Leviathan on October 10, 2008, 12:58:09 am
I believe two phrases might be appropriate:

"Cheapskate!  I put up with you the whole way down here for this?"
"What am I supposed to do with paper?"

With the ending thought train being, "Respect my elders.  Even when they're assholes." and "The customer is always right.  In the event the customer is wrong, see rule 1."

Nice ref to the revolutionary fiat though.  Who's that on the face, though?  Resolution's too low to read the signatures, as well.  First thought is Nader, but it's hard to tell.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 01:02:44 am by Leviathan »

enemyofthestate on October 16, 2008, 03:15:38 pm
What's the rate of exchange?  Without that I don't know how much the bill represents in Cerean terms.  I'm sure the PTB's on Earth were happy to drop Guy and Fiona on Ceres without any briefing but the space line operators would certainly know the local customs regarding money. 

Even if Guy never bothered to look I'll bet Fiona did.  She is obviously the more competent of the two.

Leviathan on October 16, 2008, 10:26:42 pm
One unit of any currency that is fiat is almost universally a paltry tip ^^  I can't even buy a 2-liter bottle of carbonated, watery high-fructose corn syrup with caffeine for a unit of dollar anymore.  And something that we don't really think about much with the omnipresent federal government around, is that the further you are from the issuing authority the less a note is worth.  In order to redeem that "one continental" for anything earthside, it has to be directly or indirectly shipped back, goods purchased with it, and then shipping paid to return it to the belt.  This would have the innate effect of making a similar product to a belter production many times as expensive as face value exchange on Terra.  Basically, even if that bill wasn't cheap toilet paper back on good ol' Terra, it would certainly be in the Belts.

Basically, I get the impression he's treating her like she is "just a kid", naive and looking to finance bubble gum or comic books.  Or, their safer alternatives in the EfT universe, heh.  Gum is probably a choking hazard, and actual comic books a papercut risk.  Not to mention dangerous fantasy storylines could result in antisocial behavior or feed into psychosis!  Instead she's an entrepreneur, doing whatever she can to help earn more so she and her whole family benefit.  No dead weight, like in all frontier societies.  Remember, on the frontier dogs and cats might've been affectionately kept, but they also served a purpose.  Dogs defensive and hunting, cats vermin control.  The concept of a pet as we would consider it today only comes into existence with a lot of spare time and resources.  So too is the concept of a modern kid, given an allowance and expected to do no more than attend mandatory schooling at the hands of government.  Maybe take the garbage out or if the family's really old-fashioned help set the table and do the dishes.  You still see the occasional reference to a kid having a lemonade stand, but historically children were expected to find a way to earn the scratch for anything that was a luxury, or even expected to help add to the overall family income.

And being an ignorant civilized savage, Guy has no clue about that.  Even Fiorella barely seems to get the idea of a working child.  Though if my eyes don't deceive me, she had her back turned when the tip was handed over. 

And I do notice, Mrs. Guzman certainly doesn't intend to do a thing for them beyond the strict requirements of a business contract.  "You want to pay me for a room?  Sure.  Have at it.  Just don't expect me to make it any more pleasant for you than you're bound to try to make it pleasant for me."

Edit: The SOB knew the continentals were worthless on Ceres...
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 09:53:18 am by Leviathan »

Mabuse on October 17, 2008, 10:01:56 am
Hmm, interesting mix of currencies they've got there; not just the stock-standard gold and silver coins but also water-backed credits and a non-fiat credit-based currency, but what really floored me were the Cokens; which just goes to show you how flexible the standard of what constitutes money can really be (Cola-backed currency? That means I'll need a combination lock on my fridge; it's full of black gold!)

Scott on October 17, 2008, 02:46:18 pm
The idea being that in an optimally free economy there will be freely competing currencies -- and often as not, different sorts of currency will fill different use-niches. Cokens for pocket change; GUs and Water Certificates for credit; silver and gold coins for larger purchases and long-term savings.

Monkt on October 17, 2008, 02:51:07 pm
The idea being that in an optimally free economy there will be freely competing currencies -- and often as not, different sorts of currency will fill different use-niches. Cokens for pocket change; GUs and Water Certificates for credit; silver and gold coins for larger purchases and long-term savings.
I really expected Cokens to be related to cocaine before I read the fourth panel.

Scott on October 17, 2008, 03:02:19 pm
Someday perhaps we will address the sort of drug culture that might arise in the Belt. People do drink alcohol recreationally. They might smoke pot as well. I would suspect, however, that abusing either of those, or getting addicted to a debilitating drug like cocaine, would dramatically shorten life expectancy in an environment where simple mistakes can bring instant death.

Heroin might be an interesting case study. While highly addictive, it is not debilitating in the way that cocaine is. All an addict needs is a regular "maintenance dose" of about 180mg per day and he can function normally for decades. The usual dangers of operating machinery while high, of course, pertain. Then again, advanced bio-tech might offer much easier cures for addiction.

Monkt on October 17, 2008, 03:04:03 pm
Someday perhaps we will address the sort of drug culture that might arise in the Belt. People do drink alcohol recreationally. They might smoke pot as well. I would suspect, however, that abusing either of those, or getting addicted to a debilitating drug like cocaine, would dramatically shorten life expectancy in an environment where simple mistakes can bring instant death.

Heroin might be an interesting case study. While highly addictive, it is not debilitating in the way that cocaine is. All an addict needs is a regular "maintenance dose" of about 180mg per day and he can function normally for decades. The usual dangers of operating machinery while high, of course, pertain. Then again, advanced bio-tech might offer much easier cures for addiction.
I remember in The Probability Broach there were mentions of cocaine commercials being broadcast on TV.

EDIT: Found it: http://www.bigheadpress.com/tpbtgn?page=122
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 03:15:57 pm by Monkt »

Leviathan on October 17, 2008, 09:22:48 pm
Cocaine isn't actually all that unusual in its side-effects for heavy addicts.  Sufficient "caffeine abuse" could do the same, though at least I get too high a tolerance for it to get more than buzzed.  Heroin doesn't cause problems operating heavy machinery to most addicts.  Why?  Because they have a tolerance for it.  Most smokers, including me at this point, don't have the smoking buzz.  It just curbs anxiety and fulfills craving to light up.  Most dosage spikes for cocaine are only really a strong stimulant effect not unlike drinking large amounts of coffee.  It's only when it's ingested in crack or freebase form that it statistically induces psychosis.  Or when somebody uses it to stay awake for two weeks straight.  Otherwise flake or leaf cocaine is relatively safe, even if I dislike its emotional effect personally.  And if heightened reflexes are in demand, people very well might do it for that.  Studies on cocaine and amphetamine "intoxication" actually show people drive better on them, though the gov never quite manages to quote from them when it comes time for discussions of penalties for DUI.  I would expect that effect, though, would be no different for people operating Ice Hammers or the like.

Oh, and the problem of addiction is about 70% solved.  Ibogaine is almost a "silver bullet" for opiates.  And it shows some decent effectiveness for other addictives, though it looks like they use a different "pathway" for addiction and so it only does something to the basic psychological addiction.  What we'd need to research would be to find why ibogaine works on opiates, and find a way to make it do the same on the various other stimulant and depressant addictions.

As to the likely intoxicants, it might actually be common to imbibe some THC if you're working long hours in an ice mine.  It only somewhat impairs reflexes, retards soreness, and makes it a lot less dull to perform repetetive tasks involving hard focus.  A number of hunter-gatherer societies that have marijuana available smoke it before they lay in ambush waiting for prey.  Hallucinogens would require significant down-time to imbibe, my own experiences with them range from 6-12 hours for the trip, and usually crashing afterwards into sleep.  Depending how good their air-reprocessors are, they may not like actually smoking things.  Clogs the filters, as any smoker with central AC can attest to  ::) But vaporization or alternate methods for ingestion are possible even so.  The only issue that might crop up is many of these intoxicants come from plant sources that take specific climates or significant amounts of hydroponics production.  Which just might ensure it's relatively expensive to produce any of them for a natural form, or an artificial form is produced.

But yeah, seems about right for free markets in currency.  That also sounds like only a list of the major trading ones.  For an ordinary person, Mrs. Guzman might've been willing to trade in an exotic currency.  Minor ones might just be issued by a few people for goods or services they produce, sort of like gift certificates, heh.  For Guy and Fiorella, I'm almost surprised she doesn't demand they pull the gold out of their fillings.

And Guy is still an asshole for tipping in a continental when he knew it was worthless.  Both before and after Ceres' free market in them.  What did he think he was doing, spreading the civility of toilet-paper currency one bill at a time?

ClaudiusPtolemy on October 24, 2008, 09:01:28 am
Is this the first time that a black person has shown up in a bhp webcomic?

Leviathan on October 24, 2008, 11:11:36 am
Where have you been?  Or are you considering this as "having a central role"?  Offhand, the airline counter gals in probability broach, one was black.  As I recall in roswell, one of the future gals was pretty dark-skinned.  La Muse...  I mean, fsck, she was screwing half the planet, heh.  Could call it a first as central to the story.

Monkt on October 24, 2008, 12:56:55 pm

Monkt on October 24, 2008, 01:04:50 pm
Where have you been?  Or are you considering this as "having a central role"?  Offhand, the airline counter gals in probability broach, one was black.  As I recall in roswell, one of the future gals was pretty dark-skinned.  La Muse...  I mean, fsck, she was screwing half the planet, heh.  Could call it a first as central to the story.
You are forgetting one of the Texas Rangers in Roswell was black.

wdg3rd on October 24, 2008, 04:35:22 pm
I'm just going to leave this here.
http://www.theadvocates.org/celebrities/l-neil-smith.html
That write-up is extremely stale, since Neil won his third Prometheus in 2001 for the finally-published-in-complete-form Forge of the Elders and split a special one with Scott in 2005 for TPB:TGN.  (Wouldn't be at all surprised to see R,T up for a special this coming year).  See http://www.lfs.org/awards.htm
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Rocketman on October 24, 2008, 10:01:25 pm
If Roswell Texas does win an award, then it's certainly well deserved.  Again, I wouldn't mind at all at seeing a sequel to it here at Big Head Press.  Hint.  ;D