bjdotson on December 15, 2010, 10:02:23 am
I love this story. I have it in a two volume set called, "The Science Fiction Hall of Fame" It's a collection of short stories and novellas that came out too early for Hugo or Nebulla award consideration, but derserved it.

Added note: I am talking about the post recommending "and then there was none"
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 11:15:35 am by bjdotson »

SandySandfort on December 15, 2010, 05:03:13 pm
I suspect that children on Ceres will be much more independent, like today's "Free Range" movement. They'll often be taught at home; excellent resources will be on the tanglenet equivalent of today's interweb; they'll mingle more freely with all sorts of people than today's cloistered youth do. They'll be articulate; they'll learn social norms appropriate to AnCap society, rather than to regimented factory you-will-do-as-you-are-told schools. Emancipation will happen without formal paperwork, and will depend on the child's preferences; they are unlikely to stay in abusive relationships. It is probable that youngsters will be more prone to accept invitations to bunk over with friends, sometimes for extended periods - a sort of voluntary and congenial form of foster parenting.

I think all of the above is a pretty good guess. Of course, humans and human relationships are all different. I'm sure we will see everything Terry predicts, plus things none of us would ever think of.

The "age of reason" will move downward from 18 or 21; if I recall correctly, children as young as ten were presumed to be able to responsibly defend themselves at the age of ten in pre-War-between-states Massachusetts. Admiral Farrugut went to sea at the age of ten, and captained a ship at the age of twelve. Today, in farm country, one sees quite young children driving horses, cows, trucks, and tractors - and "bringing home the venison" with skilled and responsible use of firearms.

I have read about parentless Jewish children as young as 10, were able to "pass" as gentiles and live on their own or with others off the grid, in WWII Germany. They mingled with the German soldiers and even Nazis, and were able to get by on handouts and other means.

Depends on the kid, of course, but there is no magic cut-off age. All throughout childhood, children incrementally take on more adult skills. Once on a trip across the country, I spent a night on L. Neil Smith's couch. At that time, his daughter, Rylla, was four. She stood around like a little grownup as the adults talked--no interrupting, fidgeting or whining. It was eerie. There were guns around the home--no trigger locks or any of that crap. And of course, Rylla had her own gun. I will tell you this, I would be more comfortable with that four-year old, packing than I would with some of the posters on this Forum. (You know who you are.)   ::)

J Thomas on December 16, 2010, 09:54:51 pm
So, we have a new story plot--instead of getting a job, Morris is trying to make a living by gambling.  Being a society based on NAP, gambling isn't against the law.  But if Morris is cheating, then that will cause a problem, and perhaps be a violation of his "parole". 

Now it appears that the cheating was not even an issue. Morris got into a conflict with an established prestigious regular, and that might be enough to get him banned from every gambling hall in the Belt. The regular said he was cheating and attacked him, and he tried to hit back. Bad move.

Things often do work that way in our world. Governments make claims of due process and equality under the law and all that. But people who voluntarily associate don't have any obligation to be just as fair to strangers as they do to regular members. If they don't want trouble, and a stranger causes trouble, then they don't have to continue to associate with that stranger.

Maybe a regular who starts too many conflicts with newbies will find his welcome growing cold too. He should let somebody else take their turn at harassing the grifters. There are all sorts of ways it could go.

Morris made the mistake of cheating in a way that could easily be proven if it came to a search after the event. That was pretty stupid. But maybe it was stupid of him to win too much on his first visit. It's possible that all it would take was winning too much too soon to get him thrown out. And if it turned out that as a newbie he couldn't win enough to live in the style to which he wished to become accustomed, that would be just too bad.

A cheater-friendly gambling house might figure that a competent cheater would be OK -- they would get the house percentage regardless. And an incompetent cheater would provide some excitement. People could break his thumbs or whatever, and it would be a good time for all but one. Not the house's problem.

But they would probably want to avoid fights, and when newbies get into fights then just get rid of them. There are always more newbies.

quadibloc on December 17, 2010, 12:11:15 am
It was clear enough that Morris' mistake was to get greedy. He could have been patient, and been a successful card hustler. Instead, he chose to rush things, and poisoned the well.

I don't think that Suki just murdered him and disposed of the body well. (It could be that he has been killed, though, and Suki will be suspected of the murder.) Instead, I suspect that since "card" is not an option for him, it's either find a couple other lowlifes to help him steal another spaceship, or disappear from the Belt, using some sort of disguise to board commercial transport.

And it will be his own greed and dishonesty and stupidity that will cause his "karma" to catch up with him in the end. And yet twists that avoid the story being accused of being simply a "morality play" are quite possible too.

AlpineBob on December 17, 2010, 03:41:43 am
Looks like the speech bubbles in panel 5 are misattributed.

Also, thanks for posting the penny, Neither.

SandySandfort on December 17, 2010, 06:50:02 am
Looks like the speech bubbles in panel 5 are misattributed.

Yeah, I noticed it too and notified Scott. Check again later today.

Azure Priest on December 17, 2010, 07:31:37 am
Quote from: SandySandfort
If the bad guys take a hike, she and the plaintiffs take a bath. To bad, so sad.

As I recall, the judgement leveled against them had Merry pay Bert, Ernie, and Reggie for damages, and then Larry, Curly, and Moe would reimburse Merry. Should they "take a hike," Merry would be the only one "taking a bath."

To date, only Larry seems to be in the "take a hike" mood though. The others seemingly had a "change of heart" and have found gainful employment. Bert and Ernie's mercy does not appear to have been misplaced.

RayInHalifax on December 27, 2010, 06:57:21 pm
There is a big blind spot in this discussion.  From what I understand each and every transaction in belter society is at its' root understood to be an ethical transaction as well as what ever service or good is exchanged.  In making the exchange you implicitly affirm that the goods or service you put up are ethically obtained.

Take Bob the Thief that was brought up.  He gets caught and goes to arbitration. Ok say he pays off the debt with stolen 'money'.  It's found out later that he did it through whatever means.  All right what do you suppose happens next?  If he manages to get another arbitration he either gets sent to 'slave labour' or would have to get certification that is acceptable to all parties that the payment is Bob's to ethically put up in payment.

Take it further he doesn't do either of the these things; for what ever reason.  Bob's name and pic get circulated as an ethical version of a bad cheque.  No ethical merchant or person will trade with him for food, water, shelter, clothing; nothing, zip and bupkus.  That gives a person a powerful need to carry though on their obligations from an arbitration.  Oh and the unethical merchants?  Well they probably won't trade with Bob to keep from attracting attention to them selfs.

quadibloc on December 27, 2010, 07:21:50 pm
I suppose that the party of four benefiting from Belter "respect for privacy" is an elite hit squad brought all the way from Earth to find Morris and do him in.

This doesn't make sense, unless, I suppose, that Suki just happens to control something like 50% of the United Worlds' trade in illegal drugs... and finds the belt a less expensive place in which to live well. Oh, my, Morris' impulsiveness really landed him in trouble. Somehow, though, I'm sure that my guess must be wrong, and the plot will turn out to be much more reasonable in its circumstances.

Now, if they were a UW hit squad sent to make an example of that "traitor" Guy Gaillard, that would make sense. Like a gangster, a tyrant depends on "respect" for his power. But that would be a whole new story arc.

Ah, well, there could be plenty of reasons, such as doing the right person a favor along the way, that Suki could happen to have some very loyal friends. And they may not even be there to murder him. Since he hasn't already been murdered, simply doing the public service of pointing out to his creditors where he happens to be hiding would be vengeance enough... and that would make sense in the context of this story arc. But I suspect the reality will be even better.

terry_freeman on December 28, 2010, 05:06:22 pm
I am guessing that the squad of military types was sent by the UW. They may simply wish to stir up trouble by direct application of force - such as arresting Guy or engaging in sabotage or mayhem - but they may have even deeper plans.

What if, for example, they are angling to become involved in an arbitration case which somehow "violates" UW law, in order to provide a pretext for UW "intervention" on their behalf?

In the latest panel, they are meeting a lass who may be engaged in the provision of certain erotic services. Perhaps that violates UW law? Or perhaps she offers to sell certain politically-incorrect vegetables, such as marijuana?

quadibloc on December 30, 2010, 06:53:57 pm
I'm now beginning to think that the only explanation of the last few strips that "makes sense" is that it's a flashback to The Origin of Suki. Which presumably means that Ed is going to find himself in an awkward situation as the young lady at the bar has to explain herself. However, since she doesn't look like Suki, even, say, a younger Suki, I guess that one's out too.

J Thomas on December 30, 2010, 07:18:22 pm
I'm now beginning to think that the only explanation of the last few strips that "makes sense" is that it's a flashback to The Origin of Suki. Which presumably means that Ed is going to find himself in an awkward situation as the young lady at the bar has to explain herself. However, since she doesn't look like Suki, even, say, a younger Suki, I guess that one's out too.

Rhonda is described as ethiopian, while Suki is presumably siamese. I don't think they're the same person.

The buttons describe this as a new story arc, so it doesn't have to have anything to do with Suki etc. The phrasing "The incident that would lead this group to be called 'the coal-mine canaries' happened late on their third night on Ceres...." tends to imply it is in the past relative to something else, but since it's a new story arc it isn't obvious what the reference point would be.

"Coal-mine canaries" refers to the practice of keeping small birds in coal mines. If the air went bad they died quick which was supposed to warn miners there was a problem. Presumably these people will be trouble magnets of some sort. If it kills them then they might likely not get a posthumous label. But they might be good people to have around if they consistently run into problems quick that you would run into later.... And somehow they aren't the heroes of the story. Ed is the hero.

We don't actually get a look at the gun on the guy on her other side, but Ed's gun and his gun are the only ones described so far....

Plane on January 01, 2011, 05:16:54 pm
I suspect that children on Ceres will be much more independent, like today's "Free Range" movement.

Depends on the kid, of course, but there is no magic cut-off age. All throughout childhood, children incrementally take on more adult skills. Once on a trip across the country, I spent a night on L. Neil Smith's couch. At that time, his daughter, Rylla, was four. She stood around like a little grownup as the adults talked--no interrupting, fidgeting or whining. It was eerie. There were guns around the home--no trigger locks or any of that crap. And of course, Rylla had her own gun. I will tell you this, I would be more comfortable with that four-year old, packing than I would with some of the posters on this Forum. (You know who you are.)   ::)


Part of this story  is that aquireing wealth is pretty easy in the Belt, or if not easily then quickly with hard work.

It is quite nearly universal that people want the best for their children, I wonder if really good teaching could earn a person a good living?

If poor teachers might starve ?Why settle for substandard where a bit of ignorance might be fatal?

If a seriously good teacher might become a rockstar , with fans and flunkys and high income because he is able to explain the difficult so well?

terry_freeman on January 02, 2011, 11:19:06 am

It is quite nearly universal that people want the best for their children, I wonder if really good teaching could earn a person a good living?

If poor teachers might starve ?Why settle for substandard where a bit of ignorance might be fatal?

If a seriously good teacher might become a rockstar , with fans and flunkys and high income because he is able to explain the difficult so well?

This is very likely to be the case. On my shelves is an interesting book, "Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry" by Fukagawa Hidetoshi & Tony Rothman

The level of mathematics instruction in Japan when they were isolated from the West was striking. Schools during this period were dojos, specialized one-room schools which prospered or failed depending upon their reputation.

I expect an AnCap society to have superstar teachers who prosper. Those who cannot teach will not be subsidized by the State [ since there is no State ], will lose customers, and will probably gravitate toward something more closely matched to their talents.

SandySandfort on January 02, 2011, 03:01:00 pm
I expect an AnCap society to have superstar teachers who prosper. Those who cannot teach will not be subsidized by the State [ since there is no State ], will lose customers, and will probably gravitate toward something more closely matched to their talents.

If I had to guess, schooling would be primarily home schooling. So far, home schooling not only kicks government school ass, but private school ass as well. Of course, you might hire a math specialist to teach mathematics to Barbie ("Math is hard!" says Barbie), but concerned parents and the internet will be the cornerstone to superior education. Plus, check this out:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704584804575645070639938954.html

 

anything