[LMB] No lefties in the Nexus

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 3 09:27:41 BST 2019

I was thinking about lefthanders and the Nexus, and that of course
led on to replicators (my mind was roaming free this morning. I like to
let it out now and then, it comes back with such interesting things.)

So... we've heard about replicators and the impact on society. Freeing
women from the biological clock, and so much more.

Then there's gene cleaning, which is seen in the Nexus as a component
of Replicator tech. Barrayar is only first-gen replicators, they're still new
and different (and expensive.) But Beta, Escobar, Earth, Kline Station,
Cetaganda, Jackson's Whole - they're centuries into it. By now, most
hereditary problems should be gone from the population. Random
glitches would still occur, but be corrected.

So what did they see as a problem to remove? Different for different
planets, of course; Cetaganda sees DNA jigsaw puzzles as an art form.
JW does it for fun and profit. But on the more 'normal' worlds, what's
the result?

Imagine the hospitals. There'd be Casualty/ER for various injuries. Not
much of a maternity wing, unless the hospital has its own UR centre.
But so many other sections would be tiny or not needed at all. With
gene cleaning there'd be no more asthma. Diabetes. Heart defects, most
kidney problems, most cancers. (You wonder what was left to die from -
possibly spectacular accidents?  Strokes?)

What else did they remove from the gene pool? Eye problems? Yes please.
Same for hearing defects. Allergies - oh sweet spirits yes. No more allergies.
Parkinsons - sure. Arthritis and Rheumatism? Gout? (Please note, I don't
have ALL of the above. Sheesh.)  Down syndrome? And all those cruel
chromosomal defects that cause life-limiting conditions. All gone - so
much heartbreak avoided. Bipolar and schizophrenia? Probably gone too.

What about.... where is the line to be drawn? Left-handedness? Maybe the
reason we don't see lefties in the Nexus is because they're simply not there.
It would be easier for the military, for many construction industries, and for
plenty of other occupations if there were no lefties to accomodate (poorly,
often, but they are obliged to try.)

The Haut went all-out: they breed for height, stunning good looks, musical
ability, languages, intelligence (of certain types), and obnoxious arrogance.
JW - not even going there.

But Nexus society is very different to ours; most of the physical appearances
we see are from choice, altered to suit fashion and personal preference.
Most physical and mental ailments are gone.

I'm just wondering where they drew the line.

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