As far as I can tell, the central technological conceit in The Expanse is that mankind has invented an incredibly efficient propulsion thingy, the Epstein drive, that makes interplanetary travel possible. Everybody has it. The Canterbury could not work without it (it would never get anywhere). The opening paragraph of Leviathan Wakes, Chap. I, tells us about this: “[…] Then Solomon Epstein had built his little modified fusion drive […] hadn’t given humanity the stars, but it had delivered the planets.” Then the very next sentence describes the three-quarters kilometer long Canterbury.
The Canterbury’s smaller scout ship, the Knight, does not have an Epstein drive, using what it described as a “fusion torch”.
Folks, in principle this is an interesting topic, but puz-leaze… Nobody generates value by just working hard, and you can’t seriously think that. Lots of video gamers would otherwise be very, very rich. Instead, you generate value by doing something that somebody else wants done. The amount of effort you put into this is not important. Effort only becomes important when several providers compete to fulfil the demand. Then, all other things being equal, the provider with the most effort will be slightly favoured to fulfil the demand. (But this is not a given; there can be many other factors that determine this.) The function of money is not to remunerate hard work. It has never been. Instead, money is just a useful way of transforming differentials in utility functions into goods and services.
I’ve tried to read up on this a bit now, and have at least one genuine question. How large is the expense of basic income (money just above poverty line paid per individual) compared to the rest of the cost of “maintaining” a human? In particular, does anybody know the cost per individual in health care expenses, and how much does a small room in social housing in the suburbs cost to construct and maintain? (I ask because my hunch is that 30-year old young bachelors videogaming in their parents’ basement isn’t much of an expense, and society could give less than a flying fuck about whether that person gets his Ramen noodles and Playstation for free. But that 30-year old young man will turn 60 very soon, and develop treatable ailments. I tacitly assume that society will cover the cost of treating these ailments, which probably dwarfs the expenses of basic income. Thus, basic income may economically be a mirage compared to universal health care, and the main interesting question becomes how society develops the moral incentive to implement universal health care in a setting where the ostracisation of individuals from the work force is ritualised. But I don’t know the numbers, so this line of inquiry may be a dead end.)
Here’s what I don’t understand about basic income: How do you prevent people from giving money to other people (on basic income) for services (cleaning, sex, transportation, etc.)? I don’t understand that part. Because unless you prevent this, there will now be two sources of income for the thrifty: basic + untaxed compensation. Everybody is heavily incentivised towards that combination. But now society is even worse off than before: all the universal commodities (housing, food, healthcare) are now skewed towards those people on basic income who have an additional source of income, so these commodities have become even less available to the “pure basic” demographic, and society as a whole has less revenue to “make it free”. I don’t get this, probably because I haven’t done my homework. Is there an easily accessible “Basic Income 101” pamphlet that addresses these questions? (Just to make sure: this question is different from “then who would want to work”? I assume that people are heavily incentivised to work under basic income, just as without it. It’s just that the optimum is “work + BI”, compared to the other two models “work without BI” and “BI”.)
For me it isn’t, but let’s not pretend there are well-defined arbitrators of what is discriminatory.
People discriminate brutally when dating, everything else would be incredibly surprising.
I assume we discriminate primarily based on sex, then on age. After that, people’s behaviour might diversify: in modern society, people select highly for matching intelligence (we know this because we measure it, there’s a great book about the problems with this behaviour called the Bell Curve). Most people select for looks, and women seem to select for income. There is some selection for height, higher is generally better, but there is a cut-off. Most people discriminate for race (see data I quoted upthread), but this is mainly visible in multiethnic societies like the United States. In many other countries the question doesn’t make sense. Some cultures explicitly select for both race and religion, but this is not an individual mating preference but a cultural one.
In many contexts, this kind of selective behaviour is seen as downright virtuous (in particular when tribal or religious structures dictate these choices), in others it is unremarkable (such as selecting for age, or shared language), in others it is seen as morally reprehensible (women selecting for income, men of all races selecting for light skin in all races). These boundaries are merely cultural accidents, and exist mainly for social signalling. There is obviously no Lexicon or Morality that that arbitrate why and when some of the parameters are virtuous or not. (Unless you take the cynical view that all questions of morality and propriety are mainly used to foster ingroup cohesion, which leads you to a circular definition: discrimination is what the consensus defines it to me.)
Online dating sites are a treasure trove for this kind of thing, endlessly fascinating.
The good people of OKCupid are quite generous with their data, and publish readable nuggets. Here is Race and Attraction 2009–14 .
In short, the story is more interesting than racial homogeneity: Asian men and Black women are penalised, White men and Asian women are preferred. More specifically, non-black men penalise black women. Women prefer men from their own race. The data is broken down in two dimensions in the blog.
Exactly. The left just collectively decided to abolish the national welfare state. Since I don’t see the EU becoming the host of a social democratic system instead, it’s game over for that model. She couldn’t be happpier.
I think you’re right in that there is at least one Serwë-POV where she endures Cnaiür. I can’t find it right now. (I think she’s looking at Kellhus during the scene, which is why it must be from her POV. I’m unsure about how many horrific details we get.)
Note the original question was about rapes that are seen from the perspective of the victim, and whether those instances are predominantly (or even exclusively) female. So the Xerius or Conphas scenes are not relevant.
Of course, I could be very mistaken about who’s POV they are related in. (And if I’m mistaken, please just point that out.) To be sure: Serwë absolutely qualifies, and deliberately so. What happens to her is terrible, in particular the psychological mechanism. Spectacular writing, and very unpleasant.
As I said upthread, off the top of my head I only remember two or three other instances that qualify as rape from the victim’s POV. In one of them, a woman is the victim. (Maybe I can think of four, it’s very difficult to decide which scenes are made explicit and which are only hinted at. The woman count remains at 1.) It should be easy to supply more examples, which would help us specify “imagination”, “horrific details”, and “rape.”
I’ve never understood that argument except for the social signalling part.
Do you assume immigrants never get old? I simply don’t get it.
If you want to argue for immigration because of protecting the welfare system, providing jobs, ideas, etc., then you need to implement the highly selective immigration policies of Canada, the US, Australia, etc. These countries joust about make it in the sense that the unquestionable benefits provided by some of the immigrant population just about manages to counterbalance the unquestionable problems arising from it. (The data, alas, is mostly tied to demographics. Not even Canada is able to benefit from Somali population, every country benefits from immigration from South East Asia. If we stratified this by IQ, we might find a less racist explanation, which would be great.)
Europe currently provides massive data that the European immigration model (where we select on the basis of perceived need instead of quality of human capital) provides mainly adverse effects for the economy. (Not to speak of the consequences of social cohesion etc. I’m rich enough to pretend to myself that don’t care much about wealth, so the economic argument holds little traction for my anyway.)
I believe the parabolas and straight lines we’re seeing are optima for whatever the spell wants to bring about. I don’t think the sorcerer inputs the coefficients, no more than a basketball player does when he hits a 3-pointer. The spell is “give me the essence of throwing a ball into that hoop”, which happens to be a parabola because of the laws of physics and logic, not because the basketball player understands (or uses) calculus and Newtonian physics.
Thus, I don’t think Gnostic sorcerers compute. But you’re right that if they were to compute (for instance, by instantly fitting a polynomial through a set of points) then they could do super-fast polynomial identity testing (by observing with their eyes if the fireball that goes through the Second Quyan Lemma of Finite Field Interpolation is a straight line).
This would be awesome computational power.
What instead they have, is sufficient gadgetry to build a Turing machine, so they can simulate every computation (but the simulation would be slow). Note that you have hat gadgetry yourself (you can build a computer using water canals, or sufficiently well-trained dogs), the Gnostic mage can just make it look better and maybe get the mechanics to work as fast as we can on Earth using digital technology.
I don’t understand the question. What is a sorcerous computer?
(I assume the logos should be able to perform computation to implement a digital computer. But since there are soul-trapping gizmos, this would be trivial. Just use a brain. No magical gadgetry is necessary.)
Could you give examples? “Rape” is a pretty flexible term, so I’m not sure which scenes spring to your mind. The most detailed ones I can think of are magically coerced intercourse with Consult avatars, which we get from both male and female perspectives. I may be wrong.