[LMB] No lefties in the Nexus

Lorelei Kaena lorelei.kaena at gmail.com
Thu Oct 3 17:06:26 BST 2019

How to you, then, explain Cordelia’s horror at the lack of disabled people on Barrayar? She notes the lack of float chairs (the equivalent of wheel chairs), of people caregiving their fully-disabled relatives or employers, and wonders how her son will be seen on the benighted planet that sees no value in people that are not able-bodied...

Not, in other words, a society that gene-cleans to the extent you’re suggesting. Not Beta, at least, and probably not most of the Nexus. 

Because human rights do tend to mean something to most people, unless you’re trying to build an ubermench (the Cetas), or are dealing with unavoidable nuclear fallout (Barrayar) and just don’t care anymore (see how they went full China with sex selection).

You don’t select handedness to make it cheaper for corporations. Good god. 


> On 3 Oct 2019, at 04:27, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 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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