specialist technician, who knows the insides of the unit, is a step up – but both are kinda in the middle in the grand scheme of things. Some parts they ‘can’, and some part’s they ‘can’t’. This is how I imagine many of the priests function. They can implement, and install, technologies, repair, replace, and troubleshoot, but they do not understand the inner workings of computer chips (and there’s no free internet when they can read up about it). To them a ‘chip’ is a magic stone. I also imagine that a doctor falls into this category (a nurse would be under the can’t banner)
- Those who design computer chips, understand the complexes of biology, the inner workings of the human mind (well later anyway), the higher academics, have a thorough understanding of their field. I imagine these are the Magos. They understand the STC.
Above that there would be theoretical scientists, the ones who design the science and math everyone else uses. In 40K that probably falls into heresy, and is the preserve of radicals. Academics in a custodial role of knowledge are probably the highest you could go, but they wouldn’t actually take part in making anything, more arguing over what is heresy or not, and sanctioning STC.
When I talk about my vision of the Ad-Mec, I am usually thinking in the terms above. A layered organization. An organization that is not really that different to our own, except there is religion involved, which could happen in the future if Apple takes over the world…
In fact Apple is probably a good place to start, though by 40K their design aesthetic seems to have suffered a little. I’m sure Apple would love to implant chips (electrografts) into people’s heads that provide all kinds of wi-fi multimedia delights, a virtual wonderland, only to clamp down with draconian hardware control and rights management. I’m sure Microsoft would love to do the same. I’m not sure a Microsoft legacy would get the same level of emotion (devotion rather than irritation) as Apple. Open source might.
PS: the end bit was supposed to be funny, more funny than the rest of it, but after posting it I remembered that fanboi’s can take things to heart if you do not make it clear your are messing about. I like Apple. It’s a joke. Please do not report me to Mr. Jobs :P
Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!
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