386 comments posted · 1 followers · following 3

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +3 points

While you worry about a necessary action in bad times persisting as cruelty into better ones, I wouldn't be so concerned.

The practice is already ritualized and ritual usually evolve to the society around them, becoming more symbolic as the original meaning slowly gets lost. Eventually they either fade out or get repurposed. Kinda like the Hogfather emerging from an earlier practice of human sacrifice...

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +2 points

Oh, good to know !

2 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 7 replies · +9 points

Regarding your Rot13, it turns out that even in direct combat people don't like killing people very much. I read somewhere that the ratio of # of battle injuries over the # of shots fired in WW2 (stats from the western front iirc) is so abysmal the only way to explain it is that most soldiers just shoot in the general direction of the enemy hoping they run away.

4 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +14 points

I read that as a joint ploy by Sybil and Ariadne to get what the later wanted without having to dirty her hands - ie "before you hit them with the shovels my dear, maybe we could hit them with my husband" ?

5 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Snuff': Pa... · 0 replies · +4 points

Yep, that's my general feelings toward the last few books too :/

8 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 0 replies · +9 points

Esk mentioned the book earlier, saying it was written by some dude under the direct dictation of the cunning man. This implies that the wretched thing couldn't write at the time, but it's unclear weather that's because he was already a bodyless entity or if he was still mortal but couldn't write -- probably because the fire would have burned off his eyes, it's never stated but it's a somewhat text supported headcanon.

8 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 2 replies · +4 points

Also, a small lens is easier to make than a big one - not that lens are ever easy to make. There is a reason (in fact there are several) we switched to parabolic mirrors for telescopes over lenses.

9 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 3 replies · +10 points

Some more info if you're into that sort of thing ! Yay !

This system of tenancy might sound like some weird old timey thing : it isn't. I know personally a winegrower (in France) who inherited the right to use the land from his father as a tenant. Here are some of the rules :

1) Rent isn't paid in cash, he has to give his *full harvest* to the landlord once every four years
2) When buying tools, machines, chemicals, etc.., he and the landlord split the bill 50/50 (which means that one year out of four he actually pays to work)
3) The landlord gets to live in a big castle (so much for the abolition of privileges, hey)
4) This doesn't actually makes him any money, and he would have gone bankrupt if his wife (also a winegrower) hadn't inherited some land from her father where they can actually work without getting screwed.

This system is the direct continuation of the one from centuries ago, but it is thankfully dying out as time passes. No new contract of this style can be made, and they can only be transferred by inheritance. The rules were somewhat modified in favor of the tenant over time but in essence remained more or less the same.

Now two thing are important :

1) Before the industrial revolution and mostly before industrial chemistry, food was like 2/3 of a family's budget. Farming under such an agreement wasn't upper class or anything but it was far from poverty. This collapsed as small scale farms became less and less profitable : the landlord only makes money because they have a dozen tenants and can make economies of scale in storage, distribution, etc... AND grape is a value crop.

2) I don't know how these statutes survived in England and in what form exactly, but I wouldn't be surprised if some farms under this statute survived until Thatcher killed the UK agricultural sector and if Pratchett had seen the last family farms under a tenancy regime go under.

9 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'I Shall We... · 4 replies · +13 points

The discussion of tennants rights is interesting because it gives a bit of context to the relationship between Granny Aching and the old Baron. We know she spent her life in the shepherding hut which, as we know was "mounted on wheels". The presence (or absence) of foundation is very important in property law, and she definitely would have had the same precarious status Tiffany does, at least after the death of her Aching husband.

(Unless the widow of a tenant has specific rights, which is not guaranteed. She also might be entitled to some of the revenue from the land after her son inherits the tenancy depending on how the marriage was negotiated which would also presumably give her rights)