[LMB] the plotters of Komarr

Jeff Shultz jeffshultz at gmail.com
Wed May 22 19:08:12 BST 2013

On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM, Damien Sullivan
<phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
> On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 09:06:42AM -0400, Timothy Collett wrote:
>> On May 22, 2013, at 7:24 AM, Elizabeth Holden <azurite at rogers.com> wrote:
>> >> quality of governance is the more important factor. And the Cetagandans at
>> >> least believe in indoor plumbing.
>> >
>> > Why do you think the Barrayarans didn't?
>> Well, *obviously*, because when left isolated for hundreds of years, then shockingly reconnected to the greater universe, they didn't make their *very first priority* spending *every* possible mark to bring the entirety of galactic technology to every backwoods Dendarii village.
> Electricity, plumbing, and basic literacy aren't the entirety of
> galactic technology.
No, but getting it out to everyone is rather expensive, especially
when you don't have an industrial infrastructure to begin with. I'm
still a little puzzled that building a dam and powerhouse is cheaper
and faster than getting a powersat receiver though. Lady Vorkosigan is
working on the literacy part - that Hassadar Teachers College. Lots of
bootstrapping going on now that the over-militarization efforts of the
War Party have come to an end (but, as also seen, the Cetagandans are
a valid threat still to be defended against).

Oh, and while I don't know the accuracy of this, one thing I was told
in school (late 70s, early 80s) was that a prior census/survey had
determined that there were more houses in the US with TV's than there
were with indoor plumbing. Maybe Pres. Johnson should have pushed the
Rural Plumbing project rather than the Rural Electrification project.

>> The fact that Barrayar could not reasonably have achieved this state given the history in canon is apparently either irrelevant, or simply *false* by her lights--because, naturally, the evul Barrayaran government will concentrate first and foremost on making sure it is heavily armed purely for the sake of it, and forget about its poor benighted people entirely.
Quite frankly I think that Count Aral Vorkosigan should have found
himself a better deputy in the running of Vorkosigan's District. It
appears that the building of Hassadar as the new district capitol was
done at the expense of the rest of the district.

> It's canon that 100 years after contact, Barrayar still has benighted
> rural subsistence farmers.  We also have things like Piotr's "burn them
> all" attitude to the caravanserai, which probably isn't unique.
> Barrayar canonically is not a place that cultivates its human potential.

When you've gone several hundred years where slitting the throats of
less than perfect infants is expected, the mental shift to
"cultivating your human potential" is a fairly massive one. It's being
made, but it isn't going to happen overnight. And, as noted in MoM,
Piotr's attitudes are the old ones, which are already changing.

The benighted rural subsistance farmer... you can probably find those
in the US in places, and certainly in the 3rd world. They would
probably be in a lot better shape if it hadn't been for 20 years of
Cetagandan invasion and the resulting militarism (and it's costs)
after that.

Jeff Shultz
A railfan approaches a grade crossing hoping that there will be a train.

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