[LMB] General rules for Governments

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 21 05:45:27 BST 2021

From: Sylvia McIvers <sylviamcivers at gmail.com>

I like Pouncer's point that adults are entitled AND  expected to have a
child. Doing your social duty is a big deal for Betans, and I suspect that
the childless are frowned upon as Not Doing Their Social Duty To The Old
Sandbox.   No actual penalties, but a lot of 'harumph'.
Notice also, the real-world fatherhood bonus* is sometimes deliberate but
often subconscious. What are the odds that non-parents on Beta just...
don't get that promotion? Don't get the better jobs? PUtting the kid &
co-parent's pix (holocube?) on the desk is not just sentiment, it shows

Gwynne: I'm sure that having children is seen as a social duty, or at least a
positive contribution to society. But their timelines may be different to ours.
Betan women aren't bound by the good old biological clock. Plus their lifespan
is a fair bit longer than ours.

So you could do all your training, have a great career, work for forty or fifty
years, then retire with a comfortable and even reasonably wealthy lifestyle.
And then have your children, when you have the time and resources.

We see Cordelia do that: at seventy-five she starts on having six more children.
And she doesn't see that as a totally unusual decision. She's a wealthy woman,
she retires from running a planet, and she expects another fifty years or so of

So Betans could be childless for more than half a century, and still have their
allocated family, at a time that they choose. Which means that social pressure
won't be all that strong; the expectation is there, but it's more 'when will you...'
rather than 'why aren't you....'. They have the luxury of time, and control of
their biology.

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