Idiot Stick (1)

Originally published at: Idiot Stick (1) | The Eldraeverse

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“Far as I see it, you people been given the shortest end of the stick ever been offered a human soul in this crap-hill 'verse…But you took that end… well, you took it. And that’s… well, I guess that’s something.”


Exactly so!

(They may also make mud.)


How much unskilled labor is there in terraforming that can’t be performed more easily by mass-produced Roombas with shovels?

None whatsoever. And if you were to hire Blue-Green Ecociates, or another Core Markets ecocorp to do the job, then they will indeed send out a couple of line techs with swarmdozers and such.

But these are the emerging markets, where they’re short on hard currency. Indentures are cheap. Fancy imported robots aren’t.

It suddenly occurs to me that an immortal wouldn’t charge much for six years of someone’s life.

Was wondering how that could possibly be cheaper than a cornucopia machine and some millennia-old bot blueprints.

Again, the thing is, this is not Core, First Tier, or Second Tier markets we’re talking about here. We’re in the emerging markets, or even the unemerged. They don’t have the tech to support large-scale deployment of cornucopias, and even when it comes to buying it, the problem they run into is where would they get the hard currency to pay for it?

But grunt labor is functionally valueless anywhere except the emerging markets, and they have plenty of that to throw at the problem. Very little of which is immortal, because that also costs hard currency.

(And so they can save their precious hard currency reserves for things like weapons, Presidental junkets, and extranet porn.)

Side note: the usual way around this in Earth history has been cash crops or natural resources. This is fine if you happen to be the planet where some random explorer notices the next chocolate, or next penicillin. If, on the other hand, you have surpluses of gold, tantalum, oil, nitrogen, or whatever, there is basically no way you’re going to beat Atalant or Melechy, who will sell you the stuff in kiloton lots at what’s almost certainly a lower price-per-ton than your cost of production.