Jul 06, 2020 1:46 PM
A dragon explores space, finds Amenta.
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"Catching up to us in numbers of individuals or in carrying capacity burden?"

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It wasn't clear. I can ask for clarification. I could see some potential resentment in the latter depending on how 'carrying capacity burden' is decided on, if it's decided that one Draak counts for ten thousand Amentans or something of similar scale.

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"You're bigger and live less densely but not by that large a factor."

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We estimated two seasons ago that our planet has a carrying capacity of approximately two to five million Draak under current living conditions where territory sizes are very large, and that we could manage fifteen million without too much hardship, and thirty to fifty million before crowding becomes a major issue. With the advent of meat-bearing plants we expect all those numbers to double, at least.

To go back to my original topic, can I get your impressions on how to approach this assuming we will find more planets within another season or two, and another set assuming we won't?

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"If there will be more, you can use almost any allocation method and iterate from there. My inclination would be to auction it, because that gently encourages coalition - at a guess we'd put together a winning bid with some other countries we get along well with, and expect other countries to come up with winning bids for later planets. Uh, this isn't the approach to go with if you won't tolerate any collusion on the price, but it'd still be an enormous sum even if you do. If there won't be more, that's still a solid option, but it becomes more important to make sure that the overwhelming majority of Amentans are served in one fell swoop. A new country could be founded, or several, and take immigrants from anywhere. You could take bids from every country and allocate a number and desirability of parcels by how much they pay. We would probably settle on a coordinative strategy of our own if all you did was set a price."

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I see. I'll plainly state that the Senate wants money so they can softly interfere in Amentan affairs - perhaps by paying factory farm owners to close and not re-open, or subsidizing non-factory meat until it's almost free, perhaps by buying jungle or arctic land and then maintaining it in its current state, perhaps other things. Or maybe they'll just want to buy huge amounts of refined metal and fuel. I've tried to learn what money will and will not do and educate them on it.

There is also a notion that we could simply relinquish all claim to the planet - pay off the discoverers who will want some reward with the Senate's Treasure, and let Amentans figure out what to do with the planet. A gift to Amenta - even if not being able to get there yourselves is a point of tension. I think the Senate would like the notion of a new country that takes immigrants from wherever or however it chooses to do so, if it decides to go that route. Though, foregoing payment probably makes things politically harder for pro-Amentan factions in the future.

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"I do think the fact that the money would mostly be plowed back into the Amentan economy, in whatever form, is an argument in favor of denominating the planet's price in money. There would be political will to collect a lot of it, it would circulate back in, founding a colony would be an incredible stimulus, almost no one winds up poorer in a way that matters. A gift we can't reach would be... not a strict improvement."

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The money might be held for a while and not spent immediately.

 

Would some kind of treaty promising passage at however-much a frequency for the next however-many years with penalties like forfeiting all our money if the Draak fail to meet it help at all? I suppose it would be difficult to impose meaningful penalties on us.

 

...Giving you starships is the single most contentious political issue we have. It may take another Grand Moot to resolve it, and it occurs to me that two of the four Elders have not even seen an Amentan in person.

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"If seeing us in person is likely to help I'm sure there's someone who's willing to make the trip even given what happened last time. The trouble with relying on you, even with such a penalty, is that then if you ever decide to incur that penalty our colony is cut off until we manage the invention ourselves. The greens are throwing themselves at it with everything they've got but it could be a while yet and it's hard to put in purely monetary terms what it would mean to be unable to even communicate with the colony."

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I cannot arrange that now, though I would like to if I could. Neither Darktooth the Ancient nor the Guardian of the Green have been seen in over a season. They announced they were doing a joint project of deep magic before vanishing.

I don't think we're suited to doing politics, even with ourselves. Some of what has been happening is attributable to inexperience, but...

I suppose the best way to put it is that many of us are worried what the galaxy will look like in one thousand years. Your resemblance to Humans makes everyone fearful. Your standards of pollution coming to a head undid whatever softening had occurred in that mindset. It's most prevalent in the oldest, especially those who saw Earth - some three hundred fifty of which are still alive, and they're all ancient and powerful by our standards.

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"It's difficult to think on thousand-year timescales. A thousand years ago we had recently invented - not the wheel, I think the wheel was longstanding by then, but that might be when we first came up with writing. Our cultures remake themselves very fast. But some things do last. We've kept count of the years for nearly three and a half thousand now, and we've gotten better at remembering since the tally mark was first put to use. I think our understanding of how we get to finally touch the sky, who we owe for that, will stick."

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And if we looked upon you and said 'no, you are a threat, stay on your planet'... You'd remember that, too.

Sigh.

Afraid people are not reasonable people.

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"All too often."

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