Jun 26, 2022 9:52 AM
Jinye in Cosel
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"Second thing. - I guess I could emboss paper I was making with magic but it would be slower and more expensive and harder to read."

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"Right. I can design a metal machine that, given ink and paper, can make hundreds of copies of books. Are there any books people want hundreds of copies of?"

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"- there will be if you can make them as cheap as that makes it sound!"

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"Sounds good to me!" Inventing the printing press BEFORE the mill is completely the wrong order! Jinye does not care! "Alternately we could see about better designs for agricultural tools, but I don't know if people would trust that those work, and nobody except us has to trust that the printing press works to read the books after it makes them."

... Actually, with these people's metalcrafting she could probably create the repeating rifle if she wanted (and make it air-guns like the ones the Tsironans have so she didn't need guncotton) but she doesn't want them to have the repeating rifle.

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"Most people can't read but it happens that my mother is credited with the discovery that it's possible for children to learn to read, and I bet she can get people who come to her about that buy up lots of books."

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"SHE WHAT?"

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"...you're reacting rather strongly to that?"

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"... That... uh... would make her one of the greatest heroes in history? By my people's standards? Up there with the person who invented writing in the first place if not quite as extremely?"

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"I mean, what actually happened is that... I learned to read... when I was a small child..."

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"... Right. Yes. Makes sense."

She pauses.

"... I... wow." She paused. "I'm sorry, it's just - the emotional impact of my arrival hadn't quite hit yet?" This world is so SMALL! But it can become so LARGE! There is an entire EVERYTHING depending on her efforts and if something horrible happens to her then all of her ideas will be lost and this place will have dark ages for centuries or millennia!!!!! It is so YOUNG! Everything is so YOUNG! "... How... how old is writing?"

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"About forty years."

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"... Can magic be used for immortality, or do I have a time limit on inventing it myself?" She is not, she repeats not, going to let the inventor of writing die of old age.

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"If it can it hasn't been invented yet. You know how to do it without?"

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"No. There are things I know how to make that can extend lifespan in a lot of separate ways, and more things my civilization knows how to make that I don't know how to make, but eventually you die of something. I don't think anyone's ever lived past a hundred and sixty years. But magic plus my civilization's knowledge can do a lot more than just one of them, and a hundred and sixty years is a very long time."

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"Well, some mages have been known to live a long time but I don't know about a hundred and sixty years."

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"Part of that is special techniques to cure individual things, part of that is being from a healthy family, and part of that is just generally knowing what sorts of things and activities make people healthy. None of it is magic."

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"Magic mostly does the first thing."

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"Exercise and a balanced diet. A good deal of the more complicated stuff is just balancing the diet better."

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"Balancing it against... what?"

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"Oh. Sorry. Meaning, eating a variety of different things. Your body needs different sorts of nutrients to keep different parts of it working, and getting too much of one thing and not enough of another is bad."

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"I mean, I'm sure everyone would like to eat more different things...?"

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"Yes, I need to make everywhere much richer."

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"What, at the same time?"

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"I... will have to start somewhere first? Here, for instance?"

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"I'm just not sure what everywhere being richer would look like. There's a finite amount of - I guess with enough magic you could pull more land out of the sea?"

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