More wonderful sciencey goodness from the Institute, for your reading pleasure. The book in question is available in your friendly neighborhood library. The title is "On the Effects of Assorted Stimuli on the Productivity of Potters"
(Hallifax): Vivet says, "Citizens, it is time for the defence of Portius' thesis, as per Institute
review. Those who wish to be in attendance should follow me at the Matrix."
Acerbus arrives, following Primus Vivet Pavok.
Irillia arrives, following Primus Vivet Pavok.
Meribolt arrives, following Primus Vivet Pavok.
Jonai arrives, following Primus Vivet Pavok.
Talan arrives, following Primus Vivet Pavok.
Moll arrives, following Primus Vivet Pavok.
Ayisdra arrives, following Talan Ysav'rai.
Daraius arrives, following Primus Vivet Pavok.
Vivet's eyes gleam with generosity.
With a flourish of your arm, you bow deeply.
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "I will now leave the piece in question on the floor, to be perused by all
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "As the other member of the committee is not present, I may interview
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "Then we might open questions to the floor for all."
Glacial wind accompanies the form of Jadice, the Frost Queen, as She manifests amidst a sudden swirl
of niveous crystals.
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "Ah, greetings, Lady Jadice!"
INSERT BOWING TO JADICE HERE
You say, "Greetings, Lady Jadice. Your presence honors me."
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "It is a pleasure to have You as a part of the examination."
Jadice, the Frost Queen says, "Greetings, all, and thank you, Primus. Please do not allow My
presence to disrupt the proceedings. I have come to observe."
Primus Vivet Pavok says to Jadice, "We also reached a decisive decision in regard to Patronship, but
that may wait until after, unless You might prefer to finalise that matter immediately."
Jadice, the Frost Queen says, "Everything at the proper time. We are here to see a thesis defended,
are we not?"
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "Indeed we are."
Primus Vivet Pavok says to you, "Now then, Portius Windwhisper."
Junior Fellow Moll, Student of Temporal Science quietly, tidily kneels near to the scientific ledger,
leaning forward to read it over.
Primus Vivet Pavok asks you, "You have dedicated your thesis to the testing of assorted stimuli to
laborer productivity - in this particular instance, Potters especially. Correct?"
Ambassador Daraius Shevat swivels one ear towards you and the other towards Vivet, listening with
rapt attention to each.
You say, "That is correct, Primus."
Vivet looks up into the air for divine inspiration.
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "One moment, the Provost is requesting I fetch her as well."
INSERT VIVET FAILING TO LEAVE THE SUPER SPECIAL SECRET AREA ON HER FIRST TRY.
Ambassador Daraius Shevat emits a sound womehere between a growl and a chuckle.
Zyphora arrives, following Primus Vivet Pavok.
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "Right."
Soloist Jonai Trueflight lifts a hand slightly, hiding a slight grin that vanishes as quickly as it
appeared. His arm lowers, hands clasping behind his back.
Primus Vivet Pavok asks you, "Apologies. Your answer, as I missed it?"
You say, "I said that you were correct, Primus."
Comprehension flashes across Vivet's face.
Zyphora curtseys gracefully before Jadice.
Primus Vivet Pavok looks skeptical and says, "Yes, of course."
High Scion Zyphora Windwhisper, the Sun-in-Glory says, "It is an honour to be in Your presence,
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "A primary focus of your paper was on dietary changes and modification,
which covers meat, grain, and vegetables particularly."
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "However, fruit and fish are not given mention, nor attention, seemingly. I
wished to inquire as to the reasons for this."
You say, "I took fish to be a subsection of meat, Primus, given that both of them are the bodies of
deceased animals. Fruit made up such a small proportion of the diet of such laborers that it seemed
unnecessary to examine, and furthermore likely to be similar to vegetables in result."
You say, "Given slightly less limited resources, further examination of both would be reasonable,
although there are other avenues that would likely be of greater interest."
Vivet nods solemnly.
Primus Vivet Pavok asks, "With regard to the all meat diet, I am especially curious if all the
foodstuffs came from the same shipment, and it might not be a case of food poisoning. Was this
You say, "It was investigated, Primus. They were from different shipments from different locations.
Contamination seems unlikely."
You say, "I suppose in hindsight I might have kept a portion separate to be fed to a unique
population to ensure there was no such contamination. Make a note of that, comrades, if you ever
pursue such research on your own."
Ambassador Daraius Shevat fishes a small crystalline scroll from his pocket and deftly taps a new
entry on its surface.
Primus Vivet Pavok asks, "Very well. Having said that, I also do not recall any note being made to
the race or races of the subjects selected. Was this considered as a control variable, or was a mix
of races intended?"
You say, "Ah, now that is an interesting methodological question, isn't it? Different races could
likely react differently to different stimuli, after all. Should one use only a single race, to
control for that variable, or should one take a mixture of races, to see to it that the experiment
resembles the applications of the research as closely as possible?"
You say, "I took the servants given to me without asking after their race in my request, to better
model the population of Hallifax. I deemed the latter option to be more useful in this case."
Vivet nods solemnly.
Junior Fellow Moll, Student of Temporal Science finishes thumbing quietly through the ledger's pages
and straightens, folding her hands neatly on her knees and giving her undivided attention to Vivet
Primus Vivet Pavok asks, "Finally, there is reference to work completed per day in order to
establish efficacy in changes of output. However, as I understand it, hours per day has varied from
time to time. Might you have some note of how many hours of work per day were in requirement for the
duration of the experiments?"
With a face full of excitement, you say, "Ten hours, Primus. Although as a point of interest, that
is another sort of stimulus that could be investigated. There might very well be an optimal number
of hours for production efficiency, but, and I think this is the truly interesting concern, the most
efficient work day might not be the best, since reducing the amount produced per hour but adding
more hours could result in an increase in the number of objects produced, which might be to the
Primus Vivet Pavok asks, "Might there be any questions for the Professor from the floor at this time,
Ambassador Daraius Shevat placidly lifts one paw.
Vivet nods her head at Daraius.
Ambassador Daraius Shevat says to you, "To what extent do you think your results are applicable to
other forms of labor, or to workers of higher castes??"
You say, "I chose the stimuli because I expected them to be applicable to many manual professions.
That is why I chose not to experiment with the layout of the workshop, or the length of the work day.
Too specific for this particular work, although I must say that a comparative study would likeyl be
fascinating. The temperature effect, for example will likely take place with any trade involving a
furnace or kiln."
You say, "But the works of the higher castes? They are of a very different nature. The dietary
concerns likely hold, since malnutrition is a concern of the body, but those stimuli that are of a
primarily mental nature are likely to have widely different effects on an artist or researcher!"
You say, "Does that answer your question, Ambassador? It is a rather fascinating one to contemplate.
Ambassador Daraius Shevat nods briefly to you, his claws chiming delicately against his crystalline
Ambassador Daraius Shevat says, "Thank you, Lord Windwhisper. Perhaps others will follow your
example and pursue further research in those areas."
You say, "I certainly hope so. It would be of great use to the library, not to mention the joy I
would take in truly optimizing my own work."
Primus Vivet Pavok asks, "Any others?"
You say, "Do feel free to ask about anything related to the work, technical or otherwise."
Junior Fellow Moll, Student of Temporal Science disentangles her fingers and raises one hand
Junior Fellow Moll, Student of Temporal Science glances to Vivet for permission to speak.
Vivet nods her head at Moll.
Junior Fellow Moll, Student of Temporal Science says to you, "You mentioned in your writing rewards
and the threat of punishment having been tested, Lord-Librarian. Was negative reinforcement
considered for this experiment at all - if not, why not? One example, for the benefit of others who
might not be aware of the difference in reinforcements, might be in lowering the temperature of
their workplace only after a production goal was met?"
You say, "I had initially considered such a test. However, after my experiment with fear as a
motivator, I decided that the probability of negative reinforcement being of use were too low to
justify their use on Hallifaxians. It does not do to make anyone, even a servant, suffer for what is
most likely to be of no benefit."
Moll nods her head at you.
Ambassador Daraius Shevat raises his hand once again, glancing with even scrutiny from Vivet to you.
INSERT PEOPLE STARTING TO LEAVE HERE
Primus Vivet Pavok asks, "However, I believe we are at a point where everyone is satisfied,
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "Oh, pardon. Do go on, Ambassador."
Ambassador Daraius Shevat says, "I should mention I am perfectly satisfied with the defense, merely
curious about the implications of the study. Perhaps my questions are better saved for another venue.
You say, "Ask at will, Ambassador. The implications are quite exciting."
His tail flicking briefly with enthusiasm, Ambassador Daraius Shevat says to you, "You note that the
productivity of machines may eventually eclipse that of our workers. Will this eventuality require a
restructuring of the lowest caste, such that the laborers will be tasked with maintaining the
machines that replace them?"
You say, "A portion of it, certainly. But the need to maintain the machines is unlikely to employ
the entirety of the lowest caste. A use would have to be found the remainder. It could swell the
military, certainly. Furthermore, it would allow for both a larger number of artists and scientists
to be supported, and for more resources to be dedicated to their training, which would in turn allow
for a small number of those whose talent borders the acceptable to be turned into proper members of
the highest caste. This would be of enormous benefit to the city, and indeed would likely spur
further innovation in a glorious cycle!"
A low, contented growl arises within Daraius's chest.
Showing that she understands, Moll nods her head slowly.
Primus Vivet Pavok quietly scans the room for any other raised hands.
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "Very well, I believe that is everyone."
Primus Vivet Pavok says to you, "Being that the main points of observation were on expansions from
the original experiment series and not on faults within it, I believe I have no reason to revoke the
doctorate you have already earned, and we can confirm your thesis a success."
Primus Vivet Pavok says to you, "Congratulations, Professor Windwhisper."
You say, "I am pleased to hear that, Primus."
Jonai claps his hands together merrily.
Junior Fellow Moll, Student of Temporal Science politely claps her hands in congratulations.
High Scion Zyphora Windwhisper, the Sun-in-Glory politely applauds you.
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "I will leave you to the handling of the document from here."
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "And would ask our audience to follow me once more, to be escorted to the
Standing and bowing, Junior Fellow Moll, Student of Temporal Science says, "Thank you, Primus Pavok
and Professor Windwhisper, for allowing us to participate."
Primus Vivet Pavok says, "Certainly."
Daraius nods his head in agreement.
Soloist Jonai Trueflight smiles and says, "Indeed. This was a great opportunity to take to learn."
Zyphora nods her head emphatically.
Any sufficiently advanced pun is indistinguishable from comedy.