[LMB] SP: Prison Reform

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Wed May 30 16:17:43 BST 2018


Responding to Gwynne with (probably un wanted un needed ) spoiler space

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>There's also some particular Barrayaran circumstances: especially in the earlier 
>times there wasn't much terraformed land, so criminals couldn't just go bush 
 
I'd expect it would be punishment to get sent out with torches, machetes & shovels 
to slash and burn the native "love lies itching" fields and re-seed with Terran 
vegetation.  Necessary, but it seems a chore to be avoided by those with a choice, 
and one imposed on those who've forfeited choices. 

The rangers -- not armsmen -- assigned to herd crowds in or out of restricted 
area like Vashnoi may derive their titles and traditions from officials tasked 
with managing crews of such impressed workers.  It seems like a seasonal
and short-term duty,  suited for workers with no experience with either
the tools or the territory. But someone has to be experienced with doing the
needful, and also has to be experienced with the chore and empowered to
quickly train and manage a squad-sized group.

Compare Rush and Reed in the WGW clearing new land ... At least there
boggles (malices) aren't growing back overnight. 

Terrain where a new crop grows quickly and is renewed year after year --
grassy plains devoted to corn or other grains -- would have a different
set of problems from places where people are trying to get in, 
introduce trees, get out, and come back thirty years later. I can just about
imagine very young Piotr, in the years before re-contact,  being taken out
to the mountains to "supervise" a crew seeding maples on newly terraformed
Dendarrii mountainside. Then that whole forest being neglected until Miles's day, 
and the first syrup harvest (as the story was recounted to Rowen) being particularly
memorable for it's "efficiency" -- and perhaps the surprising fact that the trees
actually grew as intended.  The very long time horizons for such projects 
makes the whole County -Aristocrat concept seem more plausible, to me, than the
(presumably) very short horizons of Jacksons Whole and their baronages. 

I'd not want to be the Count of the neighboring district managing the estuary 
thru which Vorkosigan's Trash drains into the ocean.... 

Does anybody else tend to mentally "map" this geography onto Vermont and
New Hampshire?  Is that just me? The "Long Lake" near Vorkosigan Surlieu
could be Champlain, making Hassadar,  Burlington and Vashnoi, Montpelier.
This is of course a perspective from Kansas and Texas.  Perhaps an Irish
perspective would just as easily and incorrectly map the terrain onto 
Latvia and Lithuania.. 


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