In the last of three articles on Radianism, I now go over its point system, funeral rites, and sayings, all of which tie together in unexpected ways.
How Radians earn merit points:
-1 point for every $1000 you give toward an authorized research project that leads to a verified discovery. 1 point for every $10,000 you give toward a project that doesn’t. Donating supplies, floor space, or services also count.
-1 point for attending pace unit (a Radian worship service)
-10 points for peer reviewing someone else’s research paper
-50 points for each major certification earned
-100 points for each published and peer reviewed researched paper
-100 points for each year of working full time at a research center
-250 points for each new degree earned
-500 points for contributing research or knowledge toward a discovery or being a leader overseeing such a project
-10,000 points for each new verified scientific/mathematical discovery
-1,000,000 points for an award winning discovery (examples: med nano, holovisor, neural implant, namiron comm system)
From this, we see Radianism values the result far more than mere effort. And while it rewards monetary donations, it isn’t as important as the discoveries themselves. You can also imagine that lots of people try to get their names in the credits of research papers, even when their contribution was minimal Collaborators sometimes have to go to review boards and explain to the merit judge what they contributed. Video evidence of their lab work is generally expected, so every lab session gets recorded. Researchers will hire young assistants to comb through footage for the important moments, and such effort is generally counted as partial credit toward a discovery.
Radians put the body of the deceased on ice at the city cryotorium. They believe they’ll one day discover how to restore the dead to life through some grand scientific discovery, even before the ultimate resurrection. Placement in the cryotorium depends on the person’s lifetime merit sum. If the body is mangled beyond recovery or is missing (in the case of many quake victims), or if the family can’t afford the monthly cryo fee, then a DNA sample is preserved instead.
A Radian priest gives a short sermon about the hope of resurrection after Radia wins the Day of Contest. They believe they’ll live again in the Epoch of Resurrection after Radia returns from Reality One.
The family conducts a reading of the lifetime merit sum and shows the final merit charts over that person’s life, highlighting his or her key achievements. Attendees wear red and attach handwritten letters to the deceased on a memory board. Family of the deceased read those letters after the funeral to discover memories about their loved one that they often knew nothing about. Reading these has sometimes led to new discoveries–especially if a lab partner jotted last thoughts on an experiment that the deceased had been working on.
They also display the family curacora (a tapestry showing the family tree and the lifetime merit score of each member). After the probate merit judge panel awards any remaining points, the final lifetime sum is stitched to that person’s name on the curacora. Scribes’ Descent chapter 6 shows some of these rites being performed for Mallory’s parents and Leah’s mom, even though they weren’t Radians.
Sayings and Terms:
-“washout”: a Radian who has backslidden into non-practice
-“timewaster”: someone who isn’t driven to achieve, but still attends pace unit
-“I won’t waste my time to insult you properly”: a common insult
-”May your merit rise to Radia’s notice”: a common greeting
-”How are you?” “I’m feeling meritorious today, and you?”: another common greeting
-“buyer”: a Radian who supposedly bribes Merit Judges to grant them bogus merit points. Very often, a person wealthy enough to bribe a Merit Judge is already highly accomplished, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, the child of a prominent researcher is accused of this.
-“bedbug”: someone who sleeps too much. Sleep is considered a derogatory term (they resent needing to rest at all, because it’s the most unproductive part of life)
And that wraps up our series on Radianism. If you haven’t read the first two articles, check out the previous two blog articles. After a few more science articles, we’ll go back and cover Ipraunism, which has its own distinct blend of oddness.
Can you think of other ways Radians should be able to earn merit points that would lead to scientific advancements? Reply to this email and let me know! And if someone wants to make fanart, it would be cool to have pictures of what the memory boards and curacora might look like! (Or the cryotorium)
Writing update: I’ve sent over 30 beta copies of Scribes Aflame. Last call: if you want a copy, let me know. I need feedback by Aug 14th. If you can’t read the whole book by then, no problem–I still need reviews lined up for launch week.
7/30 to 8/14 beta reading
8/14 to 8/18 finalize manuscript
8/18 to 8/25 format for ebook and print
8/26 order proof copy of paperback and hardcover from KDP
9/11-ish if proof looks good, publish on Amazon and IngramSpark and order author copies
9/25-ish start bringing print copies of Scribes Aflame to sales events
See you next month