I wish there was a way to monetize absorbing information from the Internet. I have a massive project ahead of me to create a cast to 800 or so characters, set on a ship that I've meticulously designed, and weave dozens of story lines together into a single tapestry.
And yet... every time I get a random question I think I should research I find myself down the rabbit hole. I need some sort of a support group to keep me off of TV Tropes. (Though the the page I ended up on about The 4 main Temperaments is fascinating.)
And in the midst of this all, I think I may have stumbled on a creative idea for how to do exposition. There is going to be a lot of science and history in the story. And rather than resorting to a Mr. Exposition, what if the ship was subscribed to a Know-It-All service.
Ok, a little Lore dump here.
Iliad-07 (and her sister ships) are stocked with perfectly normal people. They aren't morons. But they aren't geniuses, either. There are some talented folk, but anyone who was outside of a standard deviation or two of normals was either screened out on the low end, or needed for the war effort back at home on the high end.
Everyone on board thinks their ancestors were chosen after some elaborate screening process. But in reality colonist and crew selection was a lottery.
As a result, the ship did not depart with any kind of experts on board. Yes, the crew were trained (extensively) on how to operate everything. But they only learn enough theory to actually operate in their respective fields effectively.
So, how are the crew educated if there are no professors? Imperfectly. The powers that be purchased a box set of "Psyche and Pedia's Collective Works (PPCW)." The two are science educators or devoted a career to explaining science, math, history, psychology, art and literature. Granted, the Art and Literature tend to have a very science and math bend to them, but they had the budget at that point in their career to bring in experts to explain the finer points they themselves knew little about.
Which of course means that now I have to provide a back story on Psyche and Pedia.
Psyche trained in psychology. He graduated during an economic downturn, and turned to being an entertainer to pay the bills. He liked to thread science into his acts. When the Internet developed, he started a channel where he tended to explore random topics. While science based, his presentation style and humor set him apart from contemporaries.
Pedia started as a Historian. He found little success in print publishing or academia, but he was a great storyteller who found success online. His focus was on Navel History, both Marine and Space.
At some point Psyche has Pedia on his show as an guest panelest, and the two hit it off. They started collaborating on content, Psyche being the energetic presenter, and Pedia the quiet foil.
The two were brought on to host a broadcast television show called "The Experts." They would perform experiments to explain the peculiar behavior of otherwise ordinary things. The show ran for several season, with the middle seasons including a cast of supporting technicians, who would perform side experiments.
The two earned a reputation for making science and history entertaining. They enjoyed a long career that had both professional and personal ups and downs. There were times when the two simply stopped speaking to one another. There were other times where they would vacation together.
PPCW also includes a lot of special content that the ISTON (International Space Treaty Organization Navy) specially commissioned. These include safety presentations, nuclear power theory, agriculture, and morale management. These specials have a markedly different tone than their broadcast television shows, though their budget was ample albeit finite. The pair were hired for their ability to make virtually anything interesting, and they were granted a very free hand on what information was presented, and how. ISTON went as far as issuing the pair a special top-secret clearance to allow them a broad overview of technologies that were formally compartmentalized.
The ISTON episodes have classification markings from General Public to Specialist to Expert. Broadcast television episodes are back-classified to General Public.