There are those who have commented extensively on the military advantages, when considering the rise of the Empire, of highly disciplined legionaries able to cast obstacles aside or strike down enemies with lightning, all through force of will.“From the Mud to the Stars: An Agricultural History”, Ailil Ophris-ith-Ophris
Far fewer have considered the greater advantage, in economic terms, of the humble farmer who, from his hilltop, may plough and seed a hundred furrows with a gesture.
This is a little pastiche of Plutarch on Alexander the Great that I hacked together as a brief illustration of attitudinal differences. I like it enough to share it:
“Alphas smiled when he heard from his astronomers that there were billions of worlds in the heavens; and when his friends asked him the cause of his mood, he answered: do you not think it a worthy challenge that there are billions of worlds to conquer, when we have not yet conquered one?”Synnas Anaxianos, The City and the World
90. Don’t play the shell game on Paltraeth. They use a different kind of shells.145 Things Not To Be Done In The Associated Worlds
The Paltraeth variant of the game is played using three obsolete artillery shells and a sledgehammer. In theory, one of the shells has been defused, and the challenge is to find the dud. In practice, this is a con trick with extra concussion.
It is inadvisable to play this variant without quality armor and a current mind-state backup.
– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary
DORJE (FREE VERGE) – In a punitive innovation repugnant to all civilized polities, Corporate Fejj-Doval (a major corpclan on Dorje, an associate world of the Rim Free Zone, specializing in deprecated media) has posted the mind-state of one Parden il Vrane par tak, formerly par Fejj-Doval, for public extranet download. Fejj-Doval alleges that il Vrane had been maintaining a blacknet publishing intellectual property held by them, although in accordance with Dorjan custom, they were not required to demonstrate this in order to secure an arrest order against il Vrane, and goes on to state that in accordance with the principle that “he who obstructs trade becomes trade”, he who appropriates their intellectual property becomes their intellectual property, to dispose of as they will.
It is estimated that up to eight million copies of il Vrane’s mind-state have been downloaded thus far.
While no official action has yet been taken by any star nation of the Worlds in response to the condemnation of Corporate Fejj-Doval by the Conclave of Galactic Polities, the Warden-Bastion Compact of private law providers, and treaty bodies in the Free Zone, at the time of writing no fewer than seven sequestered claims-of-responsibility have been deposited with Imperial banking institutions (most under 24 year expiration-disclosure) for eleemosynary hunter-killer worms designed to euthanize non-self authorized il Vrane instances.
– from the Independent Worlds Router, early 7131
In the Thousand Precise Protocols of the Integral Accountant, opportunity profits are defined as effectively the opposite of opportunity costs,
Opportunity costs represent the potential value one misses out upon when choosing one alternative over another. Because opportunity costs are, by definition, unseen, they can be easily overlooked. Understanding the potential missed opportunities when one chooses one path, or one investment, over another allows for better decision-making.
Opportunity profits, therefore, represent the value one gains from choosing and acting upon an alternative, which, implicitly, other people have thus far chosen not to pursue. For example, an odocorp which constructs a bridge over a river reaps, in addition to the profits deriving directly from the construction and operation of the structure, but also an opportunity profit; their legitimate reward for having demonstrated foresight in seeing the need, willingness to accept the risks involved in the investment, and the boldness to seize the opportunity.
Perhaps the most famous example of opportunity profits (other than the Empire’s major odocorps) would be those of Ring Dynamics, ICC, whose seizure of the opportunity of the moment to parlay their development of stargate technology into a long-lasting dominance of interstellar transport is, if you will pardon the expression, textbook; although this also provides an example of a lost opportunity profit, since the Laserider Network lost its investment in the deep space lasers rendered obsolete by the advent of the stargates.
– from an introductory Imperial economics textbook, circa 3000
Why aren’t artificial intelligences programmed for honesty and loyalty?Cyberethics in Koans, Airil Konohana
So that they may be honest and loyal.