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Slaves and prolong

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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by kzt   » Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:12 pm

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tlb wrote:
Robert Heinlein popularized the phase "There is no such thing as a free lunch" in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Saying that some commodity could be without cost requires magical thinking, but even magic has costs.

The cost of prolong is briefly mentioned in the books; from chapter 63 of Torch of Freedom:
The expense of paying for a complete suite of prolong treatments for her daughter was going to be at least as high as the expense of setting up Steph Turner in a new restaurant.


I think David walked that back a bit (restaurants are really expensive once you are past the hot dog stand scale), but IIRC you are talking about the equivalent to $30-50K per person. Most places find that worthwhile for the reason mentioned.

But it is also a scale & infrastructure issue. It cost that much when you are dealing with millions of treatments per year. If you were trying to do it from scratch that first person treated is going to cost you many billions.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:49 pm

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tlb wrote:Robert Heinlein popularized the phase "There is no such thing as a free lunch" in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Saying that some commodity could be without cost requires magical thinking, but even magic has costs.

The cost of prolong is briefly mentioned in the books; from chapter 63 of Torch of Freedom:
The expense of paying for a complete suite of prolong treatments for her daughter was going to be at least as high as the expense of setting up Steph Turner in a new restaurant.

kzt wrote:I think David walked that back a bit (restaurants are really expensive once you are past the hot dog stand scale), but IIRC you are talking about the equivalent to $30-50K per person. Most places find that worthwhile for the reason mentioned.

But it is also a scale & infrastructure issue. It cost that much when you are dealing with millions of treatments per year. If you were trying to do it from scratch that first person treated is going to cost you many billions.

Funny enough, I think that you were the one that pointed me to that statement, when I thought prolong was much cheaper. RFC has walked back a number of statements by Eric Flint; such as Eric saying that Thandi has denser muscles than Honor. However this seems right; prolong is about the cost of a new car, but not a new house (when mass produced).
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Joat42   » Sat Sep 24, 2022 6:05 pm

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Another thing that speaks against slaves getting prolong is (as mentioned up-thread) that the whole slave-business was set up as a testbed for testing out genetic enhancements and for that you want a "quick turnaround" on you tests - slaves having a long lifespan is an inefficient solution for that type of goal.

---
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Sat Sep 24, 2022 6:16 pm

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Joat42 wrote:Another thing that speaks against slaves getting prolong is (as mentioned up-thread) that the whole slave-business was set up as a testbed for testing out genetic enhancements and for that you want a "quick turnaround" on you tests - slaves having a long lifespan is an inefficient solution for that type of goal.

I do not think that matters for much of what they are testing; only if there are concerns about end of life issues would it be inconvenient for the test subject to have an unnaturally long life.

Note that it is mentioned that the dominate lines in the Malign have already been gifted with exceptional lifespans, even before prolong therapy. I wonder how that was tested?
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by kzt   » Sat Sep 24, 2022 6:28 pm

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Joat42 wrote:Another thing that speaks against slaves getting prolong is (as mentioned up-thread) that the whole slave-business was set up as a testbed for testing out genetic enhancements and for that you want a "quick turnaround" on you tests - slaves having a long lifespan is an inefficient solution for that type of goal.

It doesn't matter. The age when a subject can breed is all that matters, not when they die. And there are decent reasons to want to see how things interact.

Now the issue David has sidestepped is how does a pharmaceutical company test something that modifies human development over decades. How many years would the development cycle last?
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Joat42   » Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:26 pm

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tlb wrote:
Joat42 wrote:Another thing that speaks against slaves getting prolong is (as mentioned up-thread) that the whole slave-business was set up as a testbed for testing out genetic enhancements and for that you want a "quick turnaround" on you tests - slaves having a long lifespan is an inefficient solution for that type of goal.

I do not think that matters for much of what they are testing; only if there are concerns about end of life issues would it be inconvenient for the test subject to have an unnaturally long life.

It does matter, you haven't thought this through properly. The slaves are just a means to an end but if the slaves live for centuries the ability to market new slaves with new modifications slows down which in turn means the evaluation of said modifications also slows.

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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Sat Sep 24, 2022 9:44 pm

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Joat42 wrote:Another thing that speaks against slaves getting prolong is (as mentioned up-thread) that the whole slave-business was set up as a testbed for testing out genetic enhancements and for that you want a "quick turnaround" on you tests - slaves having a long lifespan is an inefficient solution for that type of goal.

tlb wrote:I do not think that matters for much of what they are testing; only if there are concerns about end of life issues would it be inconvenient for the test subject to have an unnaturally long life.

Joat42 wrote:It does matter, you haven't thought this through properly. The slaves are just a means to an end but if the slaves live for centuries the ability to market new slaves with new modifications slows down which in turn means the evaluation of said modifications also slows.

Historically there is another factor, that has not yet been mentioned, in determining the ability to market new slaves: that is whether the slaves can have children. Prior to the US Civil War, all the slave states (except South Carolina) were exporters of slaves; because the slave birth rate exceeded the slave death everywhere, except in the yellow fever haunted swamps of the Palmetto State. That is one reason why the slaves states were against any plan to limit the expansion of slavery (an oversupply would wipe out property values).

I expect that Manpower Inc ensures that no slave can conceive, but assume that procedure is reversible. The way that slaves are generally worked pretty much guarantees that no slave will live what would be considered a life of normal length, which is a partial reason why the slave owners will not pay the additional amount for prolong treatment.

Also, both Kzt and I have asked how the testing was done for the exceptional lifespans (prior to prolong therapy) of the master genome lines? One possibility is that the workers at Darius served as the test-bed; giving them longer life as a way to make clear that they were not slaves.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Somtaaw   » Sun Sep 25, 2022 12:05 am

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tlb wrote:I expect that Manpower Inc ensures that no slave can conceive, but assume that procedure is reversible. The way that slaves are generally worked pretty much guarantees that no slave will live what would be considered a life of normal length, which is a partial reason why the slave owners will not pay the additional amount for prolong treatment.


It was in one of the Torch novels, that (labor) slaves are even knocking each other up in the pens almost before Mesa has shipped them. They even 'encourage' slaves to form couples and to care for the child themselves.

Pleasure slaves may have their reproductive capabilities inhibited in one way or another most of the time. Because a pregnant pleasure slave isn't as able to provide as much pleasure, unless the final client were to want to be able to knock up their slaves.


Edit: found the clip, but it didn't specifically mention it's the slaves knocking each other up, but 'breeding vats' is rather unclear.

Torch of Freedom, Ch12 wrote: Even from Manpower's viewpoint, there were advantages to having slaves raising the youngsters who came out of the breeding vats instead of Manpower having to do it directly. It was a lot cheaper, if nothing else. So, Manpower was often willing to let slave couples stay together and keep their "children." With some lines of slaves, at least. They wouldn't allow slaves destined to be personal servants—certainly not pleasure slaves—any such entanglements. But with most of the labor varieties, it didn't much matter. Those slaves would be sold in large groups to people needing a lot of labor. It was usually possible to keep the families of such slaves more or less intact in the course of the transactions, since both the seller and the buyer had a vested interest in doing so. Having slaves raising their own children was cheaper for the buyer of the labor force, too.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by ZVar   » Sun Sep 25, 2022 12:24 am

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kzt wrote:[
It doesn't matter. The age when a subject can breed is all that matters, not when they die. And there are decent reasons to want to see how things interact.


It does matter if they are also testing what happens 3 generations later, or even 10-20 generations later.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by kzt   » Sun Sep 25, 2022 12:31 am

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ZVar wrote:
kzt wrote:[
It doesn't matter. The age when a subject can breed is all that matters, not when they die. And there are decent reasons to want to see how things interact.


It does matter if they are also testing what happens 3 generations later, or even 10-20 generations later.

Nope.

Woman has child at 16. Child has child at 16. Grandchild has child at 16. Great gradchild has child at 16. Does it matter if the great grandmother is still alive?
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