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UH SPOILERS Harrington family history

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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by phillies   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:51 pm

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There is an interesting technical point here, with respect to uplifting the entire population. We may distinguish between two sorts of modifications, those that confer a reproductive advantage, and those that do not. Being stronger is advantageous in a higher-G environment. On earth under modern circumstances it counts for very little, because machines do most of the heavy lifting. Look, e.g., at all the people who use power lawn mowers and power snow blowers.

If a modification allows someone to have more children, relative to the population as a whole, then there will be a tendency for the people with the modification to grow in number. On the other hand, if I magically delete a half-dozen genetic features that are disadvantageous, for example color blindness, but that really do not change how many children you have, the modification will not spread through the population. If I modify 10% of the population, and wait many generations, only 10% of the population will still have the modification. (This is one of those surprising results of 1930s genetics.) Yes, good color vision will spread into the rest of the population. However, bad color vision will spread into the descendants of the people who were modified, and the two spreads will exactly cancel.

If you want to uplift a population, say eliminate a gene that causes Alzheimer's, you have to modify the entire population.

Yes, I do only have an undergraduate degree in what would now be called molecular biology, but this is a basic undergraduate result.


runsforcelery wrote:People, I have deliberately structured this problem so that neither side is completely right nor completely wrong, at least in its first principles.

Beowulf confronted and dealt with an unimaginable nightmare on Old Earth after the Final War, and it was unimaginable for more reasons than simply the horror of the weapons — and the genetic engineering — which had been unleashed. It was unimaginable because this was the birthplace of mankind. Old Earth had — and in many ways, despite the Solarian League's hubris and arrogance, retains, even in Honor's time — a unique reverence in the eyes of the human-explored galaxy. It's where they all came from, the one genuine touchstone every single human being has in common.

And Old Earth damned near didn't make it, even with Beowulf and all of the other colonized star systems which could get there rallying to its assistance. The Final War was that close to a genuine extinction event.

In the wake of the Final War, the Beowulf Code was promulgated for Beowulf; it was later adopted by the League as a whole, but initially, it governed only Beowulf's life sciences. And the primary purpose of the Beowulf Code (as originally promulgated) was to prevent any future weaponization of genetic engineering. It was not to outlaw all genetic modification. It was not to foreclose the individual choices of individuals for individuals. It did specifically outlaw the weaponization of nanotech and what we might think of as biological agents, whether organic or inorganic. In so far as modification of the human genotype was concerned, its sole original intent was to prevent the conscious design of classes of individuals who could/would be the next Scrags on steroids and regard themselves as genetically — i.e., racially — superior to the rest of the human race, thus justifying their place as the predators at the apex of the food chain.

This quickly came to be interpreted as tight restrictions on genetic modification intended to create deliberately "improved" (interpreted as "superior") human beings, even on the individual level. And it was accompanied by the beginnings of a general prejudice against all "genies" because, after all, the "super soldiers" who'd done their best to destroy the unmodified human race (and the entire planet of old Earth) had been "genies," hadn't they? Therefore, all genies were suspect, particularly if there genetic mods did make them demonstrably superior to "base model" humans in some way. (For example, the greater strength and quicker reflexes of the Meyerdahl mods.)

Leonard Detweiler was part of the teams that saved Old Earth. He had no problem at all with restrictions that prevented the future weaponization of biotech in general or genetics in specific. But he saw the "all genies are evil" mindset beginning to set in, and he opposed it. As he saw it, the more repressive interpretations of the Beowulf Code coming into play were akin to people who would have said "Because atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all future nuclear research must be prohibited for all time," thus precluding nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, etc., etc. That was what he railed against, and I would submit that he was right to do so even while Beowulf was right to be concerned about the consequences of the Final War.

The debate between Detweiler and the medical establishment of Beowulf began as a debate between Detweiler and the more radical elements of the medical establishment of Beowulf who most strongly opposed "genetic tampering" after the Final War. As the full awareness of how hideous the Final War had been sank into the general public, the person-in-the-street tended to support those radical elements, which was one of the big reasons why the tide of anti-genie prejudice gathered so much strength in a relatively short stretch of time. And as the person-in-the-street got more extreme in anti-improvement terms, so did the "mainstream" medical establishment. What I'm saying here is that the initial starting positions of Detweiler and someone like George Benson were not that far apart, but the wedge between them was driven deeper and deeper by intolerance and fear, on one side, and bitter resentment of the towering wave of uninformed intolerance and fear, on the other side. Positions became steadily more extreme and the rhetoric grew increasingly heated.

By Honor Harrington's time, the prejudice against genies in general is very much a thing of the past for the vast majority of the human race. There are still some segments of it which continue to think even the Meyerdahl mods were a terrible idea, but they are very few and far between. There is a much more general prejudice against genetic slaves, which is deeply irrational (as, indeed, most bigotry is) and tends to focus more on feelings of superiority on the part of the person who, after all, wasn't designed as property and therefore must be inferior. Anti-genie prejudice as fear of the genetically modified is only a minor strand of public opinion in Honor's day.

For many people, that changes the instant that "genetic modification" becomes defined as "genetic enhancement" — i.e., the creation of a superior human rather than simply one modified to fit a particular environment (a.k.a. the Meyerdahl mods, for example). By and large, however, it's not a big thing.

At the time that Leonard decamped to Mesa, however, it had become a very big thing, and as far as he was concerned the "hysterical fear" of the responsible modification of the human genotype was on the wrong side of history. The debate had turned into a battle to submission from both sides as the positions became ever more extreme, and so when Mesa became available, Detweiler opted to withdraw from Beowulf to a fresh start in an entirely different star system. In effect, he had been driven from the public debate in Beowulf which had left possession of the Beowulf Code to the "fundamentalists" who demanded extremely tight restrictions on genetic modification and who anathematized the concept of intentional genetic uplift.

Leonard's own views had become more extreme over the years of fighting his losing battle against strident voices which wanted only to silence him and those who shared his viewpoint and drive them out of the debate. (I would point out that I created the conceptual basis for Detweiler and the origin of the Mesan Alignment twenty-odd years ago, before the tendency for people to silence opponents and damn the First Amendment had become as prevalent as it is today, but there are definite resonances here.) He'd also become an extremely bitter man, where all things Beowulfan — and especially where the evolving Beowulf Code — was concerned. He never lost his own sense of medical ethics, however. He genuinely had no intention of supplanting humanity with a new, superior species (or at least subspecies. He envisioned a eugenics program designed to uplift all members of a population with the effects of each beneficial modification being spread through the population as a whole through the natural process of reproduction.

The strident (I would argue in many ways the perverted) version of the Beowulf Code which governed at the time that he left for Mesa shouted down even that concept, however. And so, since he and his had been declared "outlaws" anyway, he embraced the outlaw label by designing workers, colonists, and "indentured servants." As I've said elsewhere, one of his main goals in doing this — indeed, the primary goal in doing it — was a continuation of his research and the very quiet, in formal beginning of the GMA later discovered by Mike Henke. He and his fellow Mesans would look to the gradual genetic improvement of the human race, but they would do it in a way which kept the modifications they were making below the radar horizon of the rest of the human race and its blinkered prejudice.

Leonard died before the institution of genetic slavery spread across the galaxy. Manpower Inc. was created by elements of the genuine lunatic fringe which had attached itself to his party. I believe I've spoken about them in a previous post. These were the people who were the neo-Nazis or the Islamic fundamentalists or the anti-fa fanatics who saw in him the closest thing to a "respectable" spokesperson they could find. They didn't think he went anywhere near far enough; he just went farther than any other public figure with a chance to be heard. It wasn't a difficult step for those people to support the design and sale of genetic slaves, and once they had taken that first step they were on a very, very slippery slope into a pit of moral depravity.

The emergence of genetic slavery, and the defiance of interests on Mesa who supported it, continued and intensified the shifting focus of hostility. Genetic slavery "proved" to current Beowulfers that their ancestors had obviously been right to exile Detweiler and the people so corrupt they'd created genetic slavery. Beowulfan contempt for Mesa — and ongoing, almost knee-jerk condemnation of Detweiler and all things associated with him — fueled the growth of the Onion with in the quiet, more benign campaign of genetic uplift Leonard had been associated with. And along the way, Leonard's descendants — or some of them, at any rate — fully embraced the extremists and joined the Onion, where, of course, their family pedigree quickly led them to leadership roles.

Meanwhile, the Beowulf Code ossified for a century or so. Then, gradually, it began to relax. The memory of the Final War receded and gained historical perspective. It penetrated the psyche that there were millions upon millions of "genetically enhanced" human beings (like the entire population of star systems like Meyerdahl) who weren't running around eating the rest of humanity. And as a result, some of the accretions of prejudice and fear got sandblasted off the Beowulf Code. In fact, the geneticists on Beowulf currently have a rather more liberal interpretation of the Beowulf Code than the Solarian League's legal system, which was written on the basis of the ossified version of it.

What this means is that the vast majority of Beowulfers would be perfectly fine with the GMA's objectives. The GMA could have come out of the shadows 150 or 200 years ago, as far as Beowulf was concerned, but not as far as the Solarian League's law codes and a sizable chunk of non-Beowulfan public opinion was concerned. By that time, however, the Onion was already launched on the trajectory of the "Detweiler Plan." And, by that time, the Onion had moved light-years beyond anything Leonard Detweiler could possibly have sanctioned. There's a reason the Onion keeps talking about alpha-lines and beta-lines and gamma-lines, which Leonard would never have done. In effect, the Onion truly is trying to create the one thing the Beowulf Code is specifically designed to prevent: the creation of a recognized social hierarchy based upon genotype.

It's a messy, messy situation, which was specifically intended to be a messy, messy situation, and it really is time that Beowulf did a little soul-searching, at least in historical terms, if it truly wants to understand what's happened here. There's a reason I have Honor reflect that the two things human beings make are tools and mistakes, because although she doesn't realize the irony at the moment that she thinks that, that's precisely what's happened here.

Nobody has ever managed to repeal the law of unintended consequences, and the fact that they can't is really the point I've been trying to make, in a lot of ways.
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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by n7axw   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:45 pm

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phillies wrote:There is an interesting technical point here, with respect to uplifting the entire population. We may distinguish between two sorts of modifications, those that confer a reproductive advantage, and those that do not. Being stronger is advantageous in a higher-G environment. On earth under modern circumstances it counts for very little, because machines do most of the heavy lifting. Look, e.g., at all the people who use power lawn mowers and power snow blowers.

If a modification allows someone to have more children, relative to the population as a whole, then there will be a tendency for the people with the modification to grow in number. On the other hand, if I magically delete a half-dozen genetic features that are disadvantageous, for example color blindness, but that really do not change how many children you have, the modification will not spread through the population. If I modify 10% of the population, and wait many generations, only 10% of the population will still have the modification. (This is one of those surprising results of 1930s genetics.) Yes, good color vision will spread into the rest of the population. However, bad color vision will spread into the descendants of the people who were modified, and the two spreads will exactly cancel.

If you want to uplift a population, say eliminate a gene that causes Alzheimer's, you have to modify the entire population.

Yes, I do only have an undergraduate degree in what would now be called molecular biology, but this is a basic undergraduate result.


runsforcelery wrote:People, I have deliberately structured this problem so that neither side is completely right nor completely wrong, at least in its first principles.

Beowulf confronted and dealt with an unimaginable nightmare on Old Earth after the Final War, and it was unimaginable for more reasons than simply the horror of the weapons — and the genetic engineering — which had been unleashed. It was unimaginable because this was the birthplace of mankind. Old Earth had — and in many ways, despite the Solarian League's hubris and arrogance, retains, even in Honor's time — a unique reverence in the eyes of the human-explored galaxy. It's where they all came from, the one genuine touchstone every single human being has in common.

And Old Earth damned near didn't make it, even with Beowulf and all of the other colonized star systems which could get there rallying to its assistance. The Final War was that close to a genuine extinction event.

In the wake of the Final War, the Beowulf Code was promulgated for Beowulf; it was later adopted by the League as a whole, but initially, it governed only Beowulf's life sciences. And the primary purpose of the Beowulf Code (as originally promulgated) was to prevent any future weaponization of genetic engineering. It was not to outlaw all genetic modification. It was not to foreclose the individual choices of individuals for individuals. It did specifically outlaw the weaponization of nanotech and what we might think of as biological agents, whether organic or inorganic. In so far as modification of the human genotype was concerned, its sole original intent was to prevent the conscious design of classes of individuals who could/would be the next Scrags on steroids and regard themselves as genetically — i.e., racially — superior to the rest of the human race, thus justifying their place as the predators at the apex of the food chain.

This quickly came to be interpreted as tight restrictions on genetic modification intended to create deliberately "improved" (interpreted as "superior") human beings, even on the individual level. And it was accompanied by the beginnings of a general prejudice against all "genies" because, after all, the "super soldiers" who'd done their best to destroy the unmodified human race (and the entire planet of old Earth) had been "genies," hadn't they? Therefore, all genies were suspect, particularly if there genetic mods did make them demonstrably superior to "base model" humans in some way. (For example, the greater strength and quicker reflexes of the Meyerdahl mods.)

Leonard Detweiler was part of the teams that saved Old Earth. He had no problem at all with restrictions that prevented the future weaponization of biotech in general or genetics in specific. But he saw the "all genies are evil" mindset beginning to set in, and he opposed it. As he saw it, the more repressive interpretations of the Beowulf Code coming into play were akin to people who would have said "Because atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all future nuclear research must be prohibited for all time," thus precluding nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, etc., etc. That was what he railed against, and I would submit that he was right to do so even while Beowulf was right to be concerned about the consequences of the Final War.

The debate between Detweiler and the medical establishment of Beowulf began as a debate between Detweiler and the more radical elements of the medical establishment of Beowulf who most strongly opposed "genetic tampering" after the Final War. As the full awareness of how hideous the Final War had been sank into the general public, the person-in-the-street tended to support those radical elements, which was one of the big reasons why the tide of anti-genie prejudice gathered so much strength in a relatively short stretch of time. And as the person-in-the-street got more extreme in anti-improvement terms, so did the "mainstream" medical establishment. What I'm saying here is that the initial starting positions of Detweiler and someone like George Benson were not that far apart, but the wedge between them was driven deeper and deeper by intolerance and fear, on one side, and bitter resentment of the towering wave of uninformed intolerance and fear, on the other side. Positions became steadily more extreme and the rhetoric grew increasingly heated.

By Honor Harrington's time, the prejudice against genies in general is very much a thing of the past for the vast majority of the human race. There are still some segments of it which continue to think even the Meyerdahl mods were a terrible idea, but they are very few and far between. There is a much more general prejudice against genetic slaves, which is deeply irrational (as, indeed, most bigotry is) and tends to focus more on feelings of superiority on the part of the person who, after all, wasn't designed as property and therefore must be inferior. Anti-genie prejudice as fear of the genetically modified is only a minor strand of public opinion in Honor's day.

For many people, that changes the instant that "genetic modification" becomes defined as "genetic enhancement" — i.e., the creation of a superior human rather than simply one modified to fit a particular environment (a.k.a. the Meyerdahl mods, for example). By and large, however, it's not a big thing.

At the time that Leonard decamped to Mesa, however, it had become a very big thing, and as far as he was concerned the "hysterical fear" of the responsible modification of the human genotype was on the wrong side of history. The debate had turned into a battle to submission from both sides as the positions became ever more extreme, and so when Mesa became available, Detweiler opted to withdraw from Beowulf to a fresh start in an entirely different star system. In effect, he had been driven from the public debate in Beowulf which had left possession of the Beowulf Code to the "fundamentalists" who demanded extremely tight restrictions on genetic modification and who anathematized the concept of intentional genetic uplift.

Leonard's own views had become more extreme over the years of fighting his losing battle against strident voices which wanted only to silence him and those who shared his viewpoint and drive them out of the debate. (I would point out that I created the conceptual basis for Detweiler and the origin of the Mesan Alignment twenty-odd years ago, before the tendency for people to silence opponents and damn the First Amendment had become as prevalent as it is today, but there are definite resonances here.) He'd also become an extremely bitter man, where all things Beowulfan — and especially where the evolving Beowulf Code — was concerned. He never lost his own sense of medical ethics, however. He genuinely had no intention of supplanting humanity with a new, superior species (or at least subspecies. He envisioned a eugenics program designed to uplift all members of a population with the effects of each beneficial modification being spread through the population as a whole through the natural process of reproduction.

The strident (I would argue in many ways the perverted) version of the Beowulf Code which governed at the time that he left for Mesa shouted down even that concept, however. And so, since he and his had been declared "outlaws" anyway, he embraced the outlaw label by designing workers, colonists, and "indentured servants." As I've said elsewhere, one of his main goals in doing this — indeed, the primary goal in doing it — was a continuation of his research and the very quiet, in formal beginning of the GMA later discovered by Mike Henke. He and his fellow Mesans would look to the gradual genetic improvement of the human race, but they would do it in a way which kept the modifications they were making below the radar horizon of the rest of the human race and its blinkered prejudice.

Leonard died before the institution of genetic slavery spread across the galaxy. Manpower Inc. was created by elements of the genuine lunatic fringe which had attached itself to his party. I believe I've spoken about them in a previous post. These were the people who were the neo-Nazis or the Islamic fundamentalists or the anti-fa fanatics who saw in him the closest thing to a "respectable" spokesperson they could find. They didn't think he went anywhere near far enough; he just went farther than any other public figure with a chance to be heard. It wasn't a difficult step for those people to support the design and sale of genetic slaves, and once they had taken that first step they were on a very, very slippery slope into a pit of moral depravity.

The emergence of genetic slavery, and the defiance of interests on Mesa who supported it, continued and intensified the shifting focus of hostility. Genetic slavery "proved" to current Beowulfers that their ancestors had obviously been right to exile Detweiler and the people so corrupt they'd created genetic slavery. Beowulfan contempt for Mesa — and ongoing, almost knee-jerk condemnation of Detweiler and all things associated with him — fueled the growth of the Onion with in the quiet, more benign campaign of genetic uplift Leonard had been associated with. And along the way, Leonard's descendants — or some of them, at any rate — fully embraced the extremists and joined the Onion, where, of course, their family pedigree quickly led them to leadership roles.

Meanwhile, the Beowulf Code ossified for a century or so. Then, gradually, it began to relax. The memory of the Final War receded and gained historical perspective. It penetrated the psyche that there were millions upon millions of "genetically enhanced" human beings (like the entire population of star systems like Meyerdahl) who weren't running around eating the rest of humanity. And as a result, some of the accretions of prejudice and fear got sandblasted off the Beowulf Code. In fact, the geneticists on Beowulf currently have a rather more liberal interpretation of the Beowulf Code than the Solarian League's legal system, which was written on the basis of the ossified version of it.

What this means is that the vast majority of Beowulfers would be perfectly fine with the GMA's objectives. The GMA could have come out of the shadows 150 or 200 years ago, as far as Beowulf was concerned, but not as far as the Solarian League's law codes and a sizable chunk of non-Beowulfan public opinion was concerned. By that time, however, the Onion was already launched on the trajectory of the "Detweiler Plan." And, by that time, the Onion had moved light-years beyond anything Leonard Detweiler could possibly have sanctioned. There's a reason the Onion keeps talking about alpha-lines and beta-lines and gamma-lines, which Leonard would never have done. In effect, the Onion truly is trying to create the one thing the Beowulf Code is specifically designed to prevent: the creation of a recognized social hierarchy based upon genotype.

It's a messy, messy situation, which was specifically intended to be a messy, messy situation, and it really is time that Beowulf did a little soul-searching, at least in historical terms, if it truly wants to understand what's happened here. There's a reason I have Honor reflect that the two things human beings make are tools and mistakes, because although she doesn't realize the irony at the moment that she thinks that, that's precisely what's happened here.

Nobody has ever managed to repeal the law of unintended consequences, and the fact that they can't is really the point I've been trying to make, in a lot of ways.


This looks like Weber vs. Weber... Interesting. The guy is obviously the most knowledgable about the universe he has created. But we do has a discontinuity between this post and Storm from the Shadows.

Don

-
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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by JohnRoth   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:11 pm

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phillies wrote:There is an interesting technical point here, with respect to uplifting the entire population. We may distinguish between two sorts of modifications, those that confer a reproductive advantage, and those that do not. Being stronger is advantageous in a higher-G environment. On earth under modern circumstances it counts for very little, because machines do most of the heavy lifting. Look, e.g., at all the people who use power lawn mowers and power snow blowers.

If a modification allows someone to have more children, relative to the population as a whole, then there will be a tendency for the people with the modification to grow in number. On the other hand, if I magically delete a half-dozen genetic features that are disadvantageous, for example color blindness, but that really do not change how many children you have, the modification will not spread through the population. If I modify 10% of the population, and wait many generations, only 10% of the population will still have the modification. (This is one of those surprising results of 1930s genetics.) Yes, good color vision will spread into the rest of the population. However, bad color vision will spread into the descendants of the people who were modified, and the two spreads will exactly cancel.

If you want to uplift a population, say eliminate a gene that causes Alzheimer's, you have to modify the entire population.

Yes, I do only have an undergraduate degree in what would now be called molecular biology, but this is a basic undergraduate result.



You could also use a gene drive. (That's not the same as a cattle drive, worm drive or interstellar drive, BTW. Although it could be considered to be similar to a drive-by something.)
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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by George J. Smith   » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:56 am

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phillies wrote:There is an interesting technical point here, with respect to uplifting the entire population. We may distinguish between two sorts of modifications, those that confer a reproductive advantage, and those that do not. Being stronger is advantageous in a higher-G environment. On earth under modern circumstances it counts for very little, because machines do most of the heavy lifting. Look, e.g., at all the people who use power lawn mowers and power snow blowers.

If a modification allows someone to have more children, relative to the population as a whole, then there will be a tendency for the people with the modification to grow in number. On the other hand, if I magically delete a half-dozen genetic features that are disadvantageous, for example color blindness, but that really do not change how many children you have, the modification will not spread through the population. If I modify 10% of the population, and wait many generations, only 10% of the population will still have the modification. (This is one of those surprising results of 1930s genetics.) Yes, good color vision will spread into the rest of the population. However, bad color vision will spread into the descendants of the people who were modified, and the two spreads will exactly cancel.

If you want to uplift a population, say eliminate a gene that causes Alzheimer's, you have to modify the entire population.

Yes, I do only have an undergraduate degree in what would now be called molecular biology, but this is a basic undergraduate result.



What of the gene modifications that were made to be dominant? Those genes would be perpetuated in all offspring, therefore I would think that the percentage with the modification would become greater.
.
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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by GregD   » Tue May 01, 2018 5:31 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:By the time of the Mesan migration, Leonard's bitterness quotient had set in to a point that genuinely began to affect his own judgment, which, I think, was entirely understandable. At that point, he began to produce designed human beings as colonists and workers. Which, BTW, is exactly how the original Meyerdahl mods were created before the Beowulf Code shut things down. He regarded his work as (1) forwarding his research; (2) providing human beings ideally suited for their eventual environments; (3) an ongoing testimonial for what targeted genetic modification could provide for the human race in general, and (4) a way to put a stick right into Beowulf's sanctimonious eye and twist it. During his lifetime, however, genetically modified humans on Mesa were indentured servants who could --- and who, he intended, would --- earn full citizenship for themselves and their children. There would have been no more stigma attached to them, no more legal disabilities, than for a Greek scholar who'd been enslaved by Rome but then manumitted and granted citizenship. The Founders' clear intent is, alas, sometimes . . . modified by later generations, and that happened in this case, which is the origin of the seccies of Honor's day.


This is the part that I just don't get. Were i setting up the colonization of Mesa, the "genies" would have been the 1st class citizens, and the non-modified people would have been the 2nd class ones.

Why did he have it the other way around?
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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by Joat42   » Tue May 01, 2018 6:56 pm

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GregD wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:By the time of the Mesan migration, Leonard's bitterness quotient had set in to a point that genuinely began to affect his own judgment, which, I think, was entirely understandable. At that point, he began to produce designed human beings as colonists and workers. Which, BTW, is exactly how the original Meyerdahl mods were created before the Beowulf Code shut things down. He regarded his work as (1) forwarding his research; (2) providing human beings ideally suited for their eventual environments; (3) an ongoing testimonial for what targeted genetic modification could provide for the human race in general, and (4) a way to put a stick right into Beowulf's sanctimonious eye and twist it. During his lifetime, however, genetically modified humans on Mesa were indentured servants who could --- and who, he intended, would --- earn full citizenship for themselves and their children. There would have been no more stigma attached to them, no more legal disabilities, than for a Greek scholar who'd been enslaved by Rome but then manumitted and granted citizenship. The Founders' clear intent is, alas, sometimes . . . modified by later generations, and that happened in this case, which is the origin of the seccies of Honor's day.


This is the part that I just don't get. Were i setting up the colonization of Mesa, the "genies" would have been the 1st class citizens, and the non-modified people would have been the 2nd class ones.

Why did he have it the other way around?

I can think of a couple of reasons, the primary one is that directly setting up an elite of genies lording over original humans wouldn't go over too well - he was already pushing the boundaries during his lifetime on Mesa and pushing them too far could mean that someone would show up and rein him in.

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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by cthia   » Tue May 01, 2018 7:24 pm

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GregD wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:By the time of the Mesan migration, Leonard's bitterness quotient had set in to a point that genuinely began to affect his own judgment, which, I think, was entirely understandable. At that point, he began to produce designed human beings as colonists and workers. Which, BTW, is exactly how the original Meyerdahl mods were created before the Beowulf Code shut things down. He regarded his work as (1) forwarding his research; (2) providing human beings ideally suited for their eventual environments; (3) an ongoing testimonial for what targeted genetic modification could provide for the human race in general, and (4) a way to put a stick right into Beowulf's sanctimonious eye and twist it. During his lifetime, however, genetically modified humans on Mesa were indentured servants who could --- and who, he intended, would --- earn full citizenship for themselves and their children. There would have been no more stigma attached to them, no more legal disabilities, than for a Greek scholar who'd been enslaved by Rome but then manumitted and granted citizenship. The Founders' clear intent is, alas, sometimes . . . modified by later generations, and that happened in this case, which is the origin of the seccies of Honor's day.


This is the part that I just don't get. Were i setting up the colonization of Mesa, the "genies" would have been the 1st class citizens, and the non-modified people would have been the 2nd class ones.

Why did he have it the other way around?


It is as it should be. Leonard was pushing "the betterment of mankind." Not the betterment of genetic modification. A genie should be no better than a non genie than an aristocrat is inherently better than a commoner.

Leonard saw genetic modification as a tool, not a caste.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by pappilon   » Wed May 02, 2018 4:37 am

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The way it was set up and the way it turned out are entirely different horses. I suppose it started out well enough. Ferals and mods all together, one big happy family with Manpower popping out slaves like clockwork to do all the icky stuff supermen don't sully their hands over.

Eventually the ferals died out leaving the alphas in their natural place leading the planet, with the betas and gammas locked into their proper place in society, then there were the manumitted slaves, which had no place in utopia. Si the manumission clause was sunsetted creating seccies and locking the remaining slaves into their position of non-personhood. Just a natural progression of genetic uplift/eugenics.
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The imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.
Ursula K. LeGuinn

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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by Rajani Isa   » Thu May 03, 2018 1:09 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:2: Mesa is a heavy gravity world that requires extensive modification to live anywhere except on the high plateaus (called Mesas, in the American Southwest.) Detweiler modified the original Mesa colonists to fit the planet, and recruited Meyerdahl genies as part of the source material for those modifications.


Where is this ever stated? This sounds almost more like the description of San Martin - I don't recall any mention of Mesa behing a high-grav planet.
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Re: UH SPOILERS Harrington family history
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu May 03, 2018 6:14 pm

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Rajani Isa wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:2: Mesa is a heavy gravity world that requires extensive modification to live anywhere except on the high plateaus (called Mesas, in the American Southwest.) Detweiler modified the original Mesa colonists to fit the planet, and recruited Meyerdahl genies as part of the source material for those modifications.


Where is this ever stated? This sounds almost more like the description of San Martin - I don't recall any mention of Mesa behing a high-grav planet.


One of the Torch series, IIRC. I don't recall which, off-hand
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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