[LMB] General rules for Governments

Sylvia McIvers sylviamcivers at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 00:18:47 BST 2021

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 7:17 PM Beatrice Otter via Lois-Bujold <
lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:

> ---- On Sat, 19 Jun 2021 15:22:38 -0700 Pouncer via Lois-Bujold <mailto:
> lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote ----
> ... "third child variance".  Each
> adult citizen is entitled and expected to be progenitor to
> one child.  And the PCB insists on each progenitor identifying
> a "Co-Parent".
> Beatrice Otter:
> That bit of worldbuilding (and all of the demographic assumptions
> underlying the various cultures) is, imho, the second-most-dated bit of
> worldbuilding in the Vorkosiverse. (The first is, obviously, the lack of
> cell phones and internet.)
> Like all SF/F based on the idea that the population naturally always
> increases and the problem is limiting childbirth to what is sustainable, it
> has aged ... poorly. (snip)

> Beta, on the other hand ... even with their longer lifespans, the
> demographic problem they would realistically be facing would be "how do we
> keep the birth rate high enough to maintain itself" rather than "how do we
> keep our population from growing too much/too fast?"
> Beatrice Otter
> --

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

* (from
) Generally, men find that their earnings increase when they become
fathers, while each additional child is associated with earnings decline
for women.

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