Sunday, May 28, 2023

Legal Fiction - Business Fiction - how people calculate Costs

There is a term of legal fiction, like that Corporations are “People” when they are not. in Business, there is a fiction as well. The fiction has to do with Costs and Operations. Typically when we make a Break Even Calculation we assume (based on experience and market research) of what we need and try to make a profit. In this case its the fiction that we need to charge extra for the service we already had intended for the customer in case we can get away from it. 

1-2DT of Freight and Ship Operations. - a Passage room should assume the 90% of passengers who will travel and their conditions (depending on your SCI-FI settings demographics). 

If the setting says that people move 10-20 tons of personal and business equipment is moved by someone traveling 3-12 light years to another star system including their families, then the Break Even calculation of a Ship is by the Passenger Rooms and the Freight needed per room given 90% of the passengers. 

If the Passengers are “ASSUMED” to be their Families, a unit that is measured in 3-5 “Adults” and children being a fraction of adults, then the Sci-fi Setting has laws and practices around familys as passengers. With an Anagathics skewing Median Age calculations of a growing Population, Age distribution would probably design factoring the physical and mental capabilities. With people appearing mostly in 30-50s and the relationships they bring with them - then people moving 3+ Lightyears for a Job in another star system. Wow imagine population demographics measured in your Economic output instead of age. A better off person with anagathics keeping them in their 30s or 40s as compared to many who are in conditions equal to their 50s and 60s (with Universal Basic Incomes of the wealthiest states able to keep its population at theirs 50s and 60s). 

So in Mneme Variant Rules for Cepheus Engine we did the calculation of the break even of the ships. I have a long history of doing this going as far back as 2012 when YouTube and the internet was still young, with me demonstrating a spreadsheet of my GURPS calculations. Discovering that the ticket costs dont make money and my personal journey of learning business has changed my numbers a lot, and will continue to change my numbers 

One of the things about my experience is that the Ship will have factored the 2DT per Room, but will default this as an Added expense and will periodically use it as a Promotion. We are living in the age of AI, and personal AI’s snatching this up for its passengers should be no great logical leap. What takes a leap is what does it mean in a system where this is the practice - “Online Reputation” will create a history and of course AI’s will fill in the details - and then there is the META-analysis if the AIs were being used as a Review Bomb. 
Knowing full well that Market Conditions, a SHIP that came from an economically problematic system needs to break even and will charge more. Then if you find out the Ship purposely goes to help out a Port X, E, or D System, - which makes you wonder if its for charitable reasons, where they can’t carve out a niche, or nefarious reasons. 

Mneme will go into some details - like Frequency of Drone Jumps so that people who are in trouble can get help and the logistics of “Help” as well as the predators that ply the trade winds for vulnerable ships to exploit. The wealthy Port A and B worlds and their High Fees and Conveniences and the families, businesses, expanding in underdeveloped areas and systems - hoping to industrialize and succeed where there is less competition and more opportunities. The bias of being a Developing world person writing about Trade - with the perspective that Development is a journey and status, that people who dont like the policies of their world can try in a less developed world. That people with a strong risk appetitive will continually move to worlds with more opportunity for the good and evil. Underdeveloped worlds will be a source of young labor - people who be aided by AI and their youth to do jobs that will use them up. And those who manage to survive to have anagathics keep them in their 50s will be moving to places with lower costs. 

I dont know how many gamers like a story about people pursuing their dreams at the cost of their body and mind, to be left with a broken and buggy one after serving their time and being able to make their own way. If they like the story of generational upliftment, and migration. If their characters look around in the star port and the passenger roster and wonder. In the few times I travel, Love wondering and finding out about the people I travel with. It’s funny that a game Called Traveller is more than just about the travelers. 

Of course people dont have to use or care about these details. It’s just a handy set of setting details the GM can use to explain away things and give structure to what happens here. 

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