Sep 18, 2018 1:47 PM
I've got a list of names
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in color amentans meet hazel
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"By 'casteing humans' I mean 'imposing limitations' - especially on a second generation with no choice in the matter - as previously discussed, not 'letting them dye their hair and join purple-only clubs' or whatever."

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"I don't think it's that straightforward. If we were trying to make people not raise their children with their religion you'd object, right?"

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"Religion is purely cultural, in its purest form - specifically the part of caste you can't provide on the government level."

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"But the cultural part is the part of caste we think is important, and the part which is much less likely to develop if we say being purple has nothing to do with raising purple children in a purple neighborhood."

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"I don't have more of an objection to raising children who you expect to be purple by default than I do to Rebecca bringing her kids to church - the objection is not zero but I'm not gonna complain - but if Rebecca's kids decide that actually they don't feel like being Catholics, they can just quietly stop going, and this doesn't mean they can't ever find work, and they could convert to Anglicanism and this would be hard on Rebecca but they wouldn't have to move to another planet."

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"Some of this might depend on human trait heritability. The right rules are different if ten percent of humans want to change compared to if, like, five humans do."

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"You're also going to have people who don't fit neatly into one or the other. I overlap orange and green, with some stuff that Pelape thinks is 'vaguely culturally yellow', and maybe this would make for a tidier package if you had green doctors but you don't, and there's going to be a lot of mixes like that, barbers who cut hair and pull teeth, people who do their own accounting for their shops, farmer-soldiers who don't want to be in a standing army. Attempting to caste humans in any quantity rips out tons of functional culture."

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"The job market for humans is being rather thoroughly disrupted anyway and the farmer-soldiers are a war crime and will have to pick one, but yes, I agree that it's complicated to do things in this vein which are positive."

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"Miolee's casteless, right, if they wanted to run a caste-laundering operation..."

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"Yeah. I don't know if they'll take swapped humans but they actually might be delighted about them, no permaspringing and no issues with clean reds at all."

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"But they're too small, and being able to switch doesn't let you have a blendy job."

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"Well, we're not going to be forcing any humans to take on castes, and ones who are blendy are probably less likely to, and if the blendy jobs look economically valuable then it'll be easy to justify making them two-caste or something, down the road."

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"It's stupid."

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"It's kind of hard to tell which parts of the social order are stupid impositions and which are, like, critical to peoples' happiness. I don't mean it's hard to guess, just that lots of people have famously guessed wrong."

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"Even if it's the case that castes are essential to Amentan happiness - even if it's the case that, had we come by them in the way you did, they'd be essential to ours too - it's an unwarranted leap to even strongly suspect that they'll still work dropped on us from the sky. - If we'd had our own totally different caste system would you want to replace it?"

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"No, definitely not, we'd be trying to come up with a legal structure that accommodated both. We are doing that, the places that have a caste system."

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"Could you decide our caste system is having genders? Uh, not if you're just going to leave the genders to be legally terrible, but."

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"...maybe if statistically that's working better for you?"

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"What do you mean?"

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"If human societies that are doing a caste-like thing with gender are better off than the human societies that are voluntarily adopting castes that'd be a very good reason to prefer that."

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"The difference is - I can't promise you'd still see this in a hundred years but - if I imagine having to leave the relatively gentler gender politics of the magical world and deal with Muggle gender roles, my complaints would take the form of wishing things were better for women, never wishing to be a man. - I'm not sure if that's universal, it might not be, but I bet it lands better than castes."

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"Huh. Is that universal, or is that fairly specific to you - Isama's double lives as a male human -"

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"You'd have to ask more people, I said I'm not sure!"

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"Fair. Well, thank you."

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"You're welcome."

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