Aug 05, 2020 8:50 PM
The Krissan meet some aliens
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To Isbella: "There's also how it affects the adults! Children are really a lot of work, and it'd be very hard to have a job and a young child, I'd think, if you only had two parents."

To Darjo: "Technically yes, but not a lot of places have the right infrastructure, and they're not really convenient to use."

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"Most parents send their kids to a babysitter, and usually at least one of the parents takes some leave when the kid is really little.  Usually the mother, so she can breastfeed.  Some countries have a system set up so that both parents can get a good amount of time off work without having to worry about money."

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"What makes them inconvenient to use? Just the infrastructure thing?"

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To Isbella: "Having a babysitter seems like it might not be really accessible to poorer parents, though? If you're hiring them?"

To Darjo: "Well, the sound often runs together - it's really hard to hear or parse what people are saying - and you can't record them very easily, and you can't re-access old conversations."

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"Yeah, poorer parents are stuck with whatever free childcare they can find.  It's more common for the government to fund than time off work, but it's not universal, lots of people have to leave their kids with their parents, or with friends, or go with whatever babysitter is cheapest even if they aren't actually very good."

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"Huh.  Well, I'm glad you have the teletype printers then, it seems like they serve a similar function to the one that telephones served for humans when we were at your tech level."

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To Isbella: "Yeah, our system might have less problems in marginal areas like that? But it's also plausibly a psychological difference between our species."

To Darjo: "What did telephones do?"

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"I suspect that there are actually two psychological differences between species that are not directly about the ideal way to parent but result in major differences- I think humans are more monogamous then Krissan and less willing to co-parent with people we aren't romantically involved with."

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"They really made quick long-distance communication possible! Before telephones you had letters and telegrams, and while telegrams were quicker than letters, they were limited in how long they could be, and not as quick as talking on the phone.  And they were kind of the framework on which a lot of later technological developments rested.  Like the internet."

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To Isbella: "That does make sense, yes."

To Darjo: "That's neat! How does the internet work?"

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"Since you have larger parenting groups, is homeschooling common here? That is, educating your children yourself instead of sending them to school."

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"The internet is a big network of wires and radio signals that is used to transmit information to different devices! The information is stored on various servers, and the collection of all the information that can be accessed through this network is referred to as the internet.  The internet has pretty much all information known to humans, though not all of it is easy to access, and tons of peoples personal opinions and thoughts and crazy theories and stories about things that happened and so on.  It would be impossible to ever read everything the internet contains in a human lifetime, or even 10 human lifetimes."

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To Isbella: "Most people prefer having their children learn at least half of their lessons with other children outside the parenting group; it's considered a bit odd, to try to control all the information a child receives, and education is really a specialty, anyways. A minority go to large formalized schools, though, if that's what you're asking?"

To Darjo: "Wow! Some writers have theorized the teleprinter archives might ever get that big, but it's really something to hear about somewhere it actually happened, more or less."

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"We would consider educating with other parents to be homeschooling, yes.  Most human children go to school from when they're about 2 and a half Martian years old to when they're about 9 martian years, and are in school most of the time that their parents work.  Most humans consider it better to have children educated by professionals, though there are several different educational styles and philosophies that schools might follow, and different ones are most common on different planets.  10 Martian years old is considered adulthood on Mars."

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"It's really cool that you were working towards something similar, and the fact that it's teleprinter based makes my theory that they're filling a similar cultural role to the role telephones filled for humans more likely!"

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To Isbella: "There's something of a continuum, really? A collection of neighborhood kids being taught by someone with a teaching certificate is a school, like how the big universities are schools. Big schools are more common in urban areas, though, and there they do make an effort to have a variety of styles available. School children usually spend more time on lessons or group recreational activities than their parents do on work, lately, but we've also been doing a big push to get the work day down to something more reasonable."

To Darjo: "It'd be really interesting to compare books on histories of technology!"

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"With the neighborhood schools, what's the average student-teacher ratio? And about how much of the day is, on average, spent working, how much sleeping, how much doing other things?  And please feel free to ask me questions about how we do things."

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"I don't think we have any with us, but I'd love to look at yours, and we're gonna send a message back to our organization so we can hopefully set up a more in-depth and long-term form of contact, and I bet we could get them to bring books with the diplomatic envoy."

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To Isbella: "That really varies between regions, and 'the average' is a bit of a misleading number, and I'm not sure how you'd define a teacher - the range is usually five to twenty students in a classroom, with one to three instructors, usually working out to around seven students per instructor. We try to keep to that even in the bigger urban schools. About a third of the day is spent sleeping, and most jobs have you spending about a sixth to a third working on work days - we're trying to get labor down to working half the week, a sixth of the day on work days, but that's been mostly as we ramp up automation. We also try to plan our spaces so no one's spending more than a twentieth of the day just on commuting, though that's a harder problem than reducing work hours. Most of the rest of the day is generally spent in leisure. How do your people structure schools and work?"

To Darjo: "We can have some of our own gathered, too."

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"Well, school especially varies so much by planet, so I'll just explain how it works on Mars.  Mars has 3 school periods per day, and every child is put in the one with the most overlap with their parents work.  We have larger class sizes than you- past about 5 martian years you very rarely have more than one adult to a classroom, and classrooms are usually about 15-25 students.  Keeping the class sizes more reasonable is another benefit of the rotating schedule, honestly.  Kids between 3 and 5 often have a second teacher, and the 2 and a half to 3 year olds have 3 teachers per classroom.  The students are in school for about a third of the day 7 days out of 10, except for on holidays.  We have 4 major holidays every year, and the kids get the whole month off for those, plus several minor holidays that they get a few days to a week for.  Adults work for about a third of the day 7 or 8 days out of 10, and never get more than a week off work for holidays, and people in some jobs can't even get that, though you do get paid double for working the week of a major holiday, and everyone is guaranteed at least for weeks of paid vacation a year, even if they can't have it on the major holidays.  A lot of this only applies to the Martian Confederation, the laws are different in different places, and then you've got the miners and freighter pilots and people with weird views who live out in the asteroid belt.  Which is the unarguable worst for children's education, honestly.  No state, so no state funded schools, and there's not enough population for a privately owned school to make any money, so there's none of those, the only options are distance education and homeschooling, which work sometimes but definitely not for every kid raised out there.  Most places educational systems have upsides and downsides, so where is best really depends on what kind of education you want your kids to get- the Jovian state schools will get you the best science education in the system, for example."

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Darjo would love to read some books!

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To Isbella: "That sounds tough. Things aren't at all standardized here, though, and our society's still simple enough people can effectively home school."

To Darjo: Books might take a little bit!

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"I think that homeschooling mostly works fine if you have a minimum standard, and any child protection laws, the really bad cases are mostly parents who actively prevent their kids from learning.  Even the total educational neglect cases mostly learn some things by asking a computer questions, though they fall far behind their peers.  In places with a government most homeschooled kids turn out alright. There's no standardization at all? Not even on the level of a town requiring that all kids need to know how to read by a certain age or something?" 

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Do Krissan want to be shown things one can do on a holocomp?

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Captain Hallos is going to seek out someone who looks like a diplomatic official.

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