[LMB] Beta Colony: Info Wants to Be Free, but Does Anyone Care? (Was Golly, etc.)

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Tue May 5 21:02:47 BST 2015

On Tue, May 05, 2015 at 12:12:44PM -0700, Kirsten Edwards wrote:

> It seems to me that we live in a golden age of readily available
> information, but the desire to make use of it barely exists. I

Depends on your circles, I guess.  There are certainly people I've noted
online who still speculate about facts they could look up in 5
seconds, unless they're still behind primitive dial-up.  Or who trust
their spotty memories more than I think is warranted, when I check up
after them.

OTOH "whip out the smartphone to look something up" is common where I
am.  Granted I know a lot of (mostly male) nerd-engineers.

Teens today are infamous for texting all the time; I don't know how true
it is, but if true I'd like to think they Google as well.

> remember when Cordelia was so shocked that the Cararvansarii (sp?)
> dwellers had non com-consoles, no way of doing what we can do: Pull up
> the transcript of a television interview, hop over to Thomas.gov to
> read the full text of a proposed piece of legislation, etc. etc. etc.

Well, I prefer reading to listening.  But I don't know that I've ever
read full law text, vs. summaries, I just don't care that much.  I think
I did look at parts of ACA, and I've got a particular bit of federal
code bookmarked (where Congress defines how House members are chosen),
but otherwise...  I mean, it's not like I get to vote on the laws,
except in the rare referendum.

> Still, I wonder (for those of you old hands, yes, I'm going to Dark
> Beta) whether the Betans were more like Americans now than not. Do
> they use what they have? Is it an Athenian polis without the slave

Ty Calhoun didn't!  But I'd like to think they mostly do.

> class, and the actually ability to procreate without women (Because
> yes, ancient Athens: that was a thing)?

Or without men!  But my Betan is somewhere between Swiss, Athenian, and
Joan Vinge Demarchy democracy.  Lots of voting, so lots of lookup and

-xx- Damien X-) 

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list