“From the flint axe to the mass driver; from the waterwheel to the tamed singularity; from the hand-cart to the starship; from the potter’s wheel to the cornucopia; from the abacus to sophont AI; from death to immortality – Worlds’ Rim Development will take you there!”
“Let our centuries of experience ease your burgeoning civilization through the difficult period of adaptation to galactic society and technology. We can select the set of technologies that is right for you, help open your world to trade or interaction with drastically reduced risk of economic failure, and perform memetic campaigns to gently introduce your populace to galactic civilization and soothe the pains of xenophobia, neophobia, and social transition stress – and continue guiding you through the singularities that are to come. With a Worlds’ Rim civilization-uplift package, your planet can join the Core Cultural and Economic Zones in no more than three generations!”
“We claim a success rate of over 81%, and a terminal failure rate of less than 3%. Doesn’t your planet deserve the Worlds’ Rim touch?”
“(Successful cultural uplift not guaranteed. No warranty made against the actions of local bellatrists, kleptarchs, or autocrats. Full cooperation is required for a successful civilization-uplift program. Acceptance of your application is contingent upon WRD sociodynamic assessment.)”
– Worlds’ Rim Development, ICC, interactive advertisement
Which makes me wonder what happens when some subset of a client civilization (down to a single individual) wants access to one of the technologies that is NOT in the “set of technologies that is right for you”…
Well, where individuals, companies, whatever, that aren’t their clients or large portions of their clients are concerned, they don’t really care. (I mean, they’ll offer advice to the public in general, but they won’t try to intervene.) It’s really below their remit, and in any case, being who they are, “free trade” is one of those critical technologies that they’ll almost always recommend deploying early, broadly, and often.
They’re more concerned about the big picture. But even there, it mostly just leads to early terminations of contract, on the grounds that if the client isn’t listening to them, the people they specifically hired to advise them, then (a) there’s not a lot of point to them being there, and (b) if the client is about to walk right into one of the classic blunders (the equivalent of investing heavily in gold just before the Spanish discovered the new world, say; or building an infrastructure heavily dependent on easily-blockaded imports; or running hell-for-leather towards an attractive-looking tech that’s also a known dead end; or assuming they can deploy pervasive cornucopia machines and have Prohibition simultaneously; or setting up a ubiquitous law enforcement system without first fixing the legal system – if it’s anything like ours – to stop it from arresting EVERYONE; and so on and so on) and won’t be advised otherwise, they would prefer to maintain a discreetly professional distance from the wreck that they know perfectly well is coming.
Everybody’s got a right to make their own mistakes, but they’d rather not get any on them, y’know?