Going through the stories set in Witness, I have noticed that not many places are named. This is starting to become a problem for the liveliness of the stories that are being written.
Right off the bat, we need to decide if Distrikts have cities or are cities. It seems that, when @yudhanjaya started drafting, Distrikts were meant to be cities. For example, the Witnesspedia entry for the Assembly refers to “the city center”; of the Covenant, we are told that “it resembles Riga, Latvia”, and so on. Only Avantgrid has a small capital city, Akur.
I propose we change this. Reason: a Witness made of only 5-6 Distrikt-cities could not underpin the economic and social complexity that we want… unless, of course. you were speaking of 5-6 megalopoles, with 10-25 million inhabitants each for Hygge, the Covenant, the Assembly and Libria. We know Avantgrid is small, as is the Dandelion Republic.
There are two possibilities:
- Distrikts are like countries, with the population of small-to-midsize states: 5 to 50 million inhabitants. I imagine Libria and Hygge as the largest. Each has 2-4 notable cities, including a Distrikt capital.
- Distrikts are like city-states, each with 10-25 million inhabitants (we have not seen a 50 million-inhabitants city yet). If we do that, the notion of “a city” becomes very hard to represent: for humans to perceive a place as vivid, it needs to be human-scaled. This is how non-Americans perceive New York: through the visual and social signatures of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx. So, we would need to invent neighborhoods within the city-Distrikts.
I think I like option 1 best, but am ready to change my mind.
Questions to @yudhanjaya @Joriam @hugi @lidiazuin @iouxo @nadia:
- Which of the two solutions above do you find more convincing?
- How would one generate a plausible name for a city (option 1) or a neighborhood (option 2) in Witness? Think “John Zdanov teaches math at the University of PLACENAME” or “My sister had to go to the hospital in PLACENAME for a blood test”.