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Old Sep 2 2008, 07:19 PM   #1
D. M. Domini
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Default The FT&T through the ages

I was replying no the measuring Talent thread, and I ended up thinking about how the FT&T has had an explosion of Talent as of Damia's Children and after, which is quite different from Peter Reidinger IV's time, which is quite different from Peter Reidinger I's time, which was different again from the founding of Blundell.

We start out with minor, one-talent-per-person psychics in To Ride Pegasus. This gets the Talents together in a group they can identify themselves by. Talents marry Talents, and start to condense the genetics into a specific pool.

With the help of Ruth's microkinesis, we end up with Dorothea being born at the end; a (comparitively) strong double-path.

Moving on to Pegasus in Flight, we introduce the first heavy-duty telepath/telekinetic in Peter Reidinger I. He's the first Earth Prime. As of this point in time, he hands-down has more Talent than anyone else on Earth, and as of Pegasus in Space, he also facilitates the quicker colonization of Capella.

The gap between Pegasus in Space and The Rowan is about 300 years. Between the two series, more Primes are discovered, and according to Peter Reidinger IV, there's been an explosion in the T-4 range...he threatens Afra I think with the fact that there are so many he can hire and fire at will, because there's no shortages of T-4 tower talents. My guess is that Talents have been marrying Talents over the course of 300 years, which has caused people to emerge who have midrange to strong multiple talents, rather than generally weak single talents (early on, a telepath who sends AND receives is considered a "double 'path". As of Damia, it's pretty much standard to send and recieve; even T-9 Brian Ackerman is a double. Rowan's teacher on Altair as a receiver only is a bit of an oddball). There's also a reproduction bonus program going on--the more kids Talents have the more bonuses they get. I wouldn't be surprised if this had been in place for a long time and contributed a lot.

A handful of Primes being alive at any one time has also started to occur; I suspect in the early days of the Nine Star League, Earth was the only planet that always got an Earth Prime. As of Reidinger's time, we have Reidinger, Guzman, Siglen, David, Capella, and later, Rowan who are all stationed as planetary Primes (well, the Rowan acts as a relief for Earth by routing things that don't need to touch down there to their destination). Still, for a universe that has billions upon billions of people, that's not a very high percentage.

Later, Jeff emerges, and Rowan and Jeff have at least three Prime children, possibly four. By themselves, they increase the number of Primes about 50% in a generation. This is, as far as we know, the first Prime/Prime pairing. Other high-talent pairings we know of are David and his T-2 wife, and the pair of T-2s that run Altair. The ones on Altair were either parents or grandparents of Flavia (I don't recall exactly--were the books flip-flopping on this?). We don't know if David had any Prime-level children, but at the very least they were high-level.

So we've gone from essential-planets-barely-being-manned-by-Primes to pretty much all worlds in the Nine Star League having their own Prime...or at least I don't recall any world that didn't eventually get its own Prime, if you count Ezro on Vega. Even if Ezro wasn't on Vega, surely one more Prime popped up from somewhere.

Well, actually I guess Altair stuck with its T-2 team. But it did have a Prime at one point. And I wouldn't be surprised if Flavia ended up there; I doubt the Rowan will ever go back to Altair at this late date...that would be an even worse commute for Jeff than the one he has now!

The next generation is Afra and Damia's kids, as well as her nieces and nephews. We never get stats on how many of them are Primes, but Afra and Damia alone produce 8, 7 of which are (as far as we're aware) Tower Talents. That's literally doubling the Primes still living from the previous generation, and we're not even counting Flavia yet. There's so many Primes that Jeff lets them go into the navy, albeit as civilian contractors basically.

...here's a sudden thought that struck me...do you think Jeff's move of putting Primes on navy duty is caused by the fact that Reidinger was balky about pulling strings to get the navy out to Deneb?...because, really, putting Talents in the navy is rather close to compromising Talent ethics.

So, I was just thinking how it's interesting how the FT&T keeps expanding and strengthening.

I wonder...now that the Mrdini have contact with a (comparitively) highly psychic race, will their ability to produce "dreams" end up undergoing the same ramping up? The dreams seem to suggest some sort of mild telepathic ability, and now that Zara is involved in a Mrdini reproductive program, she could be in a spot to influence the Mrdinis to pair strong dreamers with strong dreamers.

Gah. Another plotbunny! The first Mrdini Talent. Someone catch it before it bites someone! (the plotbunny that is, not the Mrdini Talent)
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Old Sep 3 2008, 08:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: The FT&T through the ages

Hmm, lots of interesting things to think about there. I think the early history of the Talents is the most interesting, with things developing and changing with every generation. The Rowan's time is possibly the heyday of Primes, though - still so few of them, but they have a well-defined role and function. By the time her grandkids are running around, there are so many Primes that they're just not as awe-inspiring any more.

It does make me think, though - with so many Primes and other high Talents, it's going to become harder and harder to police them. Law enforcement is always something that was a bit glossed over in the books. 'Talents police their own!' Well, that kind of relies on the majority of Talents (as a subset of people in general) being both ethical and proactive, which history (and current affairs) show isn't quite the case. Still, ideal world and all, I shouldn't pick holes (or derail your topics any further) I would have liked to have read more about LEO in the latter books, though.

But back to your post. The whole reproductive bonus for breeding Talents thing creeps me out a bit, actually - it's just a bit too close to eugenics for comfort. It makes me wonder how long it will be before Talents outnumber the non-Talented, and whether non-Talented people are eventually going to become second-class citizens.

Talented Mrdini! That would be cool. It would be even more impressive if you could actually breed personality into them, though
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Old Sep 3 2008, 02:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: The FT&T through the ages

Don't forget, with the first Peter Reidinger comes the introduction of using generators to achieve a gestalt which boosts a Talent's power far beyond what they could achieve without it. This is a huge development, and one reason why there is so much more powerful Talent by the Rowan's time. Then you have several families with exceptionally strong powers - Jeff Raven and all his related clans, for starters, plus the Rowan herself.
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Old Sep 3 2008, 11:51 PM   #4
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David of Betelgeuse had at least two talented children, They had parts and mention, A daughter who primed Clariflor, Talavera? one of them, and a son who was posted on a ship, with his wife, he was prime, she was not.

As far as a reproduction bonus, once FT&T was formed and Peter and Caera had strong talented kids, they likely added the bonus as incentive for the members to get busy...... was tempted to say the bonus was around since the Howard foundation started it, but that might be too obscure.
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Old Sep 4 2008, 01:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: The FT&T through the ages

:p Not necessarily. I doubt we're the only ones who've read Heinlein.

I doubt high Talents would ever become dominant, no matter what the breeding program. Although it's conceivable that if there's a new planet where being even slightly Talented is a requirement for being approved as a colonist, there would be a culture where the Talented would be the norm. However, I'm not certain the Interstellar Alliance would approve such a charter of colonization.
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Old Sep 7 2008, 12:16 AM   #6
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I said "might". yeah, I could see at "T-rating required for colonization" causing all sorts of waves.
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Old Sep 7 2008, 10:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: The FT&T through the ages

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Originally Posted by Jovian View Post
The whole reproductive bonus for breeding Talents thing creeps me out a bit, actually - it's just a bit too close to eugenics for comfort.
I can see your point there, Jovian, but I wouldn't go so far as to label anything close to eugenics.

In the beginning (LOL here I mean To Ride Pegasus) it was noted that in general Talented couples tended to have more Talented children, given that Talent itself seemed to have some kind of genetic link. As the fledging community felt it needed to ramp it's numbers up a bit, I think that they were encouraged to keep it within the community. It wasn't mandatory and I doubt that non-Talent partners were frowned upon (look at Rhyssa and her husband), but it made sense.

Plus if you had something that set you apart from the rest of the populace, it is fairly natural to look to others who share your 'differences' and find somebody who understands that issue on their own level as well as your own (quite literally in strong telepaths LOL).

I think that that attitude of like-breeds-like carried over during the intervening years. I think Jeff was the one to bring back the idea of encouraging Primes to breed with Primes, or at least very high ratings (now that they had a wider selection of them that weren't all related!!).


Quote:
It makes me wonder how long it will be before Talents outnumber the non-Talented, and whether non-Talented people are eventually going to become second-class citizens.
Mmmm. I never thought about this before you brought it up LOL But I don't think that Talents will ever be so numerous that they outnumber the non-Talented population of the tens of entire planets that are inhabited by that time.
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Old Sep 7 2008, 11:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: The FT&T through the ages

Actually, I don't think Jeff brought it back. After the birth of Jeran, Jeff and Rowan got maternity and paternity bonuses. It was FT&T policy. Pg 209 of my copy of The Rowan.
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Old Sep 8 2008, 01:16 AM   #9
D. M. Domini
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Default Re: The FT&T through the ages

It was pre-Jeff.

I can see how it might remind someone of eugenics...however, the difference here being that it is voluntary. Talent is in the genes; to get more Talent you <i>have</i> to somehow encourage Talents to reproduce with Talents. You can either force them to do it via some sort of governmental mandate, or you can encourage Talents who want kids to have a roll in the hay with some other Talent when breeding them. There's nothing said that the parents have to be married...

Didn't Larak bank his sperm? I wonder how common that is. I wonder if the FT&T might have a private sperm bank (or egg bank)...

(plotbunny alert: "A Talented Stud". To keep it in good tastes, let's make it a comedy, yes? And no, I'm not writing it. I'm siccing it on someone else! RUN!)
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Old Sep 8 2008, 01:30 PM   #10
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Actually, I don't think Jeff brought it back. After the birth of Jeran, Jeff and Rowan got maternity and paternity bonuses. It was FT&T policy. Pg 209 of my copy of The Rowan.
Sorry, no, you're quite right! (Even without page proof LOL) I think that Jeff was the one to re-encourage high-Talents to breed with other high-Talents and not lower ratings or non-Talents.

Did Larak bank his sperm? My brain seems to have a small bell ringing at that, but nothing concrete!!
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