While I appreciate the role-playing options that humanoid aliens provide to some players, for purposes of immersion, I would really like to see more scientifically fleshed out cultural variations among the alien races, which would necessarily be dependent on their biology. In particular, how about units and number systems that are feasibly not of anthropic or geophysical origin?
For starters, while our hindu-arabic base ten system certainly makes sense for displays on human interfaces, there's nothing universally appealing about that choice of base, and I would expect, for example, that an untranslated Kralien interface would have an entirely different set of numerals, and moreover, a hastily translated Torgoth message could contain language reflecting their numerical grouping conventions.
Thinking on the scale of interstellar warfare, extending the common usage of metric units beyond the nearby solar system could jeopardize the security of TSN home-world, as measures of time, temperature, acceleration, and pressure could all be clues to human origins. I would imagine that official TSN units as well as those of the other races would reflect these concerns, or at least have advanced beyond the conventions set forth in 19th century France.
Finally, in one of the other threads, Mike Substelny discusses how the Ximni have a preference for practical items like "leather jackets." Now, not to discredit him, but taking this strictly at its literal face value, an item requiring the skin of a grazing earth mammal probably would be less than practical (and more of a luxury) to an alien race. I would speculate that the utility of an analogous Ximni garment is the intended meaning of this "practicality" (though their attitudes toward clothing or modesty would need to be established), assuming that their society would have easy access to some kind of leather-like material. On the other hand, any of their commonplace items could just as likely be quite exotic by earth standards, and I think a well-developed canon will come to reflect this.
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