[LMB] Quaddie brains

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Sat Sep 7 19:22:51 BST 2013


I get the impression that moving in zero-g is actually quite bit a bit
simpler than walking is, mechanically speaking.  We require a complex set
of muscles and reflexes to maintain being upright on two legs.  The
resources devoted to that might be repurposed.

It's also quite plausible that the lower hands are merely grippers, which
would be more of a return to a previous state (when our distant ancestors
lived in trees).  Chimps and suchlike can grasp things with their flexible
feet, but when they make and use tools or otherwise require fine dexterity,
always seem to use their hands.

Off the top of my head, the lower limbs of quaddies are never used for
dextrous things - the primary exception is when we come across the quaddie
playing jacks in the gravity zone in DI, and the use of a different limb
each time was in the nature of a challenge.  The musical instruments of
quaddies don't use the lower hands for much beyond percussive effects,
IIRC, which although requiring skill to time are mechanically
straightforward motions.  It's far more than normal humans can manage, but
less than having four highly and equally useful hands.  Do they really need
to be so, to be useful in zero-g?

I doubt a quaddie could be supereffective at a zero-g synthesizer - or, it
would be considered a remarkable stunt if one trained to use all four arms
on one.  I further doubt that the bioresearchers could manage to create
major neuroanatomical differences, such as duplicating the motor control
centers for the hands, although I'd probably swallow the haut gene masters
pulling it off.  That's more a rather subjective argument, though.

Matt G.


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