Oct 23, 2019 7:55 PM
Demon Cam meets the Cthulhu Mythos
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"I guess we'll see if we run across forty more of them or not."

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"We haven't even met any fish-people yet." 

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"Yeah. I wonder if I should just try to inventory the lot of them before I do anything major - I've already decided the summoning rollout needs to happen differently, the literacy rate just isn't high enough..."

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"Is literacy rate important?"

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"Enormously. Preprints are good - better, even - but widespread use of preprints requires widespread availability of printers, or demons. In my world the distribution was accomplished by giving everybody a good look at a daeva, and a book on summoning to read."

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"You gave everyone a book?" 

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"Not literally one per person, but I got pretty good coverage, yeah."

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"That is a lot of books. What did you pay the demons?" 

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"I had to shop around to find ones who wanted things I could get them, I was a high schooler, but some of them wanted things like to go to a mall and buy a coffee with money in real life."

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"...Huh. Do you know why they wanted that?" 

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"Novelty. Demons don't use currency."

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"I guess that would be hard when everyone can just make whatever. --Is demonic counterfeiting a problem in 2159?"

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"Nah, there's ways around it. It does take some doing, and it'll be harder on a 1928 tech base."

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"What kinds of ways?" 

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"So demons can make any physical thing, which means cash is right out. But for everyday transactions you can make someone scan their fingerprint or their retina - and you watch them do it so you're sure it's actually their fingerprint or retina, not a disembodied thumb or eyeball - or their voiceprint, sometimes, and match up that pattern with a centralized database that someone's gone to the trouble of positively identifying everyone in, and you can be sure they're actually trying to make a payment and their centralized bank can hand it over. That's not foolproof, but it's inconvenient for a demon to help someone route around, and there's more secure options yet for really big ticket stuff."

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"Why is fingerprint or retina more secure than a signature?" 

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"It's harder to have a machine tell that two signatures are by the same person and not make mistakes in either direction."

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"If someone has to watch anyway why does there need to be a machine?" 

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"Because the person watching doesn't know what your signature looks like, they're going to be a total stranger who works at a store."

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"Oh, okay. It would be convenient if brains could be made to work more like computers, if they didn't lose anything important in the process." 

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"It would! Not a lot of progress on that front, I'm sorry to disappoint."

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"It probably wouldn't work for me anyway." 

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"You'd need some separate R&D."

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"And there's only one of me. Even Wilbur is put together differently from me." 

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"I mean, if I were doing this I'd start testing stuff on mindless copies of you."

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