Sep 22, 2021 5:01 PM
underlying potterverse physics have been modified to fit your screen
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"It's less 'the kind of parents' and more 'the kind of social station,'" she points out. "But essentially yes."

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"Yeah, I shouldn't blame our parents, they won't be the ones who set this all up. It's just weird." 

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"It occurs to me that if we make it common knowledge that someone created the world and caused it to have a weirdly stratified social system, people are probably going to conclude that the upper classes were more ethical in their previous lives, because that's how people are."

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"Perhaps we could make that approximately true."

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"That bothers me and I'm kind of hoping it's computationally intractable even on a really simple heuristic of goodness but I can't actually construct an argument against it."

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"I think once people found out it would incentivize people being jerks to the poor even more than they would incidentally."

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"Unfortunately you may have a point; a more meritocratic distribution of resources would be beneficial but not worth making the overall situation worse."

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"In general the aristocracy in constructed Villarosa settings tends to be better at being aristocracy than would ordinarily fall out of regular aristocracy-causing factors, but it would probably be better to explicitly deny any connection between virtue in the past life and position in this one in the mythology," she agrees. "The nice thing about high fantasy space opera settings is that 'distribution of resources' often fails to be a thing; post-scarcity is convenient that way. Positional goods still exist, but don't tend to be anything really critical."

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"Yeah, post-scarcity will prevent a lot of awfulness. So will not having wars, if we set up the incentives so it never looks like a good idea to have wars. Actually immortality might do that all by itself; hard to have wars when your armies can't kill each other."

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"There are ways to wage war that don't require killing people, but anything that reduces the incentive would be a very good thing."

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"Having only one polity would cut down on the opportunity to war a lot assuming you don't manage to spark a civil war; of course, it also limits your ability to scoop dead people."

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"Because it limits total population, or some other reason? Also how likely is it that our romantic drama will turn into a civil war, because that's worrying straight up and in its implications."

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"If it's just population, we could do some kind of multi-layered federalism thing, where there are a bunch of smaller governments under a world government?"

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"You can definitely do things like that to fit more people into one polity, but no matter how many clever polity-expanding tricks you come up with, you can still get more people by allowing more such polities," the angel points out. 

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"Eliminating scarcity and making it easy for countries to expand will reduce the incentive for international wars, but it won't do anything about individuals who decide to conquer as much as they can. In fact, a system of multiple countries is likely to be more robust against such individuals."

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"And the more different governments there are the more incentive they all have to make their territories nice places to live, at least if people can move between them easily."

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"As it currently stands, your magic system has any number of fast transport mechanisms, and there's no reason to think they've invented all the ones that can be."

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"We--I mean me and Margaret--should probably read some books on this magic system so we know what it can do in more detail and can design everything else to work with it better."

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"Actually, would it be possible for us to practice with it while we're in stopped time? We're going to need to learn it eventually and you said we can take as long as we want. Um, assuming you don't mind the wait," she adds to McGonagall.

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"It would be no trouble at all. I can help you with the practical bits and do some reading of my own while you do yours. If you're able to produce a few exemplars of the Space Opera genre?"

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The angel produces three stacks of books; two of them Hogwarts textbooks, and one science fiction. She passes them out. 

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Then they will all test their host's inhuman patience for the next . . . somewhere between twelve and seventy-two hours; it's actually really hard to tell with no sun or sleep schedule or anything.

Margaret asks pronunciation questions and makes flashcards. Bruce gets a handle on magical theory and takes notes full of increasingly esoteric diagrams. McGonagall accumulates notes on which futuristic technologies will synergize well with her magic and help keep governments accountable to their people while mitigating the ability of individual dark wizards to wreak havoc. Easy identity verification that requires the knowledge and cooperation of the person whose identity is being verified, FTL that makes it difficult to blockade a system . . . 

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Being able to read about magic for as long as he wants with no sleep or bathroom breaks is the best thing. Maybe their new world should just not require those of anyone.

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Bruce is so right!

Eventually Margaret gets to the point where she can't really learn much more without a wand and joins McGonagall on tech planning. Uterine replicators yes, self-repairing ship shields yes, stealth fields probably not. Also unicorns and phoenixes and hippogriffs and dragons should totally exist. She's definitely including dragons in that list because of how useful their shed skins and so on are and not at all because they're extremely cool and she wants to be unkillable and then ride one.

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At some point Bruce runs out of purely theoretical physics sorcery thoughts and switches to figuring out a magical ecosystem that can work without anything sentient needing to eat anything else sentient.

And eventually--"Where were we, in the mechanical decisions list? I think we were talking about hairstyles?"

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