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Dec 04, 2022 7:08 AM
druids need math tutoring too
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Milliways is doing good business today!

Tables and chairs have been moved out of the way to make space for a cushioning pile, which is hosting a bunch of slightly greenish humanoids with clawlike fingernails and dilated pupils. A low table in the middle of the arrangement has some shared snacks and a device playing soft music.

A tiny plant person wearing medieval-looking armor is walking away from the group carrying a box labeled "USED HYPOSPRAYS".

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Someone walks in from another room, and just barely avoids tripping over em, because despite the fact that Milliways Medical takes her insurance, she's still not used to looking down where her glasses wouldn't've made things an undecipherable blur.

...She's a bit too leggy for her own good, really.

"Ack!  Sorry, sorry, wasn't paying attention there."

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The plant person steps out of the way. "No problem for me, but be careful of the people over there, okay?" ey says, gesturing at the cushion pile.

From closer and at this angle, the person is visibly wearing a modern-looking nametag reading
Griffith 'Griffie' of Suaal
Milliways Infirmary staffer
Sells related and misc. services
Will pay for math tutoring
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"Yeah. I can see them.  Just missed you because of the door.  ...You want math tutoring?  I'm not exactly a proper mathematician but I know any amount of trigonometry and calculus and can probably download you Khan Academy for cheap."

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"If that's some existing published content, I can buy it off Bar, but I think it'd help to actually work with a person. I hear 'calculus' is sometimes used as a nickname for 'infinitesimal calculus', is that what you're offering?"

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"Well, the guy does do walkthroughs, it's videos and such.  Available free-ish, but I dunno if you have electricity so it might have to be me buying a tablet with a solar charger or something.  But yeah, sure.

"Yeah it's infinitesimals and stuff like that.  Rates of change, areas under the curve, all that jazz."

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"Bar sells electricity-through-semiconductors technology and offers options for restoring electricity-producing-capacity to relevant energy storage devices, I have a tablet. Expensive, but worth it. And I do need to work on the calculus of infinitesimals and stuff like that. Do you know what your pricing for that looks like?"

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"Hey Bar, how much for a download of Khan Academy as it presently stands?  Or I could find the door and rip it, I suppose.  Theoretically the technology where I'm from has enough single-device bandwidth capacity to pull that off limited only by the hardware!"

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Not mentioning that the 1Yb chip pretty much doesn't practically exist, or the large quantity of drive space needed, but it could in theory happen!

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A note appears on the portion of the counter closest to the human.

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"...Right, space and time continue to exist," she says as she initially fails to have a note.

Once she's picked it up, she reads it!

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"I offer loans of published media to customers without charge, meaning that Khan Academy and similar media are already available. Furthermore, I am discouraged from personally facilitating excessive exploitation of interuniversal price differences. I hope this does not interfere with your enjoyment of your time here."

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"You can borrow it for free, apparently.  ...Anyway, what do you already know, mathwise?  In general."

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Griffie has an eclectic range of mathematical knowledge!

  • A decent if painstaking grip on algebra.
  • Some practice with complex-number arithmetic that hasn't gone very far yet.
  • More geometry than would be typical for a modern student at eir level of algebra, with a notable focus on tool-based constructions.
  • Slide rule usage.

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Huh, she's never actually used a slide rule; those are neat.

So does Griffie want to know the theory of it all, or the practice?  She's never been the most theory-inclined in her math study, but she'll give it a try nonetheless.

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Slide rules are a pretty useful tool, yeah. Griffie supposes that if you always have access to fancier tech you don't need them.

Griffie's goal here is more to be more prepared to understand complex analysis than it is to do some calculations, so theory seems good, but doing lots of example problems is a good way for Griffie to develop intuitions.

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"Alright, let's start off with..."

How much does Griffie know about limits?

"Oh, and Bar, could you run off a copy of my geometry cheatsheet, save me the trip? 

"Figure it'd be any useful hardcopy, with all the geometry you're doing."

(It's mostly about triangles on the unit circle and calculating sides and angles, and the definitions of trig functions.)

"Anyway, we're doing calculus."

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Has this person published her geometry cheatsheet, or alternately is she sending it to Bar over the local intranet?

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It was published by somebody on her planet, given to her, and then further annotated.  She can re-annotate, if necessary.

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Bar can get her a copy but not with her annotations.

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Griffie has ever heard of a limit, maybe, but does not know how to work with them. Also, pricing should be discussed before this person does significant work. Also, what's her name or preferred mode of address?

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"Oh, um, you can call me Jane, female-gender-appropriate pronouns et cetera, and - I don't think that my brief stint dealing with obdurate individuals who refused to be tutored until everyone gave up actually counts, so...probably shouldn't exactly price highly, but also you're a fuckin' adventurer, and it's my general impression that if you're in the biggest tropespace I expect a high-fantasy adventurer to be from, picking up a gold coin from the floor might not be worth your time, absolutely fucking guessing at wealth-by-level and assuming you get paid at some sort of rate.  Or have equivalent treasure-finding interactions.

"Honestly I'm cool with a pay-what-you-want sort of model but - can you teach me magic?  ...I don't have any, my world's fucking boring.  Just artifice and cold, cruel physical laws."

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Griffie looks awkward at the discussion of adventurer wealth. "So, while I do have some funds remaining from adventuring, I can't exactly go home, sell a bunch of reincarnations and loot the Vault of the Broken, and come back here. And being a medic here is great, practically nobody tries to kill me, even when I work the occasional Security shift nobody effectively tries to kill me, but, well, just as it isn't one of those high-risk professions it also isn't one of those high-reward professions. I can pay you about what I get paid per hour not including housing, if that seems fair?"

"And as for teaching you magic, I can teach you a bunch of theory, but you don't have a positive-energy soul, which is a prerequisite for all the magic I know. I've been doing some preliminary experiments exposing exotic-matter lifelike systems to positive-energy, but notably all of the subjects involved thus far are cheap-to-feed sessile non-persons, and you are a person who probably values freedom of movement and choice and is probably more expensive to feed."

"Regarding your final statement… I don't know if you want to argue about world quality or not."

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"Ahh.  Yeah, I don't know why I didn't figure you probably didn't have a Milliways tuning fork for Plane Shift.  Not everybody's a high-tier caster, and you're a...druid?", she guesses, seeing no obvious holy symbols.  "Is it even on your spell list?  I mean, you could use scrolls, but that'd be expensive.  And yeah, I probably shouldn't convert my structure to Elemental matter.  It seems very unlikely to go particularly well."

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"I have a baryonic-matter-based algae culture that's holding onto the smallest amount of positive-energy that'd stick, the issue here isn't the body structure it's the soul structure. …tangential. And I haven't even checked if the relevant tuning forks are too magical for Bar to sell me, the reason I can't do round trips is that pretty much as soon as I open my door again there's going to be a giant mess I am in no way prepared to handle."

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"Ooh, that's cool, keep me posted; do you have a mailing list or something?  ...Damn, what's after you?  And, Bar, are the tuning forks too magical to sell?  I'm curious."

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