"The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
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10-03-2013, 01:09 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2013 01:18 PM by PoolBoyG.)
"The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
The story is about the discovery of a sentient alien species. The species have to breed, or they die agonizing deaths. This results in over population, then famine (food and resources), then wars, and then their civilization collapses back into the stone age. This cycle has been going on for thousands of years.

The topic of birth control had been brought up, but then dropped with no explanation. The species is extremely advanced technologically, and very advanced in genetic engineering ... so why the heck can't they develop birth control?
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10-03-2013, 02:02 PM
RE: "The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
(10-03-2013 01:09 PM)poolboyg88 Wrote:  The story is about the discovery of a sentient alien species. The species have to breed, or they die agonizing deaths. This results in over population, then famine (food and resources), then wars, and then their civilization collapses back into the stone age. This cycle has been going on for thousands of years.

The topic of birth control had been brought up, but then dropped with no explanation. The species is extremely advanced technologically, and very advanced in genetic engineering ... so why the heck can't they develop birth control?


Definitely one of my favorite sci-fi books.

I vaguely remember a reason being discussed in the book, but I don't recall what it was.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-03-2013, 02:57 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2013 03:02 PM by PoolBoyG.)
RE: "The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
One explanation was that one segment of society used sterilization after a certain number of births. And the other more populated continents would just invade with superior numbers, bringing them all back to square one.
This was a fine method, just why couldn't they have made each segment of society agree to it? Everyone benefits from it. The Motes aren't that short sighted, or warlike.
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10-03-2013, 03:36 PM
RE: "The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
(10-03-2013 02:57 PM)poolboyg88 Wrote:  One explanation was that one segment of society used sterilization after a certain number of births. And the other more populated continents would just invade with superior numbers, bringing them all back to square one.
This was a fine method, just why couldn't they have made each segment of society agree to it? Everyone benefits from it. The Motes aren't that short sighted, or warlike.


No, I think it was a biological/physiological reason.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-03-2013, 07:16 PM
RE: "The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
The Moties did have sterilization, I think. If I recall they were the ones put in charge of the museums; sterilized Masters. Keepers I think? But the problem is that the reproductive instinct is too strong, too many masters would refuse sterilization and keep hidden stables of other types. I mean, would you consent to having your balls cut off to end world hunger? Be realistic.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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10-03-2013, 08:01 PM
RE: "The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
The Masters become naturally infertile after a number of births. The infertile ones become "Keepers".

There was no mention of physical mutilation, or extinction of progeny.

Limit everyone to a set number of births. Develop birth control, or suppressant, and spread it across the entire population. Either voluntarily, or subversively (water, air, food, what have you). They have the time, intellect, and social cohesion to develop one. But why haven't they?

Suppose that every Master is similar of thought, and is very short sighted, and stupid (they're not). What's the point of ensuring your own line of descendants "now" if they're guaranteed to die in the coming apocalypse that can be completely prevented?
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11-03-2013, 06:33 PM
RE: "The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
Because that would be Crazy Eddie, of course. Drinking Beverage

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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22-03-2013, 10:10 PM (This post was last modified: 23-03-2013 08:03 PM by Julius.)
RE: "The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
(10-03-2013 01:09 PM)poolboyg88 Wrote:  The story is about the discovery of a sentient alien species. The species have to breed, or they die agonizing deaths. This results in over population, then famine (food and resources), then wars, and then their civilization collapses back into the stone age. This cycle has been going on for thousands of years.

The topic of birth control had been brought up, but then dropped with no explanation. The species is extremely advanced technologically, and very advanced in genetic engineering ... so why the heck can't they develop birth control?
The Masters were most interested in Power for the sake of Power. The way they gained and expanded their power was by the enlargement of their ruled fiefdom - even if this meant population growth to a dangerous level, and the breeding of some very nasty types of Moties (like the "Devil" Warriors). Since the [planet was politically divided amongst "Master Fiefdoms" with no centralized political authority, there we not sufficient political safeguards to ensure that these Power-Hungry Masters would keep their populations in check. Also, because of the Moties extremely-high birth rate, they could grow at rates that far exceeded even their amazing ability to engineer solutions.

About Every 2000 years the Moties outgrew their population and World War erupted. This was most elegantly demonstrated in microcosm onboard the spaceship Macarthur when the escaped Watchmaker Moties who had bred themselves to incredible numbers not only started fighting the Navy and Marine personnel, but were also happy to slaughter each other!

So...

1. Yes, the Moties could develop Birth Control!
2. The Master Moties saw no interest in applying Birth Control for they were unrepentant power-meisters to their mutated genetic core (and the more Moties the more power!)
3. As a result - Over-population, Mass-hysteria and wide-spread death in that order.

With that all said, I am perplexed me about the books ending. I think the Empire did the right thing by Quarantining the Moties until such a time that the Motie civilization collapsed and they could be dealt without the threat of war. However, it didn't seem to occur to any of the characters hat one day - and maybe soon - the Human Race should be judged by the way it treated the Moties.

I mean, a third race viewing the Human Condition could say, "Humans have a near-unlimited ability to expand accross the Galaxy and they not only freely kill one another, but they also destroy other races." If that third race were technologically vastly superior to Humans, then mankind could be in some big trouble if the Third race figured Humanity was a threat. I'm surprised the author never mentioned this angle or had one of the characters introduce it. I believe it would have been one of my concerns.

Julius


PS...I have found the entire book online - http://читать-онлайн.рф/index.php?id=3451&pages=1
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28-03-2013, 04:52 PM
RE: "The Mote in God's Eye", birth control?
I had to read the sequel (I'll probably not read the third book) which firmly established that the Moties were politically Feudal (various elite individuals control their own portion of the population), and that they were indeed short sighted.

The conclusion was that a portion of the population accepted medical treatment to curb their need to procreate, and the ones that didn't (who would use their great numbers to overwhelm) were killed off, with help from the humans.

Although the problems raised in the books have easy solutions, I guess it's more weighted in realism with much of our worlds problems being easily solved if not for certain people being "dicks".
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