Galactic TravelogueEnnetech by Erasmus and Kinkajou Authors




Kinkajou Interviews Famous People For Their Unique Points Of View.

SciFi & Health Records: Mentats & MechWarriors





Human minds can be modified by training and by genetics.















































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Kinkajou interviews SigmaPsiThufir Hawat,
originally Mentat to the House of Atreides.

The Dune Interviews (Frank Herbert)

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   I give my greetings to one who is known widely as a human computing machine, devoted to logic and reasoning.

Thufir Human Mentat Computer SigmaPsiThufir Hawat:  Ah ,Kinkajou:   My spies have told me of your dalliance with the Imperium and the Guild Navigators. Logic dictated that you would contact me soon.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   I wish to talk to you about how the great houses look after their people.

Thufir Human Mentat Computer SigmaPsiThufir Hawat:  Medical science among us has been considerably advanced with humanity being forced to deal with the Cymek plagues. Doctors  and researchers have worked together to understand how the human body works and how its functions can be subverted by disease. As you understand, our conflict with the thinking machines has left to us a horror of machine intelligence. It has taken many years since the Butlerian Jihad for many of our peoples to even consider using computerised machines for any tasks at all.

Cymek Incumbent Cymek Incumbent


Our greatest advances have been in the use of the human mind to encompass information and to extract meaning from it. Crucial to this has been the development of the understanding of the differences between the human mind and how it operates and how the mind of machines operates.

Machines cope easily with hierarchical menus into which data is pocketed. Human beings prefer their information to be displayed in a geographic context with a maximum of a single layer of submenus. Where information fits into a number of pockets, humans would make this information exist within a number of pockets. Each person is then able to optimise their search path for data.


Kinkajou Interviews Famous People For Their Unique Points Of View.

Warrior Kinkajou...Galactic Travelogue



Machines by contrast range data into databases. Is nothing for a machine to rearrange vast lists in seconds. This is aided by the machines ability to unfailingly retain data without corruption or damage. The human mind can be trained indeed to a high pitch, but the learning can still be tedious and tends to be difficult to rearrange for study on-the-fly.

Robot Machine Advisor SigmaPsiRobot Machine Advisor

Consequently, many of our doctors do not use graphical interfaces for the recording of health information. We tend to structured annotation geographically organised information.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   So how do you look after the poor, the homeless and helpless?

Thufir Human Mentat Computer SigmaPsiThufir Hawat:  This has been a structured part of our culture since the days of human revolution against the Cymeks. At this time many humans were left destitute, homeless and with very few options for survival.

We discovered that the best organisational structure to deliver help to the hopeless was for the promotion of prominent and capable people amongst us to the nobility and the supervision of the Great Houses. This allowed decisions to be made very quickly and a very tight rein to be held on the efficiency of organisational structures.

This hierarchy has evolved over some time.

Now the Great Houses rule over civilisations. However again the same structure serves us well. Through the actions of the Bene Geserit, the ruling class has been bred to be a true elite.

The nobles are truly superior to the common people over who they rule. This invariably leads to dissemination of superior genetic material into the population, with the nobility maintained as a separate entity by the rules of inheritance and title. Crucial to our civilisation is the concept of reward. They who strive must always be rewarded.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Yes there are some very simple examples from our own world. In Australia, the social state looks after all people. This actually means there is very little incentive at the bottom of the social scale to engage in any activity which may better themselves. Why look for a job or education when this only leads to a diminution of one’s benefits. Consequently when a job ad is placed in Australia, the huge numbers of people applying

for the job are actually seeking to register their names with Social Security (Centrelink) as jobseekers, without actually seeking work. Of the 50 to 60 people who may apply for a job, perhaps 3 to 4 may be interested in actually working. However, this social structure does lead to a reduction in crime, medical care for the poor, and a basic general standard of living to all humans in the population.

The contrasting example is United States. Here there is very little safety net in existence for people at the bottom of the social scale. No work, no pay. People frequently become homeless.

Many people sort through garbage looking for food or potential valuables that have been discarded by others. Healthcare may be unavailable and unaffordable to many. When you have no home, it is very difficult to lift yourself out of the mire, into the mainstream of achievement. And it is often very easy to slide into the mire. A divorce, tax debts or accidents not covered by insurance can easily push many people over the edge into poverty.

Thufir Human Mentat Computer SigmaPsiThufir Hawat:  The situation is very different in our world. On the Atreides original home world of Caladan, the Dukes routinely supported the poor to provide them a basic standard of living, while still creating incentive for their own betterment. This is perhaps the key for the situation in Australia.


Night City Geidi Prime
Night City Geidi Prime

On the Harkonnen home world of Geidi Prime, the Barons routinely exploited their people to increase production. Benefits to many are few. And the people are held in their place by an iron fist, devoted only to 2 things: income and domination. Rebellions and complaints are mercilessly suppressed.

However, there are principles which underline our culture. Never obliterate another unthinkingly, for example as through some due process of law. There must be some overriding purpose, and know your purpose. This principle minimises many of the excesses of some of more predatory nobles. It forces all humans to recognise the common ground and their common responsibility to strive and to attain for the good of all.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Can you tell a something of how medical science in your era has extended life?

Thufir Human Mentat Computer SigmaPsiThufir Hawat:  The most important medical development is our understanding of the Spice. The spice prolongs life. The spice delivers health. Unfortunately it is astronomically expensive, which denies many of its benefits to simple people. But I feel this is as it should be. If you work to achieve, it is only right that you should be rewarded for your activity with better health and better life. Again this returns to the basic tenets underpinning our civilisation.

Study of the spice is ongoing. It is impossible to manufacture. It can only be mined on the world of Arrakis (Dune). However, research is ongoing. I’m sure one day humanity will discover how this substance has its effects and is so beneficial.

Medical science in our era is very advanced. Since the destruction of many humans and  cities in the days of the Cymeks, it has taken considerable time for our populations to recover. Research and technology is a by-product of large and complex populations. And this will come with time, allowing us to regain our place in the galaxy.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   What you think of the concept of the singularity?

Thufir Human Mentat Computer SigmaPsiThufir Hawat:  As I’ve stated, this concept is an anathema and a horror to us. Our civilisation  will not progress down this path. Perhaps the Tleilaxu or the Ix will explore this path, but only with the disapproval of the majority of the human race. I feel the wounds caused by the human conflict with the machines may never heal, and they never allow trust to develop between humanity and machine intelligence.


As you realise, my own function is to perform logic computations. I do this often with data elements missing and can infer the presence and interoperation of the missing data strands.

The human mind is far more complex and far more capable than any machine. With more human minds trained to work within our civilisation, I believe anything is possible. One singularity is unlikely to have any benefits to our civilisation based on a plethora of thinking human minds.

Our only use for machines may one day be simply to unthinkingly process and record data and to perform simple operations upon this data. There will be no artificially intelligent machines. There will be no thinking machines. The Singularity is an unnecessary step in evolution. It leads to death and the devolution of the human spirit. It leads to a cheapening of human values and human experience. It is the downward path, for us forever forbidden.

Desert Infantry Desert Infantry



Herbert, Frank

Thufir Hawat, Mentat



Herbert, Frank

Thufir Hawat, Mentat



Herbert, Frank

Thufir Hawat, Mentat


Herbert, Frank

Thufir Hawat, Mentat


KinkajouMed Kinkajou interviews SigmaPsiBrian Cameron
(Battletech: Wolf Pack: Robert N. Charrette).

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Thank you Brian for agreeing to talk to me about your life as a soldier.

Briam Cameron Commander MechWarrior SigmaPsiBrian Cameron:  Thank you Kinkajou for the opportunity to introduce your readers to my world.

Growing up in a mercenary company doesn’t give you much opportunity to be a kid.

My name is Brian Cameron:  I’m a MechWarrior of Wolf’s dragoons. I would like to say that I’m only a simple soldier.

My Sibko and myself are all part of the genetic heritage of the Cameron honour line. We have all faced the same trials, and if we have made the maximum effort, there is no dishonour in not being first. We are all part of the dragoons and a success for one Dragoon, is a success for all of the other Dragoons.


I however, was fortunate to have earned an HonourName. When given this name in acceptance of my warrior abilities in the trials I faced after graduation, I was told “Earn honour for your name”. An HonourName is a living thing, carried by one, but a voyage in an ocean of history shared by many.

I was a mercenary and I had a lifetime of deeds done by those before me, with which to gauge and measure my progress in life.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   So tell me what it is like to be a mercenary.

Briam Cameron Commander MechWarrior SigmaPsiBrian Cameron:  The dragoons have never been simple mercenaries. When they were founded, their assignment was to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each of the great houses of The Inner Sphere, signing into service with them one by one as the mercenary regiment, Wolf’s Dragoons.

I am a Dragoon. We are trained to look beneath the surface and sense a person’s strength. I would never mistake the physique for the man. Inner strength is easily sensed by a true warrior, even if appearance is not familiar. Most people think that a warrior with a small build is worth little in a brawl, where the ability to inflict and endure punishment is usually paramount. Physical size is not important for a warrior or a mercenary.

Being a warrior/mercenary, is also more than just technology. It involves mental as well as physical discipline. It Involves being adaptable, being intelligent and winning in many different circumstances. Difficult circumstances.

When I arrived at my first appointment on the Dropship “Chieftain”, I remember my compatriots telling me “You’re out of Sibko now, boy. You’ll be seeing a lot of things that can’t be, but are.” They thought that the metal wombs freeze brain cells. They told me that they thought we “tinspawn” were all alike.

The real world was the only real educator. I had a lot of education to unlearn upon my graduation.

Being a mercenary is a discipline, but being a commander is even more so. A commander must keep some secrets. It’s not just part of the mystique – it’s a necessary tool in maintaining unpredictability. “Seeing” is as much a part of war as projectile cannons and blood. A commander uses one face in public and another in the command centre.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   So tell us about some of the mechanisms of war.

Briam Cameron Commander MechWarrior SigmaPsiBrian Cameron:  My Dropship was the “Chieftain”. It carried us to war. I remember looking up one night and seeing its huge ovoid shape screening half the stars twinkling in the sky of a chill winter’s night.

Dropships are massive vessels designed to carry the massive BattleMechs, their munitions, ancillary equipment and all their maintenance facilities and crews into battle. They are designed to drop this equipment onto a planetary surface. They are designed to take punishment from the enemy and to survive.

Our main war machines were the BattleMechs. I particularly remember their presence in my cadet school training grounds. The hulks of the shattered BattleMechs lay strewn across the terrain like giant corpses.

Foamed titanium alloy bones glinted from within dark gaping wounds in their armoured shells, and sheets of myomer pseudo -muscle would hang grey and limp from these metallic carcasses like strands of decaying flesh. Bits of exposed metal stained the Mech surfaces with streaks of rust resembling old crusted blood.

These machines were remnants of old battles.

The Mechs had been stripped of useful equipment and the shattered husks left to rust in the field. Even as hulks, they provided excellent cover and cover was life for an infantryman, even when that infantryman was an Elemental, wearing an Elemental battle armour suit.

Elementals were essentially individuals enhanced by mechanisation. BattleMechs were construct machines piloted by individuals.

Elementals are very important in combat situations. They offer a trooper the best protection and movement capabilities, short of a vehicle such as a BattleMech. They were not designed to allow a human to go one-on-one with even the lightest of BattleMechs. They are used to provide a capacity; to mechanically enhance infantry. An Elemental is to a BattleMech, much akin to what infantry of old were for mechanised vehicles such as APCs and tanks.


Battle is of course complicated and fast. I was a communications officer. Handling the volume of comm- traffic inherent in a multi-regiment battle is a full-time job. Try adding that to the task of piloting a BattleMech barrelling along at 50 km/h over rough terrain and see how much time you have to consider tactical subtleties.

Training, the ability to handle and react to many different situations effectively in combat, is critical. The technology in the people is just as important as the technology in the machines.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   I can see how there has been a new path developed for mobility. On established worlds, wheels and tracks are powerful. On new and raw worlds with low populations, “feet” are far more useful and are able to be deployed in many more situations than simple wheeled vehicles.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Now, something new.  Medical facilities are an important aspect of war.


Briam Cameron Commander MechWarrior SigmaPsiBrian Cameron:  Medical facilities are important fact of life anywhere, even for soldiers in supposedly safe environments. I remember being in a bar room brawl. People can be injured sufficiently with fists and other blunt objects enough to require substantial medical care.

Every soldier is capable of tending their own cuts and scrapes. However our technology is used not just to fix people, but it is used to also make people or soldiers as well.

I would often go to the wombs within the medical centre to think. The wombs were mostly dark at night, most of the scientists having returned to the quarters.

At night there would often only be a skeleton staff on duty and they would usually stay at their monitors. I remember standing outside a chamber – chamber 17. Beyond the transpex, was my birthplace, I had decided. We were never told which of the womb chambers had been ours. I was able to see the wombs within the chamber through the transpex. The wombs themselves looked like a firefly structures of monitors and status lights. But hopefully never red lights.

It seems strange to me that new life was stored in the cores of those iron wombs that looked so hard and inhuman.

The automation and simplification of medical technology is important. GUI interfaces allow simple actions to initiate complex sequences of interactions, saving time but at the same time utilising and maximising the skills of the trained or the untrained.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Still many technologies never change. We still have books. We still have monitors. We still have messages and reports. Information access and usage is an important technology.

Technologies such as book readers allow us to change how we look at and access the technology/information but at the end of the day much information is still gleaned by the interaction of the human visual system with systems of symbolic logic such as language.

Briam Cameron Commander MechWarrior SigmaPsiBrian Cameron:  One of the key advantages that the Mech Warriors brought when they invaded the “Inner Sphere” was the neuro helmet interface. This enables a much faster interaction between the intelligence/brain and the effectuator systems of the BattleMechs.

So I would say although many things stay the same, they also become different. Yes, the brain still interacts with the machinery, but in battle even a split second counts. So any technology which subtracts even a fraction of a second from response time in battle can be valuable.


Briam Cameron Commander MechWarrior SigmaPsiBrian Cameron:  In the dragoons, we believe that hesitation is death on the battlefield. Lacking the life-and-death incentives of the battle, I have tarried too long. Goodbye.

Kinkajou Kinkajou:   Goodbye Brian.




Brian Cameron

Wolf Pack



Brian Cameron

Wolf Pack



Brian Cameron

Wolf Pack