Related comments are made by the narrator in The Player of Games regarding gender-specific pronouns, which Marain speakers do not use in typical conversation unless specifying one's gender is necessary, and by general reflection on the fact that Marain places much less structural emphasis on (or even lacks) concepts like possession and ownership, dominance and submission, and especially aggression. In size drones vary substantially: the oldest still alive (eight or nine thousand years old) tend to be around the size of humans, whereas later technology allows drones to be small enough to lie in a human's cupped palm; modern drones may be any size between these extremes according to fashion and personal preference.  Murderers were offered therapy. Examples are the use of mercenaries to perform the work that the Culture does not want to get their hands dirty with, and even outright threats of invasion (the Culture has issued ultimatums to other civilisations before). There is only minimal gravity within an airsphere. The Culture Minds. However, a Mind can transfer its 'mind state' into and out of its ship 'body', and even switch roles entirely, becoming (for example) an Orbital Hub from a warship. They were analogous to the brains of spacecraft when embedded. The Culture was a post-scarcity polity, and was materially self-sufficient. Comparisons are often made between the Culture and twentieth and twenty first century Western civilisation and nation-states, particularly their interventions in less-developed societies. "Sharp Blue" is described as a utility drug, as opposed to a sensory enhancer or a sexual stimulant, that helps in problem solving. They range from funny to just plain cryptic. , A Mind's personality was influenced by the premise-state used during its creation. As such, the Culture is a post-scarcity society, where technological advances ensure that no one lacks any material goods or services. There are a few dozen Involved societies and hundreds or thousands of well-developed (interstellar) but insufficiently influential societies or cultures; there are also well-developed societies known as "galactically mature" which do not take a dynamic role in the galaxy as a whole. These usually administer various types of Culture facilities: Minds (and, as a consequence, Culture starships) usually bear names that do a little more than just identify them. The Culture itself is described as having been created when several humanoid species and machine sentiences reached a certain social level, and took not only their physical, but also their civilisational evolution into their own hands. In one incident during the Culture-Idiran War, they strive to avoid offending a civilisation so advanced that it has disengaged from Galactic politics, and note that this hyper-advanced society is not a threat to either the welfare or the values of the Culture. It's stated Dajeil has been pregnant for 40 years. , Mind- and AI-controlled forces were the norm; pan-humans ceased to be operationally useful in general battle since around the 61st century BCE. , Minds formed ad-hoc groups to address large crises. Memory was stored in binary in the form of neutrons and protons. Their warships were piloted by virtual crews of uploaded human minds, running at very high speeds.. Minds are constructed with a personality typical of the Culture's interests, i.e. Three spheres are recorded as having been destroyed in the Idiran-Culture war.. The Culture continues to behave "like an idealistic adolescent". In this fictional universe, the Culture exists concurrently with human society on Earth.  They are also able to independently transition from the Real to Sublime, and possibly return to the Real as roughly the same entity. , The most serious taboo was murder - defined as causing total brain-death or personality loss. It might be speculated that the older Minds are upgraded to keep in step with the advances in technology, thus making this point moot. Within the novels, opponents of the Culture have argued that the role of humans in the Culture is nothing more than that of pets, or parasites on Culture Minds, and that they can have nothing genuinely useful to contribute to a society where science is close to omniscient about the physical universe, where every ailment has been cured, and where every thought can be read.  According to Consider Phlebas, a Mind is an ellipsoid object roughly the size of a bus and weighing around 15,000 tons. The danger involved in this imaginative step, though, is clear; one of the problems with the Culture novels as novels is that the central characters, the Minds, are too powerful and, to put it bluntly, too good.. A Culture orbital rotates about once every 24 hours and has gravity-like effect about the same as the gravity of Earth, making the diameter of the ring about 3,000,000 kilometres (1,900,000 mi), and ensuring that the inhabitants experience night and day. The attacks on Orbitals during the Idiran-Culture War had this affect on Orbital urban planning and construction; it brought buildings designed to act as emergency lifeboats and Distributed Cities back into fashion. They administer this abundance for the benefit of all. , The Gzilt had Minds and AIs, but considered them more as tools than people with rights. A Mind is a sapient entity, a very sophisticated AI able to traverse hyperspace at will.  For everyday use, the name was typically truncated to just the given and family name. Minds are constructed entities, which have general parameters fixed by their constructors (other Minds) before 'birth', not unlike biological beings. Machine intelligences range from human-equivalent drones to hyper-intelligent Minds. Their biological make-up and their growing up in an enlightened society make neuroses and lesser emotions like greed or (strong) jealousy practically unknown, and produce persons that, in any lesser society, appear very self-composed and charismatic. Some Minds also take on functions which either preclude or discourage movement. A small number of home worlds of the founding member-species of the Culture receive a mention in passing, and a few hundred human-habitable worlds were colonised (some of them terraformed) before the Culture elected to turn towards artificial habitats, preferring to keep the planets it encounters wild.
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