Aug 08, 2020 7:30 AM
The Krissan meet some aliens
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"I could see that having a selection effect, yes."

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"So, we know that you have radio and cars, but could you tell us a little more about recent technology innovations, so we have an idea of where you are technologically? And feel free to ask us any questions about our own society."

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The rest of the crew have returned from looking around and are now standing behind Captain Hallos.

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"Hm... The teletype printers aren't new, but we've been developing networks for them, and by now most people have one in their home. Computers are a domain for governments and the International Science Association, currently, but there's hopes we'll be able to miniaturize them or incorporate some of their features into teletype printers." She turns to one of her people, who confirmed they invented transistors for computers about a decade ago, and suspect they may be another decade out on even very expensive home computers.

"We also have airplanes up to commercial size, though convincing people to use them for anything other than cargo or very short passenger hops has been difficult. We're trying to figure out how to design planes to be less unpleasant."

"We have stable liquid fuel rockets, and have for a few decades, and have launched unmanned satellites, though we've yet to actually put anyone in space due to safety questions."

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"It sounds like technologically you're at about where we were in the year 50 BF, though I am noticing some divergences in tech trees.  I'd love to see a teletype printer sometime." A different one of the crew speaks up at this point.

"This is Darjo, he is our technology expert." says Captain Hallos.

"We've gotten computers well beyond the point of getting them in to peoples home, this is our current state of the art" Says Darjo, pressing something on his wrist that causes a holographic display to appear in front of him.  "Every housing unit on Mars comes with a larger computer, though I admit I know less about the prevalence on other planets, but most adults have a personal holo-comp.  That's this", he adds, pointing to the holographic display.

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Their technology expert seems to think this is incredibly fascinating! "What's your current year by your calendar?"

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"543 AF.  AF stands for after founding, in reference to the founding of the Martian Confederation, and BF stands for Before Founding.  The founding happened about 5 years after the first colonists got to Mars." Darjo explains.

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He whistles. "We're quite behind you, then, technologically."

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"I'm not terribly surprised, interstellar travel requires pretty advanced technology.  I'm interested to find out if there are other things like the teletype printers that you developed and we didn't!"

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Another crew member speaks up. 

"How are you guys handling housing? I know that your tech level was well before we had universal housing figured out, and I imagine your societal progress is where the greatest divergence is.  I'm Isbella, by the way."

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"Hello Isbella," says another of the gathered Krissan, before introducing himself. "Honestly, housing varies country to country, but most nations consider the lack of housing for non-nomadic populations to be an important government issue. The best systems in the world generally manage to house everyone, even if not always in the ideal amount of comfort, and most places have some kind of subsidized housing. People also usually go in on housing in groups, which reduces costs compared to singular housing, and we think reduces the overall risk of homelessness."

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"I'm really glad you're working on it! We don't have universal housing everywhere, I know that Venus's system doesn't guarantee it, but we have it universal most places, and even where it isn't there's not many people involuntarily homeless.  And no people who sleep on the streets, just people sleeping on friends couches or a car or something.  It's interesting that you live in groups like that! Even at about your tech level people mostly only lived with their significant other and their children, and even living with a significant other has become less common, though people do prefer to live with their significant other once they have kids.  Most people tend to live alone these days." Isbella replies.  "What major social changes are recent?  Anything that was socially unacceptable fairly recently that isn't now? Or that used to be acceptable that isn't now?"

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Darjo resumes speaking to the Krissan who was interested in the holo-comp.  "This is the most common model, but we also have a purely audio interface, most commonly used by blind people but some sighted people prefer it, and a visor interface that goes over your eyes, which can be helpful for people with hearing issues or people in dealing with unfamiliar languages because it can do real-time subtitles, but is rather inconvenient if you don't need that feature."

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The one Isbella's talking to replies with: "Living alone sounds kind of miserable! The general historic roots of going in on housing together is generally accepted to have been bargaining power with hiring property managers and representatives, and increased efficiency in things like making meals and recycling materials. We also use the same words for workers' unions as housing unions here, though not all languages do that. Recent social changes... We're becoming less violent over time, has been one notable thing. We've never tended towards large scale conflicts, but small scale ones used to be way more common. We're also running programs to encourage people to have fewer children per parent in a household, due to general worry about populations growing too quickly, and those are having a strong effect - I'm not sure what a 'significant other' is, that seems unidiomatic? Do you mean a co-parent? - Oh, and also social tension over parasitism scrupulosity is something we've always had, but right now we're trying to keep people's scrupulosity high despite advances in medicine currently making it less necessary."

The one Darjo's talking to replies with: "Interesting! I'd expect subtitle use to be nearly universal, here, for people without other issues with the visor. An audio interface would probably be rude to use, here, though I could see the culture on that shifting if there's no good touch interface and it's an important accessibility issue."

Notably, the representatives are spreading out as conversational groups form, often getting as many sound barriers as they can between the different groups. This place is quiet, almost eerily so, optimized for sound muffling in a way human spaces rarely are.

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"We've also become less violent over time! A significant other is the person you're in a romantic relationship with, most people only raise kids with a significant other.  Could you expand on parasitism scrupulosity? I'm pretty sure it isn't a thing for humans, unless it's translating wrong."

She notices the quiet, but decides not to bring it up right now.

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"Do most people have hearing issues?  The visual overlay is annoying, that's why the visors aren't popular unless you need visual overlay.  Only the user can hear the audio interface, it goes in a little earbud that you put in your ear, though you do have to talk out loud to use it.  It's not quite as convenient, so mostly people who can use a visual interface prefer that, except for people who worry about spending to much time using computers and want theirs to be inconvenient."

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To Isbella: "Why would there only be one? That seems strange. And parasitism scrupulosity is worry about and fear of parasites, and the steps people take to reduce parasites in their environment - people with high parasitism scrupulosity keep their areas and bodies clean and are less prone to disease, but more prone to phobias and anxiety."

To Darjo: "I wouldn't call it a hearing issue, just that when there's a lot of potential sound inputs it's hard to pay attention to only one."

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"Most people only have romantic relationships with one person at a time, lots of places it's actually illegal to marry more than one person, though if it's just a relationship and you're not married that's fine legally, but does make you seem a bit weird, socially.  Parasitism scrupulosity isn't very common with humans, and I think we'd consider it a phobia on it's own."

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"Like auditory processing problems? That was part of what I was talking about as hearing issues, really.  I feel like a touch-based interface would be much harder to make than an audio one, but it might be an interesting challenge, and if we end up setting up trade and selling you guys our advanced tech that would be a really interesting thing to see developed!"

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To Isbella: "That's really strange! Most parenting groups are four people, usually but not always with romantic links between them, and we're trying to encourage parenting groups to get larger for the same number of kids, lately. And if you don't have parasitism scrupulosity, how do you avoid disease?"

To Darjo: "I mean, we also can't fly unaided? So hearing working a certain way isn't a problem for us. Your species might process auditory signals differently, though."

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"See, to me, that's really strange, it's even weirder to have kids with multiple people than to have relationships with multiple people.  We...have medicine and vaccines, we spent a really long time trying to figure out what worked and why, we went through a lot of really bad theories about what caused disease before we figured it out."

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"Yeah, it sounds like we do.  Do you have any questions about our computers or other technology you want to know about? Or a teletype printer I can see, that's not something we developed and I'm really curious about them."

 

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To Isbella: "Your children might be more self sufficient? And we've started developing medicine and vaccines, yes, but before those, disease could end up rather terrible in areas with low scrupulosity."

To Darjo: The representative has both questions and the ability to have a teleprinter brought over!

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"Maybe.  We haven't really done many studies on how having more adults in a family affects child development, if your way were better we probably wouldn't have stumbled on it.  Some people, mostly religious ones, think that kids need one mom and one dad and any other arrangement is bad for them.  And yeah, diseases ended up pretty terrible a lot of the time before we had good medicine, I'll see if I can find some historical information, possibly including concrete numbers which I don't have memorized if you're curious about more details."

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Darjo will answer questions.  The teletype printer is really neat.  
"Say, do you have telephones?"
 

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