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Slaves and prolong

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Slaves and prolong
Post by aairfccha   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 2:11 pm

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When rereading "Let's Dance", I (again) stumbled across the mention that slaves never receive prolong and wondered why actually.

Slaves can't be cheap to buy as their price has to include the cost of raising them for usually at least about 16 years, so most buyers should want them to keep them useful for as long as possible. Sure, from the perspective of worldbuilding it's better to have Manpower as cartoonishly evil, but in-universe, it doesn't really make a lot of sense if you can extend maybe 50 years of usability to 200+. Even if Manpower might not want slaves to live for centuries to sell replacements and more extremely modified variants don't seem benefit too much anyway (the heavy labour slaves probably simply wear out physically and what Saburo said about himself and Jeremy X in TEIF might point at some sort of neurodegenerative condition), the buyers ought to disagree on that sort of planned obsolescence, at least the general utility lines with limited genetic tinkering should fully benefit and there is never a mention of a hard reason why prolong couldn't be applied.
With sex slaves, the benefit of prolong should be even more pronounced since with the exceptions of special interests, youth pretty much equals value (and with other special interests, the age-freezing effect would be even more interesting).

On top of that comes the emotional aspect for owners who aren't soulless corporations and actually care about their bed-pets, so why does prolong for slaves seem to entirely unheard of?
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 2:48 pm

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aairfccha wrote:Slaves can't be cheap to buy as their price has to include the cost of raising them for usually at least about 16 years, so most buyers should want them to keep them useful for as long as possible. Sure, from the perspective of worldbuilding it's better to have Manpower as cartoonishly evil, but in-universe, it doesn't really make a lot of sense if you can extend maybe 50 years of usability to 200+. Even if Manpower might not want slaves to live for centuries to sell replacements and more extremely modified variants don't seem benefit too much anyway (the heavy labour slaves probably simply wear out physically and what Saburo said about himself and Jeremy X in TEIF might point at some sort of neurodegenerative condition), the buyers ought to disagree on that sort of planned obsolescence, at least the general utility lines with limited genetic tinkering should fully benefit and there is never a mention of a hard reason why prolong couldn't be applied.

It is not just Manpower that is being portrayed as evil, but also the buyers. After all if the buyer wanted a slave with the benefit of prolong, then there is no reason that they could not have paid for the added expense (which actually is fairly high).

Consider the heavy labor slave for a moment: prolong extends the growing up period; which means that there are many additional years of growing up to do, before they are ready to do that heavy labor.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Theemile   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 3:53 pm

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aairfccha wrote:When rereading "Let's Dance", I (again) stumbled across the mention that slaves never receive prolong and wondered why actually.

Slaves can't be cheap to buy as their price has to include the cost of raising them for usually at least about 16 years, so most buyers should want them to keep them useful for as long as possible. Sure, from the perspective of worldbuilding it's better to have Manpower as cartoonishly evil, but in-universe, it doesn't really make a lot of sense if you can extend maybe 50 years of usability to 200+. Even if Manpower might not want slaves to live for centuries to sell replacements and more extremely modified variants don't seem benefit too much anyway (the heavy labour slaves probably simply wear out physically and what Saburo said about himself and Jeremy X in TEIF might point at some sort of neurodegenerative condition), the buyers ought to disagree on that sort of planned obsolescence, at least the general utility lines with limited genetic tinkering should fully benefit and there is never a mention of a hard reason why prolong couldn't be applied.
With sex slaves, the benefit of prolong should be even more pronounced since with the exceptions of special interests, youth pretty much equals value (and with other special interests, the age-freezing effect would be even more interesting).

On top of that comes the emotional aspect for owners who aren't soulless corporations and actually care about their bed-pets, so why does prolong for slaves seem to entirely unheard of?


Yeah, we had a couple good threads awhile back analyzing Genetic slavery - And it all gets down to can you provide a slave for cheaper than you can get someone to work or technology to replace him. And with time and cost to grow, train, and transport a slave, that's a high hurdle to jump in a high tech society that is not reliant on muscle power, especially when normal slavery exists, with no startup costs.

The concensus was that there were only 2 exceptions where genetic slavery makes even a bit of sense.

1) Conditions where "normal" humans could not work efficiently - High/Low pressures, gravity, poisonous atomospheres and environments, etc.) We know humans were modified for high G, Residents of Mesa were "Mesaformed", presumedly to allow them to metabolize something in the environment, and Graysons were modified to be more resilient to heavy metals. But the rest is not seen.

2) Sex trades. Weird stuff for people who will pay gobs to have their wacky desires fulfilled. Especially when the target of affection is... disposable...

Other than that, mankind will do any job that pays enough, and doesn't outright kill them (in the short term). But even at that, Plenty of women (and men) get into the oldest profession every year to make ends meet, and there are technologies that allow mankind to work in virtually any environment, including ones that mankind cannot be adapted to. So it's not like you can't find the worker, or technology to do most any job.

So Yeah, Genetic Slavery as seen in the Honorverse does not make economic sense.

Pretty much, salvery is disposable people, and adding prolong (and a cleaned up genetic code) is planned obsolence - and makes way for you to buy more slaves.
Last edited by Theemile on Tue Sep 06, 2022 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by kzt   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 3:56 pm

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There are certain niches where delayed maturation isn't a defect. But the whole idea that you'd purchase someone to do 1/50th of the work of a diesel excavator or bulldozer is kind of nuts. And diesel excavators don't dream about how they can kill you.

I think that David had character point out that the economics of Manpower were pretty questionable at best.
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Joat42   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 3:57 pm

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I seem to remember something about prolong not working on genetic slave lines, and it was done on purpose when they where designed. I think it was Web Du Havel that talked about this in one of the books (Crown of Slaves?).

---
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Joat42   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 3:58 pm

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Theemile wrote:So Yeah, Genetic Slavery as seen in the Honorverse does not make economic sense.

Pretty much, the only reason it existed was because MAlign wanted it to exist.

---
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by tlb   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 4:37 pm

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Joat42 wrote:I seem to remember something about prolong not working on genetic slave lines, and it was done on purpose when they where designed. I think it was Web Du Havel that talked about this in one of the books (Crown of Slaves?).

I could not find that, but I did find this in chapter 14 of Torch of Freedom:
Besides, the Beowulf medical establishment had identified several genetic combinations which had potentially serious negative consequences. Manpower had never worried about that sort of thing, as long as they got whatever feature they'd been after, and that lack of concern was a major factor in the fact that even if they were ever fortunate enough to receive prolong, genetic slaves' average lifespans remained significantly shorter than "normals' " did. Beowulf had devoted a lot of effort to finding ways to ameliorate the consequences of those genetic sequences if they could be identified, and the barcode was the quickest, most efficient way for the doctors to scan for them. There wasn't much that could be done for some of them, even by Beowulf, but prompt remedial action could enormously mitigate the consequences of others, and one of the things every citizen of Torch was guaranteed was the very best medical care available.
Given that no slaveowner had ever bothered to waste prolong on something as unimportant as his animate property, much less worry about things like preventative medicine, that guarantee was one of the kingdom's most ringing proclamations of the individual value it placed upon its people
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by Joat42   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 7:46 pm

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tlb wrote:
Joat42 wrote:I seem to remember something about prolong not working on genetic slave lines, and it was done on purpose when they where designed. I think it was Web Du Havel that talked about this in one of the books (Crown of Slaves?).

I could not find that, but I did find this in chapter 14 of Torch of Freedom:
Besides, the Beowulf medical establishment had identified several genetic combinations which had potentially serious negative consequences. Manpower had never worried about that sort of thing, as long as they got whatever feature they'd been after, and that lack of concern was a major factor in the fact that even if they were ever fortunate enough to receive prolong, genetic slaves' average lifespans remained significantly shorter than "normals' " did. Beowulf had devoted a lot of effort to finding ways to ameliorate the consequences of those genetic sequences if they could be identified, and the barcode was the quickest, most efficient way for the doctors to scan for them. There wasn't much that could be done for some of them, even by Beowulf, but prompt remedial action could enormously mitigate the consequences of others, and one of the things every citizen of Torch was guaranteed was the very best medical care available.
Given that no slaveowner had ever bothered to waste prolong on something as unimportant as his animate property, much less worry about things like preventative medicine, that guarantee was one of the kingdom's most ringing proclamations of the individual value it placed upon its people

Hmm... That wasn't the passage I was thinking about, but it kind of fits except that I have a clear picture of Du Havel, slaves and prolong being connected somehow. I'll see if I can find the reference.

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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 8:15 pm

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kzt wrote:And diesel excavators don't dream about how they can kill you.


Have you watched "Terminator?" :)
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Re: Slaves and prolong
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Sep 06, 2022 8:16 pm

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aairfccha wrote:Slaves can't be cheap to buy as their price has to include the cost of raising them for usually at least about 16 years, so most buyers should want them to keep them useful for as long as possible.


Maybe the slaves get the opposite of prolong: something that causes accelerated growth, so they are market-ready within 8 years or less, but as a consequence shorten the lifetime and make them incompatible with the prolong treatments.
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