[LMB] No lefties in the Nexus

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 4 11:51:16 BST 2019



I think it's very much the point that the families in the
future will be as different from 2019 families as 2019
families are different from families 2000 years ago.

"Why, in my day, a quarter of the mothers died in
childbirth, and it SHAPED a child. Can we survive
with all these weak, emotionally nurtured kids around?"

"Why, half my year-mates were killed by scarlet fever or
left deaf and/or blind. We need to keep scarlet fever
around, by gum!"

Or, on the other hand, 
the slippery slope that "every sperm is sacred" --
each act of male masturbation the murder of six million
possibilities, or each lost period is a lost baby. Or two.
I don't think anyone on the list wants to go there. 

Discussing this is very much on-text. Gene manipulation
happens in most Barrayaran societies, and to a tiny extent
in some of the WGW and 5GU (although, god-manipulated
or manipulated by nature, as the case may be). 

I think as a parent, I'd choose to give my kids the best 
eyes, and the healthiest hearts and insulin-producing
chances; and I'd also take advantage of tech to help them
live at healthy weights to avoid painful surgeries later. 

Or, given what I was when I bearing children, I might 
take the path of Cordelia's sister-in-law, and be a 
body-birthing, genetic sport hippie. Take my chances. 

Chances are, if I were Cordelia's sister-in-law, there 
would have been some gene-cleaning in my past. 

But if my child developed a genetic condition (I mean,
you never know with these things -- some stray ray in the
UR), or was disabled after birth, I'd do my best to love and 
raise the child in a loving, stable family -- as best I could,
anyway. I'd want them to be able to go in public like
Betans, not be hidden away in the attic like the TOI
first-century Barrayarans. 

Look at the Vorkiverse. There's still plenty of families
who are putting the "fun" in dysfunction. 

I think there are people in any age do the best they can to help
others who are viewed at a disadvantage, and there are people
who . . . well, don't. It's really hard to say where the next genius 
will come from, but if scarlet fever is necessary to shape the 
kind of doctors who devote their whole lives in the lab to defeat
human suffering . . . well, I kind of lean toward vaccination. I 
hope that we'll still get a few people who selflessly work for others
despite not having that kind of trauma. 

Who am I kidding? There's going to be trauma enough to inspire 
somebody, and crush other people. We're always going to have 
that with us. 

Micki (with cold, and probably not making much sense.) 


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