Gallatopia

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Gallatopia. A city beyond imagination. A utopian experiment. The place that I was lucky enough to call home for five years of my life.


Geography

Time

The year is 2070. Gallatopia, a beautiful Utopian city, floats through the ocean on a ship unmatched in technological innovation. I've seen this ship float, submerge, and fly. Seen it with my own eyes! Nanotechnology has allowed for most of these technological innovations, and the Gallatopians have expanded beyond commonly known scientific research by leaps and bounds.

Setting & Ecology

Gallitopia’s creation will take place at a distance from civilization, specifically in the southern and northern most poles. Technology will permit us to protect ourselves from the extreme weather, pollution, and violence of outsiders. Gallitopia’s position also facilitates foreign relations, primarily with the issue of climate change. We are more than willing to reveal the location of our subships around the world in addition to disclosing the subship’s dome shape and several but not all of the subship’s abilities. The exact coordinates of the Mothership will not be disclosed under any circumstances. The captain of the mothership is permitted to assist and welcome foreign fisherman onto our waters. However, as the fisherman exits our territory the coordinates and location of the mothership will change depending on its choice of a safe location on either of the poles. This is possible through structure’s ability to become mobile; the artificial intelligence unit controlling the Motherhsip’s motor functions will be capable of alerting its human operators of impending danger and the necessity of relocation. The Mothership’s AIU will then await protocols before relocating. All Gallitopian ships, including the Mothership, will be constructed in the shape of a dome. The domed structure provides fluctuations in temperatures to simulate the seasons of the outside world. The dome’s platform will also be controlled by artificial intelligence unit (AIU). Depending on the society’s needs, the platform can expand and shorten to accommodate the dome’s inhabitants. The dome will maintain the standard position remaining in the same place if unthreatened. If in danger, the dome can submerge to the bottom of the sea or ascend into space. Leading specialists in biology, ecology, zoology, cryptozoology, and other fields of science related to the ecology of Gallitopia will work tirelessly to recreate the formations of the oceans and the seas. Our research and experimentation with water will facilitate our creation of unique flora and fauna as well as our reconstruction of coral reefs around the earth. We will also research the use of water on other planets and its behavior within Black Holes. This branch of water science will contribute to our research in intergalactic travel. Our goal is to truly make water the source of all life within the dome; a drop of water will be capable of growing medicinal flowers found only in Gallitopa. Water alone will activate the growth of various fruits containing nutritional value to both humans and animals. Our ultimate goal is to replenish the earth with freshwater using our nanotechnological advances. We have confidence that in the same way our nanites can create the perfect world for Gallatopian citizens it will undoubtedly assist the rest of the world. We believe our nanites will be the answer to water and perhaps even land pollution.

We will explore all opportunities to create the perfect environment for a symbiotic relationship between wilderness, urban, suburban, and rural lifestyle.  The AIU found on both the Mothership and the subships can determine the overall happiness of its inhabitants. It can calculate their mood and body temperature fluctuations to provide suggestions f or a better lifestyle. We will provide Gallitopian citizens aboard the Mothership and sub-ships with the simple technology necessary to facilitate happiness. This includes AIUs on devices such as tablets and cellphones. This AIU can also be installed in homes and vehicles to prevent motor vehicle accidents and theft.  In the event that Earth’s safety or inhabitability is threatened the Motherhsip’s AIU will calculate Gallitopia’s defenses. The Mothership will send an emergency signal to its human operators and the subships containing coordinates for ascension into outer space or submersion in the ocean.  

Nano technological advances will provide for the ecology and geography that makes Gallitopia unique. We have synthesized several materials to make a microscopic AIU placed within the center of each molecule of metal. It is capable of altering the composition, shape, and durability needed for the movability of the dome. It can harden to submerge underwater or become light to ascend to space. Most importantly, it will remain afloat on the ocean, eliminating the swaying motion on a regular boat. The material is titled Serico Metallum, a unique metal developed by Gallitopian scientists inspired by nature. This new super metal is modeled after the silk made of pure protein and stronger than our most durable steel. With this knowledge and invention of gallium-based liquid metal, Sericum Metallum is nearly indestructible and most importantly malleable. We can assure that this metal is safe and reliable; after all, the spider never falls off its web when capturing its next meal. We have observed the protein of the spider silk fully merge with various other metalloids. Further, we have assured that the isotopes of gallium have an indefinite shelf-life and that the material will not oxidize once placed in the open. We have assured that its chemical composition is stable. The valance electrons will always give the sum of 8 remaining neutral when giving or receiving electrons. Important structures such as regular housing units within Gallitopia will be created from this metal. The electric conductivity of Serico Metallum will allow the nanites within metal to react to any change to the environment. The electric conductivity will not be dangerous to human beings because it will be shielded from human beings. As an added benefit, the ground itself will be capable of powering vehicles or other electronic devices on the surface. The material will also have the ability to replace the standard steel used in dental implants, bones, and other reconstructive body parts. The nanites will be unlike anything seen on Earth, prominent and exclusive to Gallitopia.

Technology

The ship is sub-divided into the mothership and other smaller "sub"-ships. The mothership connects to the sub-ships in a circular pattern kind of like an airport terminal, but there are walkways which allow each sub-ship to connect to the mothership and enter into it. The sub-ships are not always attached to the mothership, however. There is a high level of security on these terminals, and human employees allow only specific ships to pass through, but Gallatopia has the technology of digital molecules at the end of the walkways which detect the entering ship and therefore will be able to authenticate ships. These digital molecules are shaped after protein molecules and their enzymes where only a specific type of protein fit into a specific type of enzyme, and therefore the ship contains a type of digitally rendered enzymes on their entering walkways and the mothership contains a type of digitally rendered protein on their walkways. If these two are able to connect and break-down the digitally rendered protein the ship will be able to authenticate and be allowed to connect, and if not then it will commence security procedures.

There is no necessity for a jail ship in Gallatopia. The value system of these people leaves little opportunity for crime. Gallatopians would be confused by things such as murder and theft, they see nothing to gain in such acts. There are occasional exceptions; the Gallatopians choose to force these individuals to leave the nation rather than imprison them within their society.

Moreover, technology at this point has reached a high level where computers are highly advanced, and also tablets have become the new norm of communication as well as mobile devices. The ships technologies are run on tablet devices as well as being wireless. The global economy is in a phase where the Internet has replaced the mobile network and now phone calls run on applications such as Skype and Google Voice. All communication to the ship is done through the Internet and computer security on the ship is nearly uncrackable. The ship contains servers which hold the identity of each passenger and contain all the necessary information from their dietary preferences to their blood group and cloth size. This data is used to virtually adjust in a feedback loop the rooms of these specific people as well as help them to choose their jobs and decide on their education. There are now algorithms designed to suggest and council each individual into choosing the right path and to make it their own choice in what job they take. All rooms and divisions of the ships will contain highly advanced computers will software that could be required by individuals and access to the Internet and entertainment resources.

Information is connectable from any side of the world by any boat, and the servers are strong and secure enough to connect and monitor the boats while they are on the other side of the world. The information is therefore kept in one area of the mothership rather than duplicating and keeping them on all ships, however in case of emergency there are backup copies kept on one of the sub-ships. This sub-ship is decided by the elected captain of the ship.

The procedure for a new family to come onto the ship will be complicated and there will be computer systems designed to place families into the correct sub-ship which they will be participating and exploring with.

Lastly, the global technology has also entered the phase of wireless charging and so the power is based in the center of each ship and everything gets charged and powered without the need to get outlets. There is a stream of electricity that goes around and charges mobile devices, tablets, fridges, appliances automatically and is very safe to use and deploy. Each ship has to be recharged by the mothership at least once a year as they are not big enough to contain their own power generators, and this recharging starts occurring at point of connection in the walkways. In addition, the technology available is close to 90% efficient and also takes into account the green building construction techniques which make it a very sustainable developing system in the global industry.

Mothership

The mothership is the biggest hub out of all the ships for jobs and the technology. The mothership contains most of the shops, departmental stores and education centers. It contains the agricultural fields, banks, power generators, restaurants, shopping malls, control rooms, dining halls, trade schools, sports centers, and hospitals. The majority of the population is employed on the mothership, and most higher level graduate students work and do their research there as well.

There are individuals who live on the mothership and operate the different functions and communications with the Sub-ships. This is their permanent job as the people involved with these technologies are quite busy and have to regularly update and monitor on the security and intelligence of these ships. These are also the people who are in charge of communicating and finalizing all security measures and notifying the captains of all ships if something goes wrong. Moreover, they also update the medical stocks of all ships using the central technology present and are in charge of the day-to-day functions of each job.

Sub-ships

The sub-ships contain the necessary equipment to survive without the mothership, but these survival kits are not required by the government and are dealt with purely by the ship's inhabitants. Each sub-ship is used mainly as living quarters; when the sub-ships are attached to the mothership, their inhabitants will do their day-to-day business (work, schooling, shopping, visiting) on the mothership. Sub-ships are allowed to leave the mothership at any time, other than two months in the middle of June when all of the citizens of Utopia unite in celebration together. In the sub-ships each individual gets their own rooms except couples whom get a double sized single room, and if the couples have children the children’s rooms are attached to theirs. There is usually enough medicine for each individual who lives on the subship to survive in case of an emergency. Medicine has improved drastically in this stage so there is a cure for most of the diseases, and diseases such as Polio have been eradicated.

Technology & Crisis

During a crisis or emergency situation the ship has monitors and sensors that will be able to alert all ships and go through a procedure which will enclose a ship with the complete dome and it will either submerge or float depending on the crisis. This is automatic but will also require the consensus of the captain when it happens. The Artificial Intelligence within the ship is set to a high level and so if there is to be a crisis the ship will make sure it is a large enough situation for the captain or for the whole community to be alerted. In terms of evacuation if there is a problem with the ship there are individuals who are working and are talented enough to fix the problems, however if there is a major problem with the ship there are backup boats or safety boats on each ship enough for each passenger.

Government

Governance

Each sub-ship of Gallatopia has one captain who leads the ship and makes basic decisions about the day to day running of the ship. The mother ship has three such captains who work together to run Gallatopia. The captains of each sub ship are elected by the populous and whoever wins the majority vote becomes the captain for an indefinite term. The captain makes all decisions, though the population can address decisions they dislike at their will.

Each citizen possesses a highly intelligent computer system through which all government decisions are announced. If a citizen opposes a decision or wants to raise a new issue, they report it to the computer system. If at least one third of the ship’s population is worried about the same issue, a town meeting is held. All ship members must attend this meeting or else they will be ineligible to vote on the issues addressed at the meetings. During the meetings, all concerns are voiced and debated openly. Meetings are limited to a maximum of 6 hours to keep citizens from dragging an issue out and avoiding the voting process. When voting, one third of the population must agree to vote on the issue and a majority of the population must agree for any decision to be finalized. No more than four meetings can be held in one month.

This same process is used to elect new captains whenever the populous decides it is time for a change in leadership. Anyone can be elected as captain if the majority agrees and the populous can decide to elect a new captain as often or as sporadically as they deem necessary. Four times a year, the captains of each sub-ship meet on the mother ship and hold meetings. At these meetings the captains vote on issues that affect all sub ships as well as the mother ship and vote on whether or not it is time to change the leadership of the mother ship. If the captains decide that an election should be held to replace the leadership of the mother ship, the captains return to their individual sub ships. There, they hold an election amongst their sub ship to choose the next mother ship captain. These votes are then brought to the mother ship where all votes are pooled and whoever wins the popular vote replaces any of the captains of the mother ship that are leaving their post. If the election is extremely close, those candidates that did not receive many votes are removed from the ballot and the election process starts again with those remaining. Any member of the society can be elected as captain of any sub ship or as one of the three captains of the mother ship. Any member of the society can refuse this position if they are nominated or elected.

Security

The Gallatopian government offers protection and security through collective insurance plans. Each sub-ship has the option of buying (or not buying) into a plan. This plan includes indemnification for victims as well as well as a wide range of protection services, which can be customized to each sub-ship's preferences. Premiums are charged to each sub-ship's local government. The local government then determines costs for individuals. Since costs are determined for the sub-ship's net wealth rather than individual wealth, one's financial class cannot put one at an advantage or disadvantage. Also since costs are distributed, safe and legal behavior is encouraged over violent and illegal behavior because violent behavior would equate to higher premium rates for everyone. Attacks between sub-ships are also discouraged because the damages cost the government money, and aggressive and violent ships will be more difficult to insure and will have to pay a higher premium. There are no bans on sub-ships themselves starting up similar insurance agencies. Competition would force the Gallatopian government to always provide quality services and to keep the premiums from becoming to high. Also since the government always provides insurance, there is always at least one institution is providing security should the private-sub-ship security firms fail or lack the resources to aid in emergencies. Because the leadership of the government is in the control of the sub-ship captains themselves, the interests of the sub-ship inhabitants are in direct contract with the government.

Military

Since the funds for the military come from those paying for insurance, the military is fairly limited in scope. There isn't much of a need for a large military, however, because sub-ships can simply sail to safer territories if danger is imminent. There is a small army separate from the insurance funded military for the purposes of defending the mother-ship.

Service in the military plays a more symbolic role than most developed countries' militaries do. Since Gallatopia is relatively isolationist, the military is always stationed at home. And since Gallatopia rarely gets attacked, due to its submergibility, the military is also idle for most of the time.

Enlisting into service is not an option. Positions in the military are competed for through mock war games. There are several factions that act in a similar way to sports teams, however, the goal is less focused on a given faction winning a battle, instead it is focused on demonstrating innovative technology, which the government may find worthy to invest in. Individual performance is also emphasized because a soldier's rank in the military is largely determined by their performance on the battlefield. Most battles are computer simulations between submarines. Much of the competition is focused on cryptography and computer hacking.

There are also competitions for joining Gallatopia's ground infantry. Violence is kept to a minimum and rubber rounds are used. These competitions have become a part of Gallatopia's pop culture and many soldiers become celebrities through their fights and trials. The soldiers aren't praised for having a violent nature. They are treated more like athletes. The highest ranking soldiers are believed to have near-superhuman ability.

Immigration

Becoming a Gallatopian is a different process for everyone. Each Sub-Ship has their own policy with regards to non-citizens. Before applying for Gallatopian citizenship, one must make a home on a sub-ship. To become a citizen on the mother-ship, one must have a sponsor living on the mother-ship. This sponsor can be anyone from an employer to a family member. A limit on how many people can apply for citizenship to the mother-ship exists because there is limited space. There are no such limits for sub-ship citizenship. After one has made a home on a sub-ship or has a sponsor on the mother-ship, applying for citizenship is an option. To become a citizen, one must swear an oath to the Gallatopian philosophy and religion and to take in the ocean as their God and Mother.

Crime and Punishment

The government of Gallatopia is not too concerned by crimes. Because the only people in Gallatopia are those that want to be there, there is not an excess of crimes committed, either aboard the mothership or aboard its smaller vessels. However, each smaller vessel is insured—at a flat rate—by the government; if vandalism or harm comes to the vessel, the government gives the occupants of the ship credit to rebuild or fix any damage. If a citizen harms the vessel intentionally, the government fines them (they lose credit and are in debt to the government). Occasionally, if the harmed boat requests it, the person who caused the damage are asked to come and help fix damage. Other small crimes are treated in this same manner—with loss of credit—although if there are repeated offenses, the individual is sent to live in the “jailboat,” a ship similar in institution to the jails in Ecotopia, in that they are places that prepare the citizens for reintegration into society, rather than punishment. If the crime continues to be repeated, or it is of a larger nature (such as assault, government officials lying to the people or being corrupted, citizens falsifying credit), then the individuals are put into forced exile. They are sent to sea in a small sailboat with minimal supplies for survival. After a year, they are allowed to return to the community, and their ability to find Gallatopia and their dedication to return is seen as justification for their reintegration into society. Repetition of these crimes—or crimes that are unforgiveable, such as murder, means that they are no longer able to return to Gallatopia. Police in Gallatopia are instigated as a way to prevent crime rather than to “keep the peace” or protect society. There are ten police officers in the water, in smaller boats at any given time. They are there in case people on the smaller “suburban” vessels of Gallatopia get injured or are in danger; they also serve as look outs for outside ships and mediate tensions that arise between citizens. Similar police groups are scattered throughout the mothership; the whole police force totals roughly 100 men in women. Because police aren’t there to punish people or solve crime, there is very little corruption—generally, the police take the job because they enjoy bringing their community together and keeping them safe.


Economy

Currency

Gallatopia uses a credit system as currency, organized by a bank with ten Currency Managers who help facilitate the credit system . When a citizen beings his/her new job, they are first put into the Bank's computer system. Instead of an ID or card, their DNA (through blood tests, retina scans, finger paints, etc) is their identification, eliminating any chance of stolen identity. They then earn credit for the number of hours they work everyday, with each job earning the same amount of credit to avoid a class system and any difficulties that a class system could cause. Credit can be spent at any of the market places around the ships, usually for food, clothing and necessitates (which are usually very cheap) but if credit is saved one could purchase a variety of different artisan goods. Every working citizen in the Gallatopia receives a set amount of credits based on the work they do. All citizens are required to join the workforce at the age of 19. Prior to their induction into the workforce, all 18-year-old citizens go through what’s called the “Smorgasbord”. The Smorgasbord is a year where all 18-year-old citizens sample jobs throughout the ship. Should they find a profession that interests them, they are assigned a mentor in said profession. After working under a mentor for a year, the citizen is then fully accepted into the workforce.The interests of the worker mainly influence the process of selecting a job. Every job garners the same amount of credits per day. Each profession requires a worker to accumulate 9 hours of work in a day. Different professions garner different amounts of respect. This concern is miniscule and does not often affect a person’s job choice. note: if you are an immigrant to gallatopia you may not take the job of cows men.

Jobs

There are a variety of jobs in Gallatopia. Standard jobs such as teachers, law enforcers, and politicians exist but other jobs are held in high regard. These include fishermen that supply most of the food for the community (these include cormorant fishing with trained birds and deep sea fishing as well) and maintenance for both the mothership and the various smaller ships. Maintenance is taken incredibly seriously on board. In fact, those who apply to the trade school for ship maintenance are required to attend extra schooling to assure that they are fully educated in how the ship functions. This includes basic upkeep such as painting and cleaning to various engineer functions that keep the ship working.

Other basic occupations have to attend a specific trade school, which has it's own article below.

Religion/Philosophy

The religion and philosophy of the Gallatopians are strongly connected. The bulk of their religious principles manifest themselves in everyday life. To really understand these beliefs, we must consider how large a role the ocean plays in their lives. For generations, this society has grown and evolved to the rock of the waves and pull of the tides. Many of the children have never even seen land, much less set foot upon it.

I suppose you could say that the Gallatopians worship the ocean, but that hardly captures their relationship with the water. Believe it or not, you could describe the ocean as the God, Mother, Brother, and idol, of the Gallatopians and not once be wrong. The sea can be vicious, tossing their ships to and frow; in early generations of Gallatopia, many were killed by overwhelming waves and unexpected storms. At the same time, the ocean looks over them. Gallatopians turn to the water for their food, recreation, cleanliness, and just about everything else. The Gallatopians are very much aware of the water’s temperamental quality, but at the end of the day, they like to imagine the calm sea at sunset; steady, drifting, truly tranquil. In the early morning or evening, it is most common to find groups of people lining the edge of the ship, sitting silently facing the ocean.

I suppose this is the closest you could say the Gallatopians get to prayer. Thinking they had a similar relationship with the sea as Christians have with their God, I once questioned a women what she asked the ocean for during her sitting. Met with a chuckle, I was informed that the Gallatopians, in fact, ask nothing of the deep. Rather, they simply sit and contemplate the water, striving to achieve its peace and all encompassing calm. “Even when we fight through a storm,” a man named Norman explained, “just a mile or so South of us, the water is tranquil; it's as if nothing was happening. We see problems like storms; they are just a part of life. To be truly at peace, even when troubles brew in one place, as a whole, we must allow calm to pervade. The tides of the ocean breath in and out without thought, ignorant of all outside action. Whenever things become rough in my life, I simply return to my tide, my ever flowing breath in and out.” After speaking with Norman, I actually tried some of the breathing exercises he showed me, trying to emulate the calm yet eternal motion of the water, and believe it or not, I think I’ve never felt so relaxed in my life.

In many respects, I’ve begun to notice that Gallatopian beliefs mirror that of Buddhist and Hindi traditions. Besides their heavy emphasis on meditation (I later found out nearly all Gallatopians mediate facing the sea daily) they practice a form of yoga that appeared quite strange. Though the Gallatopians have no sort of centralized church or charismatic leaders, there are some among them who have committed themselves to a life of searching to attain “the nature of the sea”. These men and women spend an astonishing amount of time floating alongside the ship. On nice days, the Gallatopians will swim out to join these spiritual leaders. It was a bizarre sight to see, but I swear to you, hundreds of Gallatopians at a time will be led through what I can only describe as synchronized swimming. That’s right, synchronized swimming! From the boat it looks rather silly, but I’m told it is actually wonderful not only for keeping in shape, but also for clearing the mind and feeling at one with the ocean they hold so dear. This odd yoga actually has many similarities to the Hatha Yoga practiced in India, it has simply been adapted to the water. They use it to cleanse the body and clear the mind. It seems to work well and everyone returns home smiling and refreshed.


The Gallatopians are radical individuals who rely heavily upon their own inner compasses. They refuse to blindly follow the ideas of others and insist upon examining each and every law and order to assure its justice. From workplace policy to national law, nothing is exempt from scrutiny; Gallatopians refuse to be taken advantage of. The strong sea-faring men and women of their ancestry instilled them with bold souls. However, this questioning nature has bred a great trust among them. All Gallatopians know that their comrades will examine each situation with a close eye, so they have little fear of mistakes or evil action.

There is definitely something odd about the way Gallatopians interact with each other but up until recently, I was unable to pinpoint it. Everyone speaks with incredible frankness. The entire concept of beating around the bush is utterly lost here. Especially in the workplace, answers are often given in an astoundingly direct manner. Like many aspects of their lives, this seems to come from their deep tie to the ocean. In earlier generations of Gallatopia, before the technological innovations of today, the society at sea often petered on the brink of annihilation during intense storms. In such moments of peril, there was little time to mince words, and so it seems, the Gallatopians carried this attitude into their everyday lives. I’ve been subjected to comments I considered quite rude at the time, but later realized were embarrassingly accurate. Since the Gallatopians realize they will never be able to change their emotions towards each other, they have decided it better to simply put everything out in the open, rather than let problems brew over to a boiling point. While some remarks are often initially astonishing, they are always delivered with a calm and even tone. Nobody is ever offended, in fact, quite the opposite seems to be the norm. Gallatopians are thankful for honesty, even if the truth is difficult to hear. They find that most conflicts can be resolved before they even begin by discussing issues early on and allowing both parties to clear their mind.

The emancipation of evil action is also rooted in the base of Gallatopian philosophy. They believe life is the pursuit of happiness. All Gallatopians wish more than anything to be happy people. It could be argued that our society shares this mission; however, the Gallatopians have made some drastically different conclusions in terms of methodology. First of all, they see pleasure as the greatest route to happiness. The Gallatopians use their astounding ability for examination in this sport most of all. They have recognized that pleasure may, in some cases, cause pain. Pain that can sometimes overwhelm the pleasure itself. These pleasures, the Gallatopians posit, are not true pleasures. The result of pursuing false pleasures is really, in the end, nothing more than pain and unhappiness. This holistic view is crucial. Objects of luxury, wealth, and status, are seen to have low, if not negative, net gains of pleasure, and so they are rarely pursued in Gallatopia. They find the most pleasure, and thus the most happiness, in simple things such as family, tasty food, and of course, the great shining ocean.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of their beliefs is that how much pleasure they get out of helping other people. Nowhere else have I seen so many people doing random little acts of kindness for no reason at all. Norman actually explained to me that it is all quite selfish if you really look at it: they find magnanimity incredibly pleasurable. This was shocking to me, but it seems like those who act in kindness always come out of it with a smile on their face!

Now my natural question was, what happens when two people’s pleasure intersect, as is bound to happen. It turns out, they believe that a person obtains more pleasure from relinquishing a pleasure to another, than they would have from pursuing that pleasure. Stepping back and allowing another to precede towards their goal is, in fact, the greatest pleasure of all. This means, everyone in Gallatopia can act in total self interest, searching for their personal happiness, while stile constantly fighting for the happiness of others. The happier they make those around them, the happier they will be themselves! [2]


Footnotes

[1] This method upfront interpersonal relation is closely related to the society found in Ecotopia. The people of Ecotopia are shown to be passionate, close to the point of violence at times, but in doing so, release much of the social pressure that can bog down relationships. It seems to make sense that a sea faring nation would have a similarly abrupt disposition. Sailors are rarely known as meek or shy people. However, in line with the tranquil quality of their religion, it seemed appropriate that the anger of the Ecotopians would be absent.

[2] This view of pleasure, namely the idea of acting for others as great for the individual, is heavily influenced by Utopia. The Utopians believe in a deity who has prescribed them a life a pleasure. In their society, virtue is pleasure. This is what makes their society go round, and is crucial to interactions within Gallatopia as well.

Education

Education is integrated into all facets of Gallatopian life. Gallatopians see education as a lifelong endeavor, and believe that they should never close off their minds from new knowledge. They value all types of knowledge, and have citizens that are distinguished on a global scale in nearly every field. Gallatopia is a community that thirsts for new experiences and the ability to use their creativity, and the citizens enjoy the time they spend learning and studying. Education and educators are regarded highly. In Gallatopia it is an honor to be able to mold a young mind, and they think that teaching is one of the most important parts of an individual's life.

Daily Life

Each morning, Gallatopians gather for morning movement. Dance, yoga, tai chi, and meditation are led by various members of the community, but the most popular morning movement is synchronized swimming. This time is used as reflection and preparation for the day, and a gathering of all people regardless of what they will each go on to do for the rest of the day.

After work, members of the community hold seminars, discussions, and tutorials on various academic, artistic, philosophical, and skill-based topics. Attendance is optional but these meetings are very popular.

At the age of five, all Gallatopians are given a small garden patch that they are expected to keep up. They may grow whatever they desire including otherwise illegal substances, but they are expected to tend to the patch and make sure it stays healthy. Gallatopians spend recreational time tending to these gardens and experimenting with different kinds of plants and flowers.

School System

For the first five years of their lives, children are cared for by their elders. Usually a grandmother or a grandfather steps into this role, however sometimes this is substituted by a retired aunt, uncle, or other family friend. These caretakers become deeply invested in that child's wellbeing, education, and general experience. They teach them to be self-sufficient in finding and creating their own happiness. They take the child to the learning centers and spend all day with them, encouraging them to explore and create as much as they desire.

On their fifth birthday, children begin attending the formal education system. This is set up as follows: on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, students attend the community centers for four hours of serious study in World History, Math, Science, and Writing/Languages, respectively. There are different classes set up for different styles of learning, and the students can switch which class they are in every six months. For example, students who learn the best from readings and discussions may choose to be in a different class than those who learn best from films and lectures. Each of these styles are used in every classroom, but a student is encouraged to find a teacher that most connects with their own style of learning. Each student is in charge of their own education, and they take pride in finding what will serve them best. Because of this system, children often go to different community centers on different days, to go to particular teachers. This mixing of students encourages a sense of community throughout the whole utopia.

On Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, the students attend the community centers for the same period of time, but they are given free time in workshops. Gallatopian workshops are rooms full of things to explore - there are dance studios, art studios, rooms with musical instruments, theater spaces, kitchens, photography darkrooms, gymnasiums, sports fields and courts, swimming pools, labs in which to explore sciences, carpentry studios, and many more. From the ages 5-12, it is mandatory that they spend at least one day in each different room throughout the year, in order to inspire them to explore beyond their initial interests. After age 12, they are welcome to do anything they want at any time.

Gallatopians are incredible teachers. All students like school and are interested in learning, because in Gallatopia they do not force students to do what they are not good at. If a student does not understand something, the teacher will find a better way to explain it to them. All Gallatopian students are constantly trying their best to comprehend, and teachers therefore do their best to make sure all students can understand the material. There are only three grades in Gallatopia: E (Exceeds expectation), C (Competent), and S (Substandard). These are only used to show whether or not the student has put in the expected effort to complete the task. Almost all students receive a "Competent" in most of their studies, and an "Exceeds Expectation" in one or two subjects. Most often, the fields in which the students get higher grades are the ones that they will eventually continue education to work in, but if they like another better, and work hard enough, they will be able to have any job they desire.

Trade Schools

When a Gallatopian turns 19, they make a decision about which job they want to pursue. They begin to study in an apprenticeship or a higher-education school for at least one year, depending on which job they have chosen. At 20, they are able to reevaluate and choose a different job, if they wish. Gallatopians usually have a good idea of what they want to do with their lives by the time they turn 19, as they have taken an active role in their education from the time that they were born. However, once in a while a citizen will become unhappy with their place in society, and find a new job that they wish to do. In this case, they are asked to use their free education time to develop skills in this new area. If there is enough room for them to go into that field, and if they are not needed desperately in their current field, the swap is easy. Everyone attempts to make it possible for changes like this to happen, as one should not be unhappy in the way that they spend every day.

Domestic Relationships

Childcare

Gallatopia recognizes that children are precious, and that they comprise our society's future. Special focus is put on the raising of children to foster tolerance, compassion, scholarship and integrity both in and out of the classroom.

To do this, Gallatopia engages the community as well as the family unit to raise children. The traditional family unit is honored: families live together and share a special bond. When couples wish to have a child, they must apply and register beforehand to ensure that the Gallatopia fleet is never overpopulated. Though pregnancies may be terminated at will, having a child is considered an important and carefully predetermined life event. As such, adoptions are rarely an issue in Gallatopia. A couple is never refused their right to procreate, though the government may temporarily table their request if the birth rate is starting to exceed the death rate.

Every night, children sleep at their own home, and their early years are spent being cared for by the community elders. In this elder-run daycare of sorts, they have the ability to interact with peers while their elders pave the way for children to enter elementary school as smoothly and easily as possible once they reach age seven. Homeschooling is not an option: parents are always welcome to submit changes to school syllabi if they believe there are inadequacies. Gallatopia recognizes that its children need the social interaction that school provides.

Children begin to attend government meetings at an early age, though they cannot vote until they are 18. It is the responsibility of the parents to take their children to these meetings and help them to understand the procedures and their significance. Gallatopian children tend to be very open with their parents, speaking respectfully as they would to any citizen, but also without awkwardness or restrictions. As Gallatopia is an inclusive and deeply honest society, it is important that the relationship between parent and child is very open-minded.

Sexuality

Members of Gallatopia view sexual practices as an enhancement of individual happiness. Sexual feelings and desires are seen as natural human tendencies that should be acted upon, not suppressed. Additionally, sexual preferences are not judged or stigmatized. However, if a sexual practice corrupts the liberties of others then it is seen as a punishable wrongdoing. All sexual acts must consensual between all parties involved. Furthermore, sex between adults and minors is illegal.

Sex Education

Sex education is an essential component in childrearing. At age 10, children are taught both the biological and social functions of sexual relations. Furthermore, children are taught that sexual desire is a natural, healthy human trait. Abstinence or sexual restraint is neither taught nor encouraged; instead protected sex is enforced. Birth control is implemented in every female’s life once she goes through puberty. Contraceptives are necessary in order to prevent the spreading of sexual disease and unwanted pregnancy.

Dating and Marriage

Citizens of Gallatopia are able to become romantically involved with any consenting, sexually mature adult they please. Most of the dating takes place on the Mothership since most young adults live there in small apartments. Heterosexual and homosexual marriage is a fundamental institution in the Gallatopian society. Married couples usually live on the sub-ships. It is somewhat common for couples to agree to form a sexually open relationship. However, marriage is respected as a loving partnership between two people and plural marriages are not allowed. If the couple decides that they no longer wish to be married, they may get a divorce.

Pregnancy

In order to have a child, couples fill out an application to the government. Although the government will never reject a couple’s right to extend their family, they can make a couple hold off on having a baby if the population growth becomes overwhelming. Unwanted pregnancy is nonexistent as birth control is 100% effective. A woman has to be granted to not take birth control and this happens only when the government approves of a couple's request to reproduce or when a woman reaches menopause. If a couple struggles to get pregnant, in vitro fertilization is available. Additionally, sperm/egg donations are available. Couples who are unable to physically reproduce also have the option to hire a surrogate mother to carry the developing child. Being a surrogate mother is a considered occupation. They are paid with credit as any other kind of worker.

Housing

There are below-deck apartments both on the Mother Ship as well as on each sub-ship. Placing the apartments on the lower levels of the ship conserves space on the deck as well protects the apartments from damage due to heavy winds and rains that can be present when at sea.

The apartments on the Mother Ship tend to be inhabited by single, young adults and the elderly. Young adults often move onto the sub-ships once they are ready to begin their families. The elderly live on the Mother Ship so they are closer to shops, theatres, ect… instead having to travel form the sub-ships. However, the elderly are allowed to live with their children and grandchildren if both parties have mutually agreed to this decision. Many times grandparents will move in to help take care and raise children. The apartments on the Mother Ship tend to be smaller because less people are living in them. The sub-ships are regarded more as the suburbs with the majority of inhabitants being families. The sub ship apartments are larger to accommodate more people. The government is responsible for providing housing. Apartments are not specifically assigned to Gallatopians but Gallatopians, instead, have multiple apartments located on various sub ships that they can choose from. Due to the abundance of housing, however, Gallatopians have multiple options when choosing a home or moving. Apartment size is determined by how large a family is and how many kids they have at the present moment. Apartments are very spacious and include many rooms to provide for a more pleasant living atmosphere.

Marriage is encouraged in Gallatopia and individual families live together as a single unit. However, each floor of housing is regarded as a community that looks after and cares for one another like an extended family would. A large part of the daily routine for Gallatopians includes socializing with their neighbors but each night they retire to the privacy of their own homes. Both at night and during the day Gallatopians usually do not keep their doors lock, although they do possess that option. Since one member of the floor/community is usually home at all times, Gallatopians feel safe keeping their homes unlocked. These communities do not feel the need to organize community watch programs since the crime rate is very low but all members of the community do look out for each other.

Gallatopia citizens are allowed to move from ship to ship, apartment to apartment (space permitting) if they decide that another community or school is better suited for them and/or their family. However, since the Gallatopians follow the same religion and philosophical values, moving rarely occurs. The only reason Gallotopians move is usually due to the birth of more children in the beginning phases of creating a family. Gallatopians search for unoccupied apartments while they wait for the government to approve their application for an additional child. Gallatopians are also allowed to decorate their space as they wish – frequenting the many shops of Gallatopia. Gallatopians take pride in their home décor and love to use their home’s interior as canvas to express their individuality and individual taste.

Culture

Art

Gallatopians, having received an education with an emphasis on creativity, have a great appreciation for art and creation of all kind. Art is an important part of Gallatopia’s culture in that it allows citizens the right to freedom of expression. Art often encourages a unified mindset. Gallatopians have pride for their community, and very rarely feel a need to speak out against the government and gallatopian society as a whole. If this type of art is ever produced, it inspires movements for positive social change, or, less often, the creator of such art realizes that they should simply leave Gallatopia and return to the rest of the world.

All Gallatopians are artists, so there is no specific wage earned for the creation of art. However, people are free to create and display work at any time. Most transactions take place between two citizens, exchanging one piece of art that they created for another that someone else created. Art galleries do exist and it is a great honor to be asked to show your work in a public art gallery. However, art is shown all over Gallatopia. It is typical for the buildings to change color often, due to individuals painting and repainting the facades. This is a daily occurrence and Gallatopians are not offended when a work of art is covered. Art with particular social significance ends up having a longer lifespan, and other works are replaced quickly. So it goes. Since their entire lives are about creating, Gallatopians do not feel a strong sense of ownership or pride over their work. It is simply a way of expressing feelings and emotions to large groups of people. It is another outlet through which to teach and share.

Literature utilizes a system of endorsed vs. unendorsed or experimental works, established by committees of authors and government officials. Authors are paid a small, uniform royalty for their time by the committee. Books of all genres are kept in libraries, which are divided into endorsed and experimental sections. Citizens are encouraged to read in libraries, but are able to purchase books with their credit if they so desire.

Recording musicians too are monitored by a committee of musicians and government officials which designates endorsed and experimental music. Additionally, this committee controls the programming of a 24-hour radio system [2] which features a wide selection of endorsed and experimental channels, and radio transistors and speakers are installed in each apartment and in public spaces. Citizens can request certain songs of radio stations, and those most requested will be played, though one song cannot be repeated within a minimum of three hours. Recording musicians are paid a very small royalty per song released. Recording musicians who perform live as well are paid a slightly lower royalty.


[2] Idea highly influenced by the musical telephone network in Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward.

Entertainment

Entertainment entails live theater and live music. Another committee made up of performers and government officials judges whether a performance will be advertised as endorsed or experimental. In order to perform, groups of live musicians and stage actors must register with the committee and list all participants in each act. Each act must apply for performance dates and times, which are then assigned by the committee. An act may apply per quarter for as many performance times as they like, and the committee will assign as many as they deem appropriate while communicating with all participating acts in order to create a quarterly schedule. The last two weeks of the quarter are reserved for encores of the quarter’s most successful acts. Each act is paid per ticket sold (75% goes to the act, 25% to the committee for advertisement of events and for theater upkeep). The committee does its best to ensure that nearly all tickets are sold in order to keep the amount of money earned by each act per performance fairly level.

There is one theater on each sub-ship and one very large theater on the mothership which features the most popular acts of the year from each sub-ship. Two events are held in each theater each day, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Tickets to all events cost the same moderately low price.

Sports

To my surprise, sports are an essential part of the Gallatopian lifestyle even though these people are confined to the sea. A notable athlete, Ron Shipper, explained the wonderful tradition of sport in Galltopia. He is part of the Athlete Sport Committee, a special committee composed of distinguished sportsmen, who work to promote sports throughout the nation. Their mission is to create a more athletic populace so each year they organize a national sport competition, the GallaGames, where athletes distinguish themselves. He won the wakeboarding freestyle competition himself just two years ago. His performance earned him national recognition and a place on the committee. He explained to me that for the rest of year following the GallaGames, his committee promotes the favorite national pastimes like swimming, crew, water polo, fishing, and wakeboarding. Many sports requiring large fields like football, baseball, and soccer are nonexistent, not only because they are boring sports, but also due to space limitations on the ship. Ron expressed a particular disdain for baseball, which he finds tedious and uneventful. For Gallatopians, the best sports are ones that are water-based, because they love their connection with the sea.

As I have mentioned earlier, the Gallatopians are a tough seafaring people who frequently are quite open about their feelings, often embracing their raw human aggression. Ron explained to me that they have invented a new sport called Paracombat that allows men and women alike to channel their anger. He took me to one of their games to observe a game in action. Looking from bleachers on the side of the mothership, I watched men and women strapped in parasails fight each other midair. This graceful aerial dance was also vicious with each combatant trying to rip other flying Gallatopian’s sails off. Using their teeth they would bite into their competitors’ ropes connecting to their parasails. One paracombater’s gnawing was successful causing their opponent to plunge thirty or forty feet, ending in a plume of water. Ron explained that this sport allows for a healthy competition that relieves any possible tension created from living on a ship. Man and wife often dual to settle their arguments. Maybe this is why there are so few divorces and instances of domestic violence in Gallatopia.

From what I have gathered sports play several important roles in Gallatopia: keeping citizens healthy and active, encouraging peaceful competition, and teaching the citizenry valuable skills. Schools mandate sports for the children so that they learn healthy habits early on that persist into adulthood. Adults have many options for sport leagues that are organized by the Athlete Sport Committee. Most people tend to continue their favorite sports from their school days. By giving our students an outlet for competition they also learn how to excel in academic performance (physical activity has been linked to student achievement). They tend to continue to compete in the workforce making our citizens productive and committed in their work. Since Gallatopians are a seafaring people they also must learn skills associated with the lifestyle such as swimming and fishing. All citizens learn these sports from childhood and continue them in adulthood. As a result very few people drown or go hungry. Gallatopians like Ron take great pride in their sports because they understand how sportsmanship benefits to society.

Language

It took me quite some time to adjust to Gallaspeak, the official language of Gallatopia. The language is based on English so that it is gender neutral unlike many Romantic languages that attach gender to words arbitrarily. Because it is based on English, I could acquire the language quicker than say Spanish. It contains fewer idioms than English so that it is easier to learn and not make grammatical mistakes. While similar to my native tongue, in practice it was very different speaking the language. People speak by connecting their many disparate ideas into sentences. Grammar is almost non-existent, allowing their thoughts to be as free flowing and disconnected as they wanted. Sometimes I found their insights brilliant and other times their statements ended up as drivel. Citizens frequently in their discussions reference Marx, Freud, Kant, their own unrelated thoughts, feelings, or other classes they have taken. It is mostly indecipherable to other world cultures and baffles academic communities in other countries. I was fortunate enough to have teachers good enough to explain the complexities of conveying thoughts through Gallaspeak.

Most noticeably Gallaspeak has many more words to describe the same subjects but in various degrees. This allows Gallatopians to more accurately describe their surroundings and express their feelings. For instance when sitting by the sea with an older denizen of the mothership, I discussed with him the beauty of the ocean. He described the water with nearly thirty different words. To a new speaker of the language, he just sounded redundant. However, in reality each word gave a vivid account of the nature of the water like how the peaks of waves crested or how water shimmers off the ocean. Most of their vocabulary consists of either words related to the sea, life on the ship, or the complicated philosophical concepts that they frequently discuss. I know I will miss the freedom and intellectual quality of Gallaspeak when I finally depart from this amazing civilization.

Food

Restaurants are owned and operated by the FAA (Food Accrediting Agency). The FAA hires chefs, sous chefs, waiters and waitresses, hosts and hostesses, restaurant managers, and bus boys. The managers have the agency to decorate the restaurant as they choose, and are also in charge of running how service runs and how many customers they will accept per night. The FAA, however, along with their in house executive chef, creates a seasonal menu that all restaurants are required to comply with. The menu will contain a very wide variety of food and is conscious of people’s varying eating habits. Due to the nautical nature of the Utopia, menus heavily feature seafood which has been caught and sold as a main sector of the economy.

Should an individual prefer to cook in his or her own kitchen, he or she is more than able to do so. Kitchens are not located in individual homes for safety reasons, rather are located above all grocery stores, and each family has a designated kitchen for their personal use, and grocery stores are well stocked with a very large variety of ingredients and produce; all stores carrying the exact same stock sold at the same price with the exception of all seafood which is priced based on the day’s catch and the price the fisherman proposes to the individual market.

Fashion

Clothes are made in isolated government factory ships. The process of clothes production is vertically integrated: the same government agency designs, produces, ships, and sells clothing. Clothes are varied based on season, sex, size, and color. Each season, the government designers produce four designs; two men’s outfits and two women’s. Each outfit is available to be ordered in a variety of sizes and colors in government-operated storefronts. Once a customer selects which ONE of the two outfits he or she wants, and in which size and color, it is made on the factory ship and sent to their home. At the end of the season, the clothes are to be returned to the government and the materials are recycled.