[LMB] Being Betan

Karen Hunt huntkc at gmail.com
Thu Jun 22 21:57:48 BST 2017

On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 4:48 PM, Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net>

> On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:09:10AM +0000, Gwynne Powell wrote:
> > And much of her attitude is Betan superiority that she'd probably feel
> towards just
> > about any non-Betan world, in one form or another. Even though she never
> did
> > fit in on Beta and would be totally miserable if she went back there.
> >
> > I have to say that the attitude of foreign wives to Barrayar is a lot
> more accepting
> > than the attitude of Haut wives married to Ghem; even though they're
> still within
> > their own culture we see bitter resentment there. One tried to tear the
> whole
> > Cetagandan Empire apart, and another was still seething after a century.
> You can't just statistics from stories.  Or, "anecdotes aren't data".
> Haut wives might well resent being ghemmed, but it's not like Lois would
> tell lots of stories about content ones.  Cordelia seems to have been a
> happy enough Betan before meeting Aral and become a crash victim of
> therapy and state secrets.  We see Cordelia at the moment of transition,
> we see the haut-wives who push back.

The phrase we have at work is "the plural of anecdote isn't data", which
resulted in the neologistic plural "anecdata".

I'm not sure she was that happy on Beta. Gentleman Jole points out that she
and the other Astronomical Survey folks were generally misfits on Beta in
the first place.

It is good that Beta has a useful way of handling at least some of its
misfits (everywhere will have a few). I'd bet some of the others become
Victor Rotha equivalents and maybe a few just become colonists elsewhere.

> > Which would be better: to be an outsider wed to a Barrayaran, or a Haut
> woman
> > married to a Ghem lord?
> Depends on what you value, and the Barrayaran, and the point in
> history.  Xav and Aral are particularly good Barrayaran men to be wed
> to.  Imagine falling for some more charming version of Tien.  Or Serg,
> or Ges...

More charming version of Tien: you mean Cordelia's first guy? He looks like
a real winner, too.

I'm not overthrilled by the picture of falling for a Captain Mehta or a
Steady Freddie either, though I'll admit the mass-murderer aspect is
missing from those two.

I'm afraid jerks happen anywhere, though the special qualities of Serg and
Ges require a level of societal dysfunction that one hopes most places can

Karen Hunt

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