Nov 12, 2019 3:23 AM
being dead is boring
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"I wonder if you'd like to provide interface people, given the obstacles to hiring clean workers to do anything relating to reds."

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"I confess I don't really understand what would be complicated about doing things over video calls, but we can definitely put up a listing if you think that's the best way to do it."

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"No one believes pollution is transmissible over the internet but people do not care to interact with reds at all anyway."

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"Huh. Elves couldn't live here but you'll certainly have takers of a variety of species as soon as you have a shuttleport."

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"Why couldn't you live here?"

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"We experience intense stress and poor health in most urban environments not specifically designed around Elven senses and Elven environmental needs. It's fine over the course of a few weeks - or, at least, the people for whom it isn't take jobs that don't involve travel - and we've designed embassies that suit us fine, but it'd be an impediment to filling labor needs."

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"I see."

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"You might give some thought to where you want a shuttleport, if you want a shuttleport. It doesn't take much space but will see a lot of traffic."

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"I'll leave that to someone who knows city planning."

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And they go through the rest of the unobjectionable membership terms. There are rules about tariffs and extradition and so on.

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None of them are major issues.

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"Crystal ball network is set up downstairs," she says when they're done. "Someone is there to show you how to use it. Anything else we can be helpful with, while we're here -"

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"Apart from dipping into your budget to award literally everyone cash bribes or attempting to convince theologians that magic can perform decontaminations, do you see any possible ways forward for our pollution concerns?"

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"If it's, like, a phobia, there's therapy?"

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"...hypersensitivity is a diagnoseable condition. So is hyposensitivity. The typical amount is not a psychiatric problem."

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"So people would not consent to therapy to be less horrified at the idea that sanitation engineers touched things?"

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"They would not. I don't know your people well enough to think of a good analogy."

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"I guess I wouldn't consent to therapy to stop being horrified about slavery? ...maybe I would if it somehow weren't harming anybody except by horrifying people and I couldn't otherwise get over it. ...yeah, I think all things that don't harm people, or that harm people only because they get horrified about them, I would prefer not to be horrified by."

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"Even if it were realistic to offer billions of people as yet undeveloped therapeutic techniques to supposedly reduce their sensitivity it would not be popular."

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"- we have the technique part down, there's magic. But - honestly we really need the theologians to decide on something they consider adequate, or hope that giving reds basic services that everyone else already gets is enough to bribe them to support membership. Because otherwise eventually someone'll get upset about the mistreatment of reds and offer them citizenship, and it sounds like some reds would take them up on that."

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"I would have to be trying very hard to overstate how upsetting it would be to find the inhabited universe polluted. To say nothing of the disaster if you did not replace reds' professional capacities somehow."

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"I know. We certainly won't publicize anything. But in the long run, it's not sustainable to have a severely mistreated population whose rescue would be an intolerable outcome."

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"This is why I'm trying to come up with multiple possible routes."

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"We can forward you a list of all the magic and technology we are willing to acknowledge having, in case that can be of use to researchers."

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"It can't hurt."

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