12 May 2006:   from Jacqueline Lichtenberg to Greer Watson


Oh, I nearly forgot about this amidst today's welter of to-do's!

Let's see what I can get read before I must go.

As a writer, I feel that it's counter-productive to generalize.   “Kids on the big Gen Farms” are all treated the same, for example—I can't go with that.

If someone wants to do a story about a place where the situation is very different, that's fine—you just have to include explanations of how this locale got that way.   And around the world, you will find at least one example of every variation you can possibly imagine and even more.   People are creative.   Don't sell them short by over-generalizing.

All big Genfarms are not the same.   All Territories are not the same.

However, I did establish that Simes who changed over after being born and raised on a Genfarm or in some Pen never come quite “right”—intelligence takes a hit, early education, language skills—they just can't “hack” Sime society.   So they end up sweeping floors, or as Licensed Raider muscle and such jobs.   (Body guards maybe.)   But again, you can't generalize.   Individuals break the mold.

Other than the tendency toward sweeping generalizations though, you are nailing the major trends that surge through the population causing various individuals to leap forth to solve the problems.

And don't forget aesepsis as a contributing factor to Sime population and Gen population, too.

And don't forget the Starred Cross Shrines, and the covert action of the gypsies who maintain them.

And don't forget trade—food is being imported, varying the diet, increasing nutrition.

And don't forget genetics.   Even at the time of ZD, we're still in a fast-furious mutation rate—gradually this is settling down and more and more Simes are more and more similar to one another (and Gens too are mutating).   In figuring your birth rates, don't forget aborted fetuses and early deaths from non-viable mutations still appearing.   That is an effect that may well be very localized in certain populations—more here than there.

Gradually over centuries, the sub-mutations are selecting for longer lifespan potential (transfer and Sime/Gen contact allowing).

There are lots and lots of factors sloshing things around so that it turns out that the North American population (already very mongrel in genetics) ends up producing this revolution first—but that doesn't mean it isn't happening independently elsewhere, too.

As you point out, the demographic forces under the surface are irresistible.

Have a great weekend, and I'm sorry I nearly forgot to answer this in the helter-skelter of “life”.


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