Cross-Cultural Marketing

“There is no engineering reason, given appropriate design safeguards against cross-contamination, why one should not simply bolt a base-model food-fabber onto the back of a portable latrine. Since most excretions make good chowfab feedstock for the excreting species, biochemistry being what it is, this is merely an efficient application of closed-circle life-support principles.

“We even have a certain sympathy for the designers’ belief that the intended users of the Refugium Chowfab 1100, those being dwellers in refugee camps and disaster-struck regions, should consider their circumstances more than sufficient motivation to shed any remaining squeamishness about the diameter of the local circle of life.

“Nothing, however, excuses Paltraeth Materiel’s choice of the slogan – emblazoned upon each 1100 with accompanying market-cute animated logo – ‘When The Shit Hits The Fan, Eat It’.”

– Eye on Specifications, Summer 7292 issue


15 thoughts on “Cross-Cultural Marketing

  1. Cross contamination. I would suggest a cluster of latrines over there, a peristaltic pipe connection perhaps, and mess tent bubble with your feedstock processors over somewhere else.

    Because ‘You don’t shit where you Eat'<\b> is a much better motto.

    • But here, that’s driven by squick evolved in as a disease-avoidance measure. There, OTOH, a lot of that has been engineered out, or at least reduced from a visceral revulsion (I know people who will literally vomit if they smell a fart while eating) to a mere “flashing yellow light” notification in the back of the brain.

      That said, a better case might be that if you’re retrieving your chow out of the back side of the loo, then chances are, either the loo or the dining area is in a singularly inconvenient place.

      • Y’all have got to remember the intended application, here. This chowfab’s designed to be chucked out the back of a space-C-130 on a pallet into a charlie foxtrot, and just work without needing anyone to set it up – or have any technical competence, or indeed much by way of literacy.

      • The problem here seems to be, though, that while the product was designed by the latter set, it seems those most in need of its services — and thus the target demographic for the market — presumably belong to the former.

    • Because these things are intended to be dropped in places which contain, to a very high probability, angry, panicked, desperate mobs and in which order is not expected to be restored any time soon.

      The good ending to the alternate plan is the one in which quality beats quantity, and your press secretary has to find a way to counterspin a news story along the lines of “Hired Killer Massacres Helpless Refugees”.

      The bad ending is the one in which quantity has a quality of its own, and you’ve just got some people killed while handing an angry mob – and probably the most violent, least scrupulous members of said angry mob – a machine that can build anything, including the lengthy list you can imagine of things that you don’t want them to have.

      • The good ending to the alternate plan is the one in which quality beats quantity, and your press secretary has to find a way to counterspin a news story along the lines of “Hired Killer Massacres Helpless Refugees”.

        Sidenote: Given the Empire’s attitudes towards theft and coercion, its own domestic policy towards rioting on its own soil, and the fact that their own obviously probably doesn’t think much of these groups of refugees in abstract (“[I]t takes a unusually self-consciously civilized people…” implies that they consider these people aren’t), why would those involved care about trying to put a “positive counterspin” on such an event anyway when the only ones who’d care about spinning it in the first place are obviously a bunch of defaulting mediocrities?

          1. You appear to be under the impression that the people who manufacture this product and the people who deploy this product are the same people. This turns out not to be the case.

          2. Also, the Empire is rather harsher on its own. While, sure, it’ll shoot foreigners who bring them trouble, it’s still rather bad form to go out of your way to create entirely predictable trouble just so you can shoot it. It’s not like most foreign barbarians can help being foreign barbarians, after all. No-one’s taught them any better, definitionally.

          • And if you help the ‘foreign barbarians’ in an immediate and effective fashion, they might cease to ‘foreign barbarians’ and turn into ‘new friendly neighbours’ and possibly, eventually ‘stalwart citizens of the Imperium’

    • Side note: This is obviously an export product. (Inasmuch as the Empire’s go-to response to rioting mobs is shoot everyone and arrest the survivors, and on Paltraeth in particular, it’s much the same only with more fist-work and the possibility of it being declared an informal public holiday.)

      • Only an export product if you drop it on riots, why would you drop food on riots? I would think this would be great for disaster relief

        • Because it takes a unusually self-consciously civilized people to queue nicely for stuff in the middle of a disaster/refugee camp. Dropping supplies into/onto one is pretty much inviting a riot.

          Which is why this is great for disaster relief, since it’s a single self-contained, fortified unit that can be air-dropped and doesn’t put anyone in harms’ way. Also, it can only make food, which prevents people – unlike, say, a generalized cornucopia – from getting clever ideas.

  2. Segueing from the specific to the general: Do Imperial law and eldraeic ethics acknowledge anything approximating “non-contractual duties of commission” and “privileges of necessity” as expounded upon here: ? Particularly, do they have formal necessity defenses or anything like them in either tort law or criminal law?

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