Two words about two letters etc.

Mark A Mandel mam at theworld.com
Sat Jan 11 19:11:50 PST 2003

On Wed, 8 Jan 2003, Philip Hart wrote:

#On Wed, 8 Jan 2003, Andrew Lias wrote (about Sethra):

	[Philip Hart, about Sethra]
#She might admit that the only Easterner she knows (ever knew?) is clearly
#smarter than her (v. Orca) and her friends (v. Issola etc).

Are you sure she hasn't known any other Easterners in the past 200,000
years? And while Vlad did figure out something that she thought he
couldn't, that doesn't make him smarter than she is.

#I don't see Aliera being that much beyond Mendel in genetics - e.g.,
#Dragaerans aren't anywhere near being able to change their bodies from
#one house to another or we would have heard all about it in Jhereg and

Aliera's view and mental model of genetics may be vastly different from
our own. Mendel thought of genes -- if he did at all -- as abstract
entities that govern inheritance. Today's biologists (some of whom I am
working with) think of them (I think) as series of base pairs of amino
acids, possibly discontinuous. Aliera's model probably doesn't include
amino acids or double helixes. In examining (interrogating) a cell, she
may perceive genes as bits of color, or shapes. Maybe they feel like
floating objects, whose "location" in her perceptual space she observes
more by quasi-touch and quasi-hearing than by quasi-sight, and which
"feel" and "sound" and "taste" like certain characteristics of a House
or of an ancestral line in something like the way a psychic contact
"feels" and "sounds" like the person you're seeking or who is contacting

-- Mark A. Mandel
   a Steven Brust Dragaera fan website