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>From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1993 13:33:37 +0200 (MET DST)

> >From: Lesley Grant <lgrant@maths.tcd.ie>
> > >From: Onno Meyer <Onno.Meyer@arbi.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de>
> > 
> > Just a moment - humans have a high birth rate? Humans _can_ produce a lot
> > of offspring, but compared to other earth species, the number is small.
> > Over here, the average family has about 1,4 children (our politicans start   
> > to worry about that). A family with four or more children is highly
> > unusual.
> > Pyanfar had two children we know of. That is just enough to keep the 
> > population stable if nobody dies early. 
> 
> middle and upper classes. (BTW, Onno, what's the average birth-rate for
> lower class German families, especially those of Middle Eastern origin?
> Politicians probably don't take those into account because the secure
> votes come from the middle classes).

I just had a look at the official population statistics, and they were
not really heplful. (They group households into 1 person, 2 persons and
3 or more persons.) 
My mother had read our local statistics (but couldn't find them), and
she said that lower classes are still likely to have more children.
The problem with the germans with middle eastern anchestry: there are
very few of them. The german laws make residence much easier to get than
citizenship, and a lot of "foreigners" live here in the third generation.
If they were allowed to vote, the politicans would care more for them :-( 

> 	So, the point, you all cry! The point is that hani society, while
> having opportunities for upward mobility (go kill Lord Whoosis, brother),
> is fairly rigidly class based. Pyanfar is upper-class, and so likely to
> have fewer children than lower class people, as there are only so many
> resources to go round. She is also a spacer, and rarely gets home, and so
> has, I suspect even fewer children than might be normally expected. Lower
> class hani (ie from less important clans/no likely male relations to kill
> Lord Whoosis) most likely have more. Chur had a son in her youth, Tiar had
> two. Non-spacefaring hani women would have the opportunity to have a lot
> more children by men in Hermitage, and, presumably, do, as they can't really
> have kids by their clan lord without getting into trouble from his wives,
> who would probably suspect they were trying to get favour for those children.
> In short, Pyanfar with her two children (and Huran (?) Faha with her
> apparent only child) are not typical of the bulk of the hani species, and
> we can't draw conclusions about the stability of the species from them
> 
This may be true if (a) the poor classes depend on their children for
their pension and (b) a child will have a higher return than the initial
investment. If every hani is part of a clan more than part of a family,
the clan will attempt to manage the population growth to stabilize the
economy, and the younger generation will pay for the retirement of the
older generation. And if 50% of the children are male (and they won't
be aborted(sp?)), a child is a very risky method of insurance.

If hani have reached a space-based economy, I would expect them to have
developed a society comparable to an industrialized country today, or 
even more advanced. The fact that they still use clans and that these
clans are an economic unit shouldn't prevent them from forming larger
structures to operate factories and cities. (If it does, how can a
single clan build a starship?).

Onno Meyer

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